The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League raised their 2013 championship flag, then went out and chomped the North Shore Navigators 11-1 in the season opener before 800 fans on a misty Wednesday night at the Shark Tank in Oak Bluffs.
Austin DeCarr (Clemson), a projected second to third round pick in the Major League Baseball draft got the start and earned the win. The 6’ 3” 215 lbs. hard-throwing right hander from Foxboro pitched four strong innings, allowing one hit, striking out seven, and walking three.
DeCarr’s teammates took out their wooden bats and gave him plenty of runs to work with.
Will Toffey (Vanderbilt), brother of new Sharks coach John Toffey, put the hosts up 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI ground out. The Navigators tied the score in the top of the third but it was all downhill from there for the visitors from Lynn.
The Sharks reeled off six runs on seven hits in the bottom of the third to take a 7-1 lead. Second baseman Jack Roberts, a 2013 MVRHS graduate attending Williams College led off with a single. Ryan Kelly (Salve Regina) and Rich Baerga (St. Thomas Aquinas) then singled to load the bases. Tim Bickford (Univ. of Bridgeport) singled to score Roberts and Kelly. The next three Sharks all doubled. John Mayer (Bucknell) knocked in Baerga and Bickford; Steve Buckley Jr. (Western New England) scored Mayer; and Brendan Cox (Mercyhurst) doubled in Buckley Jr.
The locals put the game away in the fifth after Buckley Jr. crushed a three-run homer to deep center and Ryan Kelly batted in Brendan Cox.
Kyle Brenner (Brandeis) came in for Austin DeCarr, pitching three solid innings, giving up two hits with two K’s and no walks. Mike Fitzgerald (Northeastern) and Matt Calamoneri (Univ. of Scranton) pitched the final two innings, striking out one batter each.
The Sharks are back at The Tank June 5 to face the Nashua Silver Knights. Saturday night prior to playing the Brockton Rox, the Sharks receive their championship rings and honor Tad Gold, a Vineyarder and former three-year starter. Last month, Tad was named Division III college player of the year. Saturday’s pre-game ceremony begins at 6 pm. Both games start at 7 pm.