Martha’s Vineyard men’s summer softball begins

Pat Rolston of the Hurricanes ran down a shallow fly ball from deep left field to rob the Highlanders. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The men’s Island Softball League season began on Monday night with a triple header at Veterans Park.

The Blazers torched the Treds in the opening game, 31-11. Matt Rivers went 6 for 6 with three singles, two doubles, and a walk. Bill Panek was 4 for 5, with two doubles, two singles, and a free pass.

The Treds led 9-8 after three and half innings but the Blazers put the game away with six runs in the fourth and nine in the fifth.

The middle game was a rematch of last year’s final series between the defending champion Hurricanes and the Highlanders.

The ‘Canes batted first and posted 11 runs, highlighted by Keith Crossland’s monster home run, to serve notice that they were still the force to be reckoned with. The Highlanders stopped the bleeding briefly but the ‘Canes powered on for a 22-4 win.

The Wildcats and the Brewhas met in the nightcap. The Brewhas were fresh off a victory in Sunday’s pre-season one-pitch tournament, where they swept the Hurricanes 32-17 and 20-17 in the finals.

That mattered not to the always predictably unpredictable ‘Cats, who humbled the Brewhas, 17-8.

Wally “Gator” Tomkins led off the game with a home run to get the ‘Cats off to a roaring start. Steve Kelly went 3 for 3 to lead a balanced Wildcats attack.

In Wednesday’s late games, the Wildcats faced the Sons-of-Pitches, the Treds battled the ‘Canes, and the Highlanders played the Brewhas.

Tonight, at Veterans Park, it’s the Brewhas vs. S.O.P. at 6pm, followed by the Highlanders vs. Treds at 7:15, and the Wildcats vs. the Blazers at 8:30.