Sports Highlights


Sharks stalk Titans, but fall short of playoffs

As the days dwindled down to a precious few in what remained of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League season, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks made a move on the Torrington Titans, challenging them for second place and a spot in the playoffs with the Nashua Silver Knights in the race for the title.

The Sharks edged the Titans last Tuesday 3-2 on the back of Robbie Zinsmeister’s eighth inning home run, 3-2.

Sunday the Sharks rose from a 5-0 deficit in the final innings to overtake the Titans and win, 6-5. Jon Keating hit his first home run of the year in the sixth. Eric Jensen of Wheaton College was 3 for 4. Both Anthony Boix of Tennessee Wesleyan and Jeremy Matos of Central Florida Univ. contributed two hits and both scored on a Titan error.

Monday, at Torrington, Titan Tyler Erickson shut out the Sharks to move the Connecticut team back to a two game lead over the Sharks.

Even so the Sharks had one more shot at the finals. They played here on Tuesday. Had they won they would have one last shot to tie in a rain make-up game,

Alas, it was not to be. Yesterday Torrington’s Conner McMahon of Merrimack College held the Sharks to a single run for eight innings and reliever Van Chamberlain of Eastern Connecticut State, slammed the door with the potential tying run in scoring position at second base.

The Sharks led the league at the plate with a team batting average of 282. The Titans pitchers had the lowest ERA at 3.34.

There’s an old saying in baseball: “Great pitching beats great hitting.” Amen.

Now hear this

It has been called to our attention that The Times has been misnaming one of the Men’s Softball League teams. S.O.P. refers to Sons of Pitches, not Sons of Pitchers as we have naïvely reported.

Triple treat at Tisbury

In a meeting of league leading teams, both 10-1 on the season, the Brewhas and Hurricanes met on Monday at Tisbury’s War Veterans Memorial Park to decide bragging rights in the MV Summer Softball League. In their only previous meeting the ‘Canes embarrassed the Brewhas with a slaughter-rule shortened shellacking, 30-15.

Monday’s game was not really a mirror image of the previous one, but the Brewhas scored three times in the first and once in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings while holding the ‘Canes to a single run in the first.

It was an un-Cane like performance. A team with line drive hitters from top to bottom, the ‘Canes produced a shocking number of pop flies, a fact for which Brewhas pitcher Dan Sharkowitz took some credit. Matt Gebo produced two home runs for the Brewhas, both solo shots, in the third and sixth innings.

In the rest of the Monday triple header, the Highlanders got by the Sons of Pitches, 8-5. It was no walk in the park. The score was tied at five after four innings, and the Highlanders held on to a one-run lead after six. Jeremy Scheffer’s fence clearer with Joe Merry on board gave the Scottish team a little breathing room in the top of the seventh.

In the final game of the evening, the Catboats scored three times in the top of the seventh to tie the score with the Wildcats at four. But, in the bottom of the inning Andrew Williamson’s sacrifice fly drove in Joe Fontaine with the deciding run: Wildcats 5, Catboats 4.

One game was played at Manter’s Field in West Tisbury on Monday night. The Blazers outlasted the Treds in a slugfest, 20-18.

The league finishes its schedule of games Wednesday and Thursday, playing whatever rain-outs or other cancellations may have occurred and begin the second season playoffs, Monday, August 8. All eight of the league’s teams are in the playoffs.

East Coast Classic summer hockey

The East Coast Classic summer adult hockey tournament came to the Martha’s Vineyard Arena for the second time in as many years last weekend; six teams, four from Connecticut, one from Metro Boston, plus the Vineyard, played to determine a tourney champion. They divided into two divisions. The South Beach Division included TAC (Total Athletic Conditioning) of Wallingford, Conn., the Bobcats of Branford, Conn., and the Gators of Newington, Conn.

The Wharf Division had the Fialkons of Metro Boston, the Dragon Club of East Haven, Conn. and the Martha’s Vineyard Mariners.

On Friday, TAC defeated the Mariners, 6-4. The Dragon Club outscored the Bobcats, 7-3 and the Gators bowed to the Fialkons, 5-6,

Saturday morning it was TAC 8, Fialkons 0; Dragon club 7, Gators 4; and Mariners 6, Bobcats 5,

Saturday evening the Dragon Club humbled TAC, 6-3 and the Gators edged the Mariners, 6-4. The Fialkons, which included several skaters from the National Hockey League (Brian Boyle of the N.Y. Rangers, Brian Gibbons of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Joe Callahan of the Florida Panthers) skated to a 12-8 defeat of the Bobcats.

Eventual winner of the tourney, Sunday, was the Dragon Club, 7-5 conquerors of TAC in the finals.

Covered Bridges

Saturday, at the Tisbury Senior Center, nine tables of the Bridge Club of M.V. were in play in the Rosemary Taylor Memorial Games. Rosemary was well-known in the ABA and the ACBL She often remarked, “Bridge is a bidder’s game.”

Sitting North-South, Linda and Donald Schapiro were first, Alec Browne and Duncan Walker second, Cheryl Neal and Dorothy Arnold third, and Bill Blakesley and Diane Odman fourth.

At East West, Barbara Besse and Sue Collinson were first, Judy Moore and Claudia Bowser second, Maggie Gasnick and Brenda Davenport third, and Betty Dixon and Emil Robinson fourth.

And at the high school….

At the Island Bridge Club tables, 12 in all, Deirdre Ling and Ed Russell took top honors at North-South. They were also overall winners last Thursday at the MV Regional High School. Second at N-S were Joe Ashcroft and Mollie Whalen. Lucy O’Brien and Katherine Bovey were third.

At East–West, Dan and Nancy Cabot topped all followed by Holly and Jim Coyne and Lou “Wink” Winkleman and Don Nelson.

Players, with or without partners, are encouraged to arrive at 6:45 for the 7:00 pm start. Sessions cost $6.

Holmes Holers battle light winds

The Holmes Hole Sailing Association Thursday evening race was sailed on a beautiful night with a pleasant 8 knots of east wind. The course took the fleet from red nun 6 to nun 4 at West Chop, then to green can 23a at East Chop and back to nun 6. The first leg was a beam reach on the starboard tack. After rounding the nun, a beat followed with a run and reach for the final leg to the finish.

Roger Becker was first to complete the course in the C &C Gloria. Second was Phil Hale in Wicked followed by Dan Culkin in Magic Time and (4) Jerry Goodale in Stormalong. Then came (5) David Lent in Avanti, (6) John and Lisa Stout in Isabella, (7) Andy Berry in Isobar, (8) Mike Loberg in Masquerade (9) Kathy Logue and Ernie Menderhall in Rocinante, (10) Steve Besse in Apres, (11) Dan Pesch in Sparrow, (12). Mary Worrall in Second Wind, (13) Charlie Felder in Blu J, and (14) Frank Desimone in Lagoonah.

Sunday, a warm and sunny day with light west winds of 0-5 knots, found 14 boats posted for a noon start at red nun 6. A zig-zag course was called for from the nun to green can 21a at East Chop, to red nun 4 at West Chop, to buoy RWNW in Nantucket Sound and back to red nun 6. Light air, fighting a west setting current, stalled much of the fleet.

After two hours the race committee abandoned the race for the slower B Division.

In the A Division, four of the ten boats completed the course. First to finish was Steve Besse in the J-120 Apres. Jerry Goodale in Stormalong was second and Mo Flam in Penelope was third. Fourth, was Isobar skippered by Andy Berry. Gloria, King Kiwi, Grasshopper, Undine, and Wicked dropped out. Valiant, but futile efforts were made by Magic Time, Isabella, Avanti, Evelyn May, Julia Lee, and Lagoonish.

Summer racing continues Thursday at 6 pm. Next Sunday’s race is the Tarpaulin Cove Rendezvous at 10 am,

New members and guest boats are encouraged. Interested sailors should call Diane Hartmann at 693-4592.

The Moffett on the horizon

According to HHSA Commodore Dan Culkin, Kathy Logue Mendenhall reports that experienced seafarers are working on charts and courses in preparation for the 34th annual George Moffett Race scheduled for Saturday, September 10.

The race is named for George Moffett, the Island’s premier sailor and winner of, among others, the Bermuda Race. He is the donor of the land that is the Felix Neck Sanctuary.

This year’s Moffett race is dedicated to Hugh Schwarz, Pat West, and George Moffett, the founding fathers of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association.

For more information about the race call Kathy Logue Mendenhall: 508-693-7074.

Island All Stars sparkle

The Martha’s Vineyard nine-year-old Little League All Stars have concluded a 14 game summer season with a 5-9 record, including three weekend-long off-Island tournaments and home and away double headers with Nantucket.

Over the course of those tourneys plus regular practicing, the boys have become a team, Coach Phil Regan told The Times. Their win and loss record may not seem impressive but several of their losses were extra inning affairs as well as games decided in the final inning. It was an exciting and competitive season against some strong competition.

At the South Plymouth tournament, July 29-31, the Vineyarders outscored opponents, 34-13. Jeremy Regan pitched a one-hit shut out in the 10-0 rout of the host team. In the same tourney the Islanders shellacked Norwell, 17-6, as Jake Howell, Owen Bresnick, Jared Regan and Jeremy Regan combined for nine hits and nine runs.

At Bourne, The Vineyard was 1-2 in three closely contested games, two requiring extra innings. Highlights included an 18-14 slugfest with Mashpee when Owen Bresnick, and Jake Howell combined for seven hits and Peter Burke pitched six tough innings. MV defeated Falmouth, 6-5 in extra innings. Jeremy Regan pitched six innings fanning eight while Jeremy, Jared Regan, Harold Lawry and Owen Bresnick combined for 10 hits.

Shirley’s Hardware VFA regular season champs

Shirley’s Hardware edged Monto Orthopedics at the top of the Vineyard Football Association soccer standings to claim the regular season title by virtue of a 2-1 win over Sports Haven on July 28 at Veterans Park. Erly Pinheiro scored both Shirley’s goals. Buck Reynolds tallied for Sports Haven.

Shirley’s took over the top spot after Monto dropped a 2-0 decision to MV Celtic in the second match of the evening. Jacob Ferry and Alex Poole potted the Celtic goals.

Shirley’s finished with 20 points to Monto’s 19.

The league moves on to the second round this week, with Shirley’s and Monto placed into separate groups.

Group A features Shirley’s, Atlantic FC, and Sports Haven, while Group B is composed of Monto, MV Celtic, and Coop deVille.

VFA final regular season standings

GP W L T Pts GF GA GDShirleys Hardware 10 6 2 2 20 15 16 -1Monto Orthopedics 10 6 3 1 19 25 9 16MV Celtic 10 4 3 3 15 18 15 3Atlantic Football Club 10 3 4 3 12 14 13 1Sports Haven 10 2 5 3 9 12 24 -12Coop de Ville 10 1 5 4 7 10 17 -7