The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks of the wooden-bat Futures Collegiate Baseball League begin their fourth season Wednesday, June 4, at 7 pm at the Shark Tank in Oak Bluffs against the North Shore Navigators of Lynn.
The Sharks are the defending league champions and finished the 2013 season with a 35-18 record.
This season, the 10 FCBL teams will compete in East and West divisions and play a 58-game schedule. The Sharks will play in the East alongside the Brockton Rox, North Shore Navigators (Lynn), Seacoast Mavericks (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), and the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide (Old Orchard Beach, Maine). The West comprises the Nashua Silver Knights (Nashua, New Hampshire), Wachusset Dirt Dawgs (Leominster), Pittsfield Suns, Torrington Titans (Torrington, Connecticut), and the expansion franchise Worcester Bravehearts.
The Sharks will have a new skipper this season as John Toffey takes over for Mike Miller as head coach. Mr. Toffey comes to the team after four years at the Salisbury School in Connecticut, where he has guided the Crimson Knights to a 46-1 record and two Western New England Prep School baseball championships over the past two seasons.
The new coach brings with him two top Major League prospects and potentially a third. Austin DeCarr is a big, hard-throwing right hander, scheduled to start opening night, who is expected to go as high as the second or third round of the MLB draft. DeCarr throws 92-93 mph on average. In his past two starts, he threw a two-hitter with 16 strikeouts and no walks to go with a complete game, one-hitter with 19 Ks. The bad news is that DeCarr is set to join Clemson University at the end of June. Will Toffey, brother of coach John Toffey, is a power hitting shortstop with a four-year scholarship to Vanderbilt, projected as an 8th to 10th round pick. The Sharks are also hoping to obtain the services of Salisbury’s Paul Campbell, a right-hander throwing in the high 80’s, also headed for Clemson. Campbell is projected as an 11th to 12th round pick.
Two additional promising new recruits are on the Sharks roster. John Kennedy, a junior at Nyack College in New York who has been scouted by the Cincinnati Reds, will be the team’s starting center fielder and gives the Sharks a real threat on the bases. The speedy Kennedy stole a league record 64 bases in his freshman year and added 40 more in each of the past two seasons at Nyack. Finally, William Montgomerie, also from the Salisbury School, was offered a four-year scholarship to UConn and should be an additional righty in the Sharks rotation.
The Sharks also have several players returning from last year’s championship squad, including closer Matt Calamoneri, 2013 MVRHS graduate Jack Roberts, pitcher Kyle Brenner, and outfielder Kevin Foley.
Vineyarder Tad Gold, a three-year starter with the Sharks and an FCBL all-star is not eligible to play for the team this season due to his graduation from Endicott College in Beverly, but he will be honored at the June 7 home game against the Brockton Rox.
Sharks season tickets are still available in limited quantities for stadium style reserved seats. The cost is $175 for 28 home games. Single game tickets are $10 for reserved seats. For bleacher seating, the cost is $6 adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children. Games start 7 pm.
Opening night June 4 is Little League night. All players and coaches in uniform get in for free. The Sharks host Nashua June 5, Brockton June 7, and Old Orchard Beach June 10.
To order tickets and for more information on the Sharks, visit www.mvsharks.com or call 508-687-9705.