Tag Archive | "Riverhead Tomcats"

Whalers Win Two

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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.

Whalers Struggling

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Whaler catcher Stuart Levy tags out a Southampton baserunner trying to make it home during the Southampton Breakers vs. the Sag Harbor Whalers Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game at Mashashimuet Park on Sunday, 7/1/12.

Whaler catcher Stuart Levy tags out a Southampton baserunner trying to make it home during the Southampton Breakers vs. the Sag Harbor Whalers Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game at Mashashimuet Park on Sunday, 7/1/12.



By Mike Pintauro

Faced with the threat of inclement weather, the Whalers hosted a double header at Mashashimuet Park on Wednesday. Starting early on our nation’s birthday, the Whalers played two games against the Shelter Island Bucks, winning their first game 2-1, but dropping their second 4-3.

The Whalers had only four hits during the first game, which came sporadically from inning to inning. That’s more than can be said about the Bucks, however, who were held scoreless until the seventh inning by a masterful pitching performance by Whalers newcomer Brandon McClane. McClane was perfect through five innings, hurling seven strikeouts and only one walk in six innings pitched.

The only two hits from the Bucks came in the top of the seventh inning. McClane was pulled from the game and did not pitch the seventh inning, and was instead replaced by Collin Dinges. Dinges finished off the Bucks, but allowed one run on two hits in a game that looked certain to be shutout.

Down one run with only one inning left in the truncated ball game, it seemed the Whalers’ stellar pitching performance was all for nothing; but after a walk from Jake Kingsley and a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Keaton Flint, they had the tying run on second with two outs. John Hennessy was up at bat, and like most other Whalers during the game, he did little from behind the plate. Nevertheless, it was his two-run homerun over the right field fence that snagged the victory for the Whalers, in spectacular walk-off fashion.

Wednesday’s second game was a different story from the beginning. After loading the bases with the first three batters, Whalers pitcher Jason Freeman gave up an RBI double to Geo Saba, scoring two runs. Saba would score himself later in the inning, bringing the first inning run total by the Bucks to four. Down four runs from the get-go, the Whalers knew they had to play catch up, but despite dishing out nine hits in the game, they were only able to score three runs.

Whalers infielder John Hennessey, fresh off a two-run homerun, was 2-for-3 on the day, with one run coming in the bottom of the third. Down two in the last inning, infielder Charlie Curl led off with a strong solo homerun, but it was too little too late. Grant Shambley reached base with a single to left field, but was the first out of a game-ending double play, hit by Dennis Mitchell.

This was the second double header of the week for the Whalers. On Saturday, June 30, the Whalers hosted the Riverhead Tomcats in a back-to-back showdown, but lost both games of the day 3-2 and 4-0. Jim Duff was on the mound for the first game, throwing a solid six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, striking out four. The Whalers were held to six hits in the game, scoring their only two runs in a desperate seventh inning struggle to find the win.

In their second game against the Tomcats, the Whalers were held scoreless, slapping only five hits in the game. Whalers pitcher Will Marcal pitched a strong outing, striking out six, with only two earned runs. However, he allowed nine hits in his four inning outing, and after being down early in the game, the Whalers were unable to get any offense moving.

On Sunday, the Whalers faced the fifth place Southampton Breakers, and came away with a 7-6 win.

With a tough loss against the North Fork Ospreys last Thursday, the Whalers have continued to struggle this season, and are now six games back from the first place Riverhead Tomcats. Regardless, Whalers pitching and hitting are holding up well, bringing games close and competitive.

Scores came out to enjoy the double header, but there was more on the agenda than just baseball. Whalers General Manager Tom Gleeson invited local residents Joanne Lyles and Jim Theinert as ceremonial guests, where they simultaneously threw the first pitch in honor of their sons, Jordan Haerter and Joseph Theinert, respectively, both who died in the service of their country. The crowd welcomed the two, and offered their cheers to the memory of the two fallen servicemen.


Fourth Time Not a Charm

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Whalers-Tomcats

by Andrew Rudansky

It wasn’t that long ago that the Sag Harbor Whalers were the first seed in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. Sure they were only on that high perch for little more than a day, falling after they lost to the North Fork Ospreys on Tuesday, July 5, but at the time they looked to be the world-beaters of the division.

In the ten games that led to them garnering that number one seed, the Whalers had a record of 8-2, beating every other team in the division at least once and outscoring their opponents 40 to 20.

The Whalers were cashing in on the stellar success to their bullpen, still the best in the division with an Earned Run Average (ERA) of 2.54.

With more than half of the season over, it looked to be the Whalers’ year — a welcome thought for fans that haven’t seen the team in a playoff game since 2008.

But a lot has changed since that July 5 loss to the Ospreys.

The Whalers have struggled this week; they dropped two games to the Westhampton Aviators and split a two game series with the Riverhead Tomcats, sending them down to fourth place. These recent struggles have fans scratching their heads and wondering what happened.

The first loss against the Aviators on Wednesday, July 6 was a 5-1 shellacking at Mashashimuet Park. The Whalers couldn’t touch righty pitcher Ray Angelucci, who held the Whalers to just four hits and one run through seven and half innings.

The next game on Saturday, July 9, this time an away game for the Whalers, was another disappointing loss against Westhampton. This time the Whalers were held scoreless at 2-0. Again the story was the Aviators bullpen, through six-and-a-half innings Aviators righty Ryan Doran threw eight strikeouts and only two walks.

After the two back-to-back losses against Westhampton, the Whalers showed signs of life when they hosted the Riverhead Tomcats on Sunday, July 10. The home team came out roaring in the first inning, with two singles and an RBI double that sent second baseman J.J. Franco home before the Tomcats made their first out.

The Tomcats looked in disarray. With a number of unforced fielding errors and substandard pitching, the visitors dug themselves into a 5-0 hole in the first inning of the game.

While the Whalers piled on runs at the plate, Whalers tall righty, Kyle McGowin, a Sag Harbor native, dominated on the mound. McGowin pitched five innings, allowing only two hits and no runs in his best performance this season.

The Whalers put on a clinic on Sunday’s game, tallying 11 hits and 7 RBIs in an impressive 9-3 victory.

“[The Tomcats] helped us out a little bit,” said Whalers manager Jim Buckley of the victory. “Obviously they had some defensive issues in the first [inning], they really gave us that five run lead.”

The game was stopped briefly in the seventh inning when Whalers J.J. Franco was taken off the field with a knee injury. A collision with Tomcat runner Eric Schlitter laid Franco out. Franco, eventually walked off the field, and later said of the injury that it was probably only a muscle strain.

“I think a day off tomorrow [for Monday, July 11 ACBL All Star game] is good timing,” said Franco after the game. He has already missed one game due to the injury but is expected to return to the starting lineup soon.

On Tuesday, July 12, the Whalers took on the Tomcats again but lost after a back-and-forth barnburner. The game was tied at 4-4 until the bottom of the seventh inning when Tomcat Frank Schwindel was hit by a pitch from reliever Paul Mittura. The HBP came at the worst possible moment for the Whalers, who were dealing with a bases loaded, two outs situation. Holding on to their 5-4 lead, the last-place Tomcats waltzed out with a much needed victory.

Currently the Whalers are 12-14 on the season, but luckily for them this sub .500 record is only three-and-a-half games out of first place. Currently a fourth seed, they still have a spot in the playoffs; but they can still slip out of contention if they don’t start winning. Despite this Buckley is unconcerned with the Whalers recent struggles.

“With our pitching staff, I don’t think you should count us out at all,” said Buckley, “our pitching is going to keep us in every single game.”

All-Star Game

This past Monday, July 11, the best of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League met at Brooklyn MCU Park to compete in the East-West 2011 ACBL All-Star Game. In a close game, the East Division, of which the Sag Harbor Whalers and the entire Hamptons Division is a part, came out on top with a 5-4 victory.

Four Whalers, three of them pitchers, were selected to represent the East in the game. Third Baseman Ryan Kreskey, who leads the Whalers in hits, runs and on base percentage (OBS), helped push the East to victory with one run.

The three Whalers pitchers, Adam Brown (L), Kevin McCarthy (R), Kurt Marut (R), made up one-third of the entire East All-Star team bullpen. Each of the pitchers pitched for one inning.

“These are guys who have stood out this year,” said Whalers Manager Jim Buckley of the four all-stars, “we have talked to them and told them to go out and do what they have been doing all year.”

Whalers Take First Two, Return This Sunday

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By Benito Vila

The Boys of Summer is legendary in the annals of sport, writer Roger Kahn capturing the cool and fire of his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. Last Sunday Sag Harbor was introduced to its boys of summer, a group of college players coming together as “the Whalers” in Mashashimuet Park to open a 40-game season in Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League action.
The setting was familiar for one Whaler, former Pierson standout and current Farmingdale State scholar-athlete Mike Labrozzi back on his “home” field. Labrozzi and his new teammates didn’t disappoint the 80 or so that turned out, taking both ends of a doubleheader, 2-1 and 10-2, from the highly regarded Riverhead Tomcats.
Labrozzi lit up the faces of many friends, starting at first base and hitting sixth in the first game. In his first at-bat, in the bottom of the second, Labrozzi stepped in with a runner on and lifted the first over-the-fence homer seen in Mashashimuet since the wood bat league started play here last year.
The 360-foot shot gave Whaler starter, East Hampton alumnus and current University of Rhode Island pitcher, Gardner Leaver a 2-0 lead. And those runs were all Leaver needed, the righty keeping the Tomcats quiet in allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out three in five innings of work.
Brian Russell, a righty from Davidson, relieved Leaver and held the lead for the next three and two-thirds, scattering four hits. But it was Jake Donze, a lefty from Murray State University (KY), who closed out the game, getting the last out on a force at second with the bases loaded, a run in and the Tomcats scratching to get the lead.

The Runs Pile Up
The Tomcats were unable to break through in the first inning of the second game, New York Tech lefty Steve Faulkner retiring the side easily. The Whalers, meanwhile, snapped their scoreless string, Rutgers sophomore Brandon Boykin singling in a run in the bottom of the first.
Labrozzi stepped in later in the frame with two away, runners at first and third and the home crowd eager for more. A delayed double steal and a low throw home, netted the Whalers another run before Labrozzi added to the Tomcats’ misery by roping a double to right center to make the score 3-0.
Faulkner yielded a run in the second, the Tomcats making the most of a pair of singles and a wild pitch. A Labrozzi infield single in the hole at short brought home another Whaler in the fourth, keeping the margin at three and giving the hometown player four RBIs on the day.
In all, Labrozzi went five-for-seven in his team’s debut, another single in the sixth contributing to a five-run rally that put the Whalers up 9-1. A Sag Harbor run in the eighth and a Riverhead run in the ninth closed the scoring at 10-2 Whalers, Anna Maria College (MA) lefty James McNamara and Farmingdale State righty Steve King keeping the Tomcats from sneaking back into the game.

What’s to Come
Whaler skipper Jason Lefkowitz, an assistant baseball coach at Brown University, was satisfied with his team’s play, saying “I thought our team played well-played games considering we have only been on a field as a team twice leading up to the games. It was a great team effort with many of the guys giving up their at bats to move runners over and get runners in. Mike Labrozzi came up clutch for us in both games, having a great at bat in the first game and hitting it out with two strikes.”
Seeing what needs work, Coach Lefkowitz pointed out, “I feel we need to work on our defense a little more as we made more errors than I would have liked, causing our pitchers to make more pitches. Also, we will be working on our hitting a little bit, but I don’t have any concerns for that part. If we were able to put up 10 runs on limited hits, we should be able to do well once we start playing everyday.”
Citing individual contributions, Coach Lefkowitz added, “I thought all our pitchers did a great job throwing strikes, letting our defense make the plays. Gardner Leaver did a great job throwing more innings than we expected him to throw with the limited pitch count we had our pitchers on. Brian Russell also threw the ball very well and Jake Donze got us a big out to get the save.”
“In game two, I was very happy with how James McNamara pitched; he was a strike-throwing machine, getting us deep in the game. Before the doubleheader, we were told we were playing two nine-inning games where I understood from the ACBL we were going to play two seven-inning games, so we were a little thin on pitching as a few of our pitchers had just got to Sag Harbor Saturday.”
The nine-inning format will be used in games from hereon in, the Whalers at North Fork (Mattituck) today at 5 p.m. and at Southampton (on the high school field) Thursday at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Whalers will play the Breakers on the new baseball field at Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus at 5 p.m.
The boys are back in the park again this Sunday against Westhampton, games at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., with Sunday doubleheaders continuing each weekend this month and next.

Whaler Get-Away
The Sag Harbor Whaler Host Committee, which has housed the team’s players and made arrangements for local work while the boys are not playing ball, has scheduled a team fundraiser for June 19. The committee has negotiated the use of one of the South Ferry’s fleet for a sunset getaway cruise in and outside the harbor.
The ferry will launch from Long Wharf next Saturday, Whaler players meeting those that turn out at 5:45 p.m. Shortly after 6 p.m. beverages and appetizers will be made available. Tickets for the cruise can be purchased for $40 at B. Smith or from Rich Kudlak at Prudential Real Estate. The ferry is due to come in just before 8 p.