Tag Archive | "Westhampton Aviators"

Whalers Seek Stride

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By Mike Pintauro


The Sag Harbor Whalers are closing up the month of June with some well-placed wins, which improve their record to six wins, 11 losses. With three wins coming out of the last five games, the Whalers are currently out of last place, half a game up from the now last place Westhampton Aviators, yet still 4.5 games back from the first place Center Moriches Battlecats.

The Whalers’ first victory of the week came in a 4-3 game against Westhampton last Wednesday, June 20, at Mashashimuet Park. Jason Freeman pitched for Sag Harbor, going six full innings, throwing four strikeouts, and allowing only one earned run on five hits. The win came, however, not at the hands of the Whalers’ batting, which had less hits than their opponents on the day, but as a result of poor fielding by Westhampton, who gave up two costly errors in the bottom of the ninth, allowing Garrett Fischer to score on a passed ball.

After a tough 6-5 loss to the Southampton Breakers, the Whalers were able to turn the tide against first place Center Moriches, defeating them 9-2 on Sunday, June 24. Jim Duff pitched that day for the Whalers, going seven full innings, allowing only one earned run, on eight hits and four strikeouts, nabbing him the win for the game. With solid pitching taken care of by Duff, the Whalers’ hitting was able to focus, and in the second inning came a towering three-run home run by infielder Charlie Curl to secure the lead for Sag Harbor.

With a solid victory under their belt, the Whalers traveled to Riverhead to play a double header against the Tomcats. The Whalers would lose the first game in a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Tomcats pitcher Mike Trionfo, who pitched a two-hitter through seven innings, striking out six. The Whalers, however, would take the second game of the day, 2-1. Pitcher Jacob Bodner was on the mound for the Whalers, who earned the win for the game, pitching seven innings, allowing one earned run, on six hits, striking out seven. In the end, the Whalers were able to piece together some offense in the middle innings, taking the lead of the low scoring game in the top of the fourth inning.
General Manager Tom Gleeson and the Sag Harbor Whalers will be playing a double header on July 4th at Mashashimuet Park, and invite families and friends to bring their kids for special events between the games, including a special guest to throw out the first pitch. The first game will be played at 10 a.m. The second will be played at 12:30 p.m.

The Whalers next home game will be Thursday, June 28, against the North Fork Ospreys at 5 p.m.

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.”

Comeback Win Closes Season for Hamptons Collegiate Baseball

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It didn’t look good for the home team on Hite Field last Friday, the Westhampton Aviators finding themselves behind the Jersey Pilots 3-0 in the first and 4-2 in the third in the 2009 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League title game. A four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth fired up the Kaiser (Long Island) Division champs and helped them hold off the Wolff (New Jersey/Pennsylvania) Division winners, 7-5, setting off a championship celebration.

The Aviators had earned their way into the game by beating the Southampton Breakers 16-0 in a single-elimination playoff game and then out-dueling the North Fork Ospreys for the Kaiser Division crown. Against the Ospreys, the Aviators dropped game one, 7-6, but came back to win games two and three, 7-1 and 9-2, to take the best-of-three series. The Pilots meanwhile had earned their spot in getting past the Lehigh Valley Catz, 6-5, in game three of the Wolff Division series.

The ACBL’s most local entry, the Sag Harbor Whalers, the 2008 Kaiser Division winners, finished in fifth place this season, two games short of the playoffs. But not all the Whalers are heading back to school just yet, Brandon Boykin (Rutgers) earning a tryout with the Philadelphia Phillies this week.

In adding five clubs this season, and making the Kaiser Division a Long Island-only, the ACBL has found welcoming communities in Sag Harbor, Southampton, Westhampton, Mattituck, Riverhead and Center Moriches. Local league organizer Rusty Leaver expects to field six teams again next summer with play starting the first week of June and the Whalers continuing their tradition of Sunday afternoon doubleheaders in Mashashimuet Park.

In talking about the future of summertime college baseball on the East End earlier this season, Leaver was optimistic, noting, “We’re in this for the long haul. We took an unusual business step in adding five teams at once this season but it’s working. The fan-base has come along in each of our towns and we’re attracting baseball talent, on and off the field, that’s making it even more interesting for everyone involved.”