Sharks struggle heading into homestretch

MV Sharks catcher Justin Meier applied the tag on Rhett Wiseman of the Brockton Rox in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss on Sunday. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

What a difference a week makes. A week ago, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks found themselves in second place, following a run of five wins in six games.

After a 10-0 loss on Monday night to the Pittsfield Suns, the Sharks have lost five straight and tumbled into a fourth place tie with the Suns. The top four teams will make the playoffs, which are set to begin on August 10.

Heading into Wednesday night’s contest at Vineyard Baseball Park against the Torrington (Conn.) Titans, the Sharks were 22-20 with 12 games remaining in the regular season,10 games behind league-leading Nashua and one game up on the Brockton Rox.

The Sharks are set to embark on a grueling last week of the season in which they will play four double-headers, three of them on the road.

Prior to the loss in Pittsfield, the Sharks suffered four consecutive one-run defeats, three on home soil.

Sunday, the Sharks dropped a double-header to the visiting Brockton Rox, 3-2 and 10-9, in 13 innings. Matt Doyle (4-1) pitched the final three innings of the 13 and suffered his first defeat.

Saturday, the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide handed Sharks ace Mike Bradstreet his first loss of the season in a 3-2 win.

In Brockton last Friday, the Sharks lost, 4-3, in 11 innings on a Brendan Doonan walk-off single.

The Sharks are back in action at Vineyard Baseball Park on Friday, with a doubleheader against Pittsfield.

The games are scheduled for 3 pm and 5 pm.

FCBL All Star Game

Seven Sharks made the Original Four roster in the FCBL All Star Game, played on July 26, at Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H.

The game was dominated by the pitchers as the Original Four (M.V., Seacoast, Torrington, and Nashua) blanked the New Five (North Shore, Old Orchard Beach, Brockton, Pittsfield, and Wachusett), 3-0.

At the plate, starting shortstop Eric Jensen singled and walked. Tad Gold was 0 for 1. Justin Meier and Karl Kapinos were both 0 for 2.

The three Sharks pitchers in the line-up, Mike Bradstreet, Matt Doyle, and Ryan Brockett, each threw one inning and were nearly perfect. Bradstreet had two strikeouts.