By Mike Pintauro
Our local collegiate baseball team, the Sag Harbor Whalers, won two of their past six games this week, maintaining their position in last place with a current record of 12-23.
On Wednesday, July 11, the Whalers won 10-7 over the Riverhead Tomcats, who fell from first place to third through a series of losses this week. On Sunday, the Whalers beat the fifth place Center Moriches Battlecats, 5-2.
In an away game against (18-14) Riverhead, the Whalers came out strong, scoring a quick four runs in the first inning against the first place team. With two on and no outs, in the first, Whalers infielder John Hennessey hit a high fly double to right field, scoring Grant Shambley. Later in the inning, with bases loaded, Whalers hitter Will Marcal hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field, advancing all runners and scoring Jacob Bodner. Up four runs early, Whaler pitching was able to hold off the Tomcats as they continued to score throughout the game. Brandon Kruel pitched for the Whalers, hurling an impressive five strikeouts in five innings, giving up only one earned run. Despite a last inning effort in the ninth, the Tomcats were unable to overcome the deficit, giving the Whalers the 10-7 win.
The Whalers also took an early lead in a 5-2 win against the 16-16 Center Moriches Battlecats last Sunday, July 15. With help from the Battlecats defense, the Whalers were able to get two men on base through a walk and a throwing error. With two men on, Grant Shambley smacked a hard hit ground ball to the shortstop, scoring Charlie Curl.
Later in the inning, Bodner singled to score John Hennessey. The very next inning, Bodner would bat again, this time roping a double to left field, scoring Dennis Mitchell.
With a cushion of runs, Whalers pitcher Brendan McClain held off the Battlecats, striking out five, allowing four hits through 5.2 innings, allowing only one run.
The two victories for the Whalers this week were solid displays of hitting and batting, but their efforts weren’t enough in other games. On Thursday, July 12, the Whalers were dealt a tough loss against Westhampton Aviators, falling 8-2. What followed were two straight losses in a double header against the North Fork Ospreys on Saturday, July 14, losing 6-3 and 5-1. On Monday, July 16, the Whalers lost to the Southampton Breakers in extra innings, after leading 3-2 heading into the eighth.
Today, Thursday, July 19, the Hampton Collegiate Baseball League were to assemble their best for this summer’s All-Star Game, taking place at Brooklyn’s MCU Park in New York City. From the Sag Harbor Whalers, infielder Charlie Curl, outfielder Grant Shambley and pitcher Kyle McGowin were chosen to participate.