Updated July 29
With one week remaining in the regular season, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks led the Valley Blue Sox of Holyoke by 1.5 games in the New England Collegiate Baseball League Southern Division standings heading into Wednesday night’s home game versus Danbury.
The Sharks started the week with a 5-2 win in Newport on July 21. Tommy Seidl hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, Michael Brown had two hits and John O’Dowd added a pair of RBIs for MV. Ryan Phillips struck out seven batters in three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win in relief of Ryan Ramsey, who pitched five innings, allowing three hits and a run, while striking out six and walking two. Alex Galvan pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save.
The following night in front of 1,754 at the Shark Tank, MV lost a see-saw battle with the Mystic Schooners, 10-9, in 10 innings. Each team started the 10th with a runner at second base. The Schooners scored two in the extra frame and the Sharks, despite having the bases loaded, got one. Haydn McGeary finished 4 for 5 on the night, with a homer and a double, to lead the Sharks. Tommy Seidl (two RBIs) and Will Duff (one RBI) added two hits apiece.
The Sharks got back in the win column with a solid 7-3 home win over the Bristol (Conn.) Blues on Friday night. Will Duff hit a line drive homer inside the left field foul pole in the seventh inning and Grant Norris crushed a two-run shot to deep left in the eighth as the Sharks broke open a 2-2 tie with five unanswered runs. MV got excellent pitching from a pair of left-handed Kansas Jayhawks. Daniel Hagerty pitched the first six innings, giving up two runs on four hits, to go with seven strikeouts and two walks. Sam Brady closed out the game and earned the save, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two.
Saturday, the Sharks made the long journey to Danbury, Conn. and came away with a doubleheader sweep over the Westerners.
In the matinee, Danbury walked the bases loaded in the second inning and Jayden Jackson made them pay with a two-run single. A.J. Shaver homered in the seventh for the insurance run in a 3-1 win. Starting pitcher Noah Johnson got the win, scattering six hits, striking out eight and walking two in five innings of work. Alex Galvan threw the final two innings to notch his fourth save of the season.
In game two, the Sharks jumped out a 10-0 lead and rolled to a 14-8 win. MV scored eight runs in the third inning. Will Duff hit a two-RBI double, Jake Berger cracked a three-run homer, Jack O’Dowd scored Michael Brown on a sac fly to center and Brad Grenkoski hit a two-run homer. Berger wrapped up the night with four hits and six RBIs. Bucknell right-hander Will Greer gave the Sharks a strong start on the hill, allowing three hits and a run, striking out seven and walking one in four innings. Danbury scored five runs (two unearned) on Drew Mead in the fifth but the Marymount southpaw pitched a 1-2-3 sixth to get the win.
The next two games didn’t go the way the Sharks would have liked.
Sunday night, MV came up against a tough pair of pitchers in a 9-2 home loss to the Newport Gulls. Starter Justin Cherry, a right-hander from the Univ. of Rhode Island and Michigan Wolverine lefty Logan Wood held the Sharks to a pair of hits through seven innings. The hosts also helped the Gulls’ cause by committing four errors. The Sharks finished with seven hits. Second baseman Jayden Jackson hit a single and a double and catcher Hadyn McGeary added another two-bagger.
Tuesday night at the Tank, the Mystic Schooners scored five runs in the seventh inning to rally from a 6-3 deficit and beat the Sharks, 8-6. Stanton Leuthner of Stony Brook brought the winning runs across on a two-run single.
MV’s John O’Dowd, a recent transfer from Vanderbilt to the University of Texas, hit a two-run single in the third and added a third RBI on a sac fly in the fifth. Will Duff, Jake Berger and Ryan Hernandez had the other RBIs for the Sharks.
After playing Danbury on Wednesday night, the Sharks host the Valley Blue Sox on Friday at 7 pm, travel to Mystic on Saturday and close out the regular season, Sunday night at the Tank against Newport at 7 pm. Sunday’s game is also Vineyard Vines night with free giveaways.
Updated to correct Sunday night game against Newport and Vineyard Vines night. — Ed.