Sharks split first four games

MV romps past Muskrats on Tuesday at the Tank.

Rudy Aguilar concentrates on the ball while at bat. — Charlie Utz

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks opened their 2019 season to considerable fanfare at Vineyard Baseball Park “The Shark Tank” on June 5, but fell to the visiting Valley Blue Sox of Holyoke by a 3-1 score. A spirited and appreciative crowd witnessed a tightly played game that featured strong pitching and sparkling defense by each club.

Both offenses struggled. The visitors pushed across a run in the fourth inning, then added two more in the seventh. The Sharks, who were held to four hits on the night, averted a shutout when Kai Nelson homered in the bottom of the ninth. Will Lozinak pitched eight and a third innings for the Blue Sox and got the win, allowing one run and fanning five. Austin Peterson went seven and two-thirds for the Sharks before giving way to Chris Stefl, who took the loss.

After a 6-2 loss to the host Mystic (Conn.) Schooners on Friday night, the Sharks picked up their first win of the season, Saturday in Wakefield, Rhode Island against the Ocean State Tides. The Sharks scored three runs in the seventh inning to claim a 5-3 win. Catcher Nick Raposo batted 3 for 5 on the night, with a double and two singles and Matt Chamberlain hit a solo home run in the third inning. Kai Nelson and Ryan Hogan added RBIs.

Sharks starter Daniel Hagerty was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs on six hits, with five strikeouts and one walk. Jackson Vescelus, Thomas Spinelli and Nathan Tellier each pitched an inning of shutout relief, striking out seven batters between them, with Tellier earning the save.

Tuesday night at the Tank in Oak Bluffs, the Vineyard bats pounded out 14 hits as the Sharks left the Winnipesaukee (Laconia, N.H.) Muskrats in the mud, 14-4, and improved to 2-2 on the young season.

The visitors scored the first run of the night but the Sharks took command with six runs in the home half of the second inning. Jackson Raper led off with a single and Nick Raposa belted a two-run homer to left. The Sharks brought in four more during a two-out rally. Colin Shapiro and Matt Chamberlain hit RBI singles and Anthony Videtto stroked a two-run double.

The Sharks added three more runs (two-unearned) in the third and four in the fifth on a Raper double and Raposo single. Videtto scored Michael Cleary on a sac-fly to center in the sixth inning for the Sharks final run.

Jackson Raper finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs, while Nick Raposo and Colin Shapiro totaled four RBIs apiece.

Sharks right-hander Brett Marshall got the start and pitched four innings, allowing three runs on five hits, with six K’s and a walk before giving way to lefty Oliver McCarthy, who pitched three scoreless innings, striking out six and walking two to earn the win. Kyle Dean pitched the final two innings and struck out four more Muskrats.