MV Sharks all smiles during 5-1 start to season

The Island’s collegiate baseball team won their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2.

The walk-up song for Sharks' outfielder Donovan Casey is "Rude Boy" by Rihanna, and everyone was all smiles when it was played Tuesday night. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks season has officially begun, and it started with a bang. The team won four of its first five games in the last six days.

The Island’s collegiate baseball team played their first home game of the season last Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2. After trailing for the first half of the game, Ricky Surum knocked in the Sharks’ first run with an RBI single. Donovan Casey went 3-5 on the night, scoring a run and knocking one home. Pitcher Evan Roberts got the win.

Tuesday night, they defeated the Bristol Blues 8-0 in a shortened game at home. The encroaching fog allowed the teams to play five innings of baseball, and new pitcher Jeff Gelinas picked up the complete game shutout. He allowed only four hits and five strikeouts in his first Sharks start. Leadoff hitter Ryan Kelly sparked the offense immediately, hitting a single then scoring on a Blues error. Donovan Casey also knocked in Jack Roberts for the second run in the first inning. The Sharks never looked back, scoring an unearned run in the second inning and exploding for five runs in the fourth. Ricky Surum, the first batter up in the inning, was hit by a pitch. Then Surum stole second, eventually scoring on a Steven Foster double. Donovan Casey put the game away for good with a two RBI double immediately following a Blues pitching substitution.

The Sharks now sit tied for first with the Nashua Silver Knights at 4-1 in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s East Division. Martha’s Vineyard will travel to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday to take on the Seacoast Mavericks.

Last Friday, the Sharks traveled to Brockton, where they lost to the Brockton Rox 8-2. The Sharks were hampered by the outstanding play of Rox pitcher Will Whitlock, who only gave up one hit in his four innings of work. Sharks pitcher Matthew Tulley, who picked up the loss, allowed three runs while striking out six.

The Sharks traveled to Worcester on Saturday and did not disappoint, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 11-4. The Sharks played excellent team baseball, having every player record at least one hit. Standouts included outfielder Steven Foster, who stole two bases, and relief pitcher Mac Curran, who struck out all three batters he faced.

Following the Friday-night loss to the Brockton Rox, the Sharks reversed the script on Sunday night, and defeated the Rox 8-2 at the Shark Tank. The Sharks began the game with two unearned runs from a Brockton fielding error, with Brian Campbell and Donovan Casey scoring. Donovan Casey was involved again in the third inning, hitting a double and eventually scoring on a Chris Weiss single. The Sharks put the game away for good in the eighth inning. Leading 4-2, Steven Foster led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Kelly then hit a

monster triple, scoring Foster. The very next batter, Jack Roberts, singled home Ryan Kelly to extend the lead to 6-2. Jack Roberts and Brian Campbell then scored unearned runs, giving the Sharks an unlosable lead. Pitcher Justin Garcia went six innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out five.

Before the start of the game, student athletes Aubrey Ashmun and Yannick Gonsalves, who will be playing

their respective sports in college, received $1,000 scholarships from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.