The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks started off a busy stretch of five games in seven days with a home win before splitting a four-game road trip.
The trip was slated to start in Holyoke last Friday, but the game with the Valley Blue Sox was switched to the Vineyard due to weather, and MV took full advantage of the unexpected home cooking to claim a 12-6 win.
The Sharks banged out 16 hits, led 8-1 after four innings, and put up four more runs in the sixth.
Jorge Corona led the way with a home run, a double, and four RBIs, Jake Berger and Brad Grenkoski each doubled, and Trey Leonard knocked in a pair of runs. Starting pitcher Jackson Nezuh earned the win, allowing three hits and one run to go with six strikeouts over five innings. Riley Phillips added five more Ks in the sixth and seventh innings.
The road trip began in earnest Saturday night at Muzzy Field in Bristol, Conn., where the Sharks fell to the Blues, 3-1.
MV took the lead in the third inning after Matt Woods led off with a single and scored following a Will Duff hit and a passed ball. Bristol tied the score in the fourth on an RBI double by Anthony Galason, and scored the winning runs in the bottom of the eighth through a bases-loaded walk and an error. Noah Johnson gave the Sharks a strong start, holding Bristol to one run on three hits, while striking out seven batters and walking three in four innings. Will Greer followed with three innings of one-hit, shutout ball, and struck out two. Aaron Boucher took the loss but struck out the side in the eighth. Tommy Seidl had two hits, and Drew Grace doubled in the fifth for the Sharks.
Monday at Cardines Field in Newport, R.I., the Sharks swept a doubleheader from the Gulls. Both games were seven innings in length.
In the afternoon game, MV broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the sixth inning, and held on for a 4-2 win. Will Duff singled to lead off the big inning, and Spencer Bramwell singled to bring him home. The Sharks added two more runs on an error. Jake Berger and Jayden Jackson finished with two hits apiece. Starter Daniel Haggerty was the winning pitcher, striking out five and walking one on three hits and a run in five innings. Clark Klitenic pitched the sixth, and Alex Galvan earned the save.
The Sharks completed the sweep with a 5-3 win in the nightcap. With the game tied at 3-3 after six innings, Levi Usher walked to lead off the seventh, stole second, and scored the game-winning run on Tommy Seidl’s single. Seidl advanced to second on a wild pitch, took third on a grounder to short, and scored the insurance run following a passed ball.
Matt Siverling pitched scoreless ball over the final two and two-thirds innings to get the win, succeeding Ryan Vanderhei, who pitched four and a third innings, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out six and walking one.
The road trip came to an end Tuesday night in Bristol and, once again, the Blues came out on top — this time by a 6-4 count on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Sharks are 15-10, one game behind Newport in the NECBL Southern Division, heading into a home game against the Blue Sox on Wednesday night. MV travels to Holyoke for a doubleheader against the Sox on Thursday, and plays at the Ocean State Waves on Friday. After the All-Star break, the Sharks host Bristol on Tuesday night at 7 pm.
Five Sharks on NECBL Southern Division All-Star team
The Sharks will be well-represented in the NECBL All-Star Game at Cardines Field in Newport on Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Ramsey, a sophomore southpaw from the University of Maryland, will be the starting pitcher for the Southern Division. Ramsey is 1-0 this season, with an ERA of .90 in three appearances. In 10 innings of work, Ryan has allowed just five hits and three walks, while striking out 17.
Right-handers Adam Boucher (1-2, 1.50 ERA, 22 SO, 10 BB, 12 innings in 7 games) from Duke and Florida State’s Jackson Nezuh (1-0, 1.68 ERA, 21 SO, 0 BB, 16 innings in 4 games) made the team as relief pitchers.
Ryan Hernandez from the University of Houston was named the starting first baseman. Hernandez is batting .297 from the cleanup spot with four homers, four doubles, 19 hits, and 21 RBIs.
Harvard’s Jake Berger was selected as the reserve shortstop. Jake has a .319 average with four home runs, a double, 18 hits, and 15 RBIs.
The Sharks are pushing for pitcher Noah Johnson to make the team via the fan vote. In 19 innings of work over five games, the Virginia Tech lefty has 32 strikeouts, tied for fourth in the league, and has allowed just 10 hits. Fans can visit vote21.necbl.com to cast their vote up until 11:59 pm on Thursday, July 15. There is a link on the Sharks twitter feed as well: bit.ly/FanVote2021.