With three weeks left to play in the men’s Island Softball League regular season, the three-time defending champion Hurricanes are gaining strength and rising in the standings.
The Blazers (8-2) and the Highlanders (7-1) still lead the way but after two wins in four days, the Hurricanes are 8-3, with the Whitecaps a half-game back at 7-3.
July 6 at Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven, the ‘Canes scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to upend the Whitecaps 5-4. Pat Rolston roped a double to start the inning, while James Holenko and Ken Magnuson added RBI’s with a single and sac fly to complete the comeback.
Monday night, in the middle game of a triple-header, the ‘Canes overturned a 4-0 first inning deficit and doubled up the Gustaves, 18-9. The Hurricanes took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the fourth and broke the game open with 12 runs in the fifth and sixth.
James Holenko tripled to lead-off the fourth. Ken Magnuson and Keith Crossland followed up with RBI singles to put the ‘Canes up 6-5.
In the fifth, Bobby Sprague, Pat Rolston, James Holenko, and Billy Jackson all singled as the Hurricanes added five more runs.
Joel Rebello led off the ‘Canes sixth by jacking a home-run over the fence in right-center. Bobby Sprague singled and James Rebello tripled before Pat Rolston added another round-tripper, of the inside-the-park variety, with a shot into the deepest, darkest corner of right field. Singles by James Holenko and Billy Jackson, plus a Ken Magnuson double completed the damage as the ‘Canes tacked on seven more runs and put the game out of reach.
For the Gustaves, who fell to 5-5, Derek Mava, George Ducharme and Connor Cinque had a double and single apiece, while Tom Corr, Tyler Johnson and Matt Montanile Sr. all singled.
‘Canes right-fielder Keith Crossland had the defensive play of the game, throwing out Derek Mava at third base with a laser from deep right in the fifth inning.
Monday’s triple-header got underway with the Floaters (2-8) downing the winless Mermen, 14-1.
The Floaters matched their offensive output with stellar defensive play. Ben Ferry was a vacuum at third base throughout, while shortstop Kyp Cooperrider closed out the fourth inning with a spectacular double play, diving and falling over a Merman runner, while firing the ball to first base. Mermen’s third baseman Dan Doyle also patrolled the hot corner with aplomb, most notably in ending the Floaters half of the fifth inning by flashing the glove on a chin-high hop and throwing to first in time.
Chris Bonica led the Floaters with four hits. Kyp Cooperrider chalked up three hits and brother Nainoa singled twice.
In the final game of the evening, the Brewhas (4-6) rolled to a 32-7 win over the Misfits (4-6).