Updated Aug. 8
The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks advanced to the New England Collegiate Baseball League Southern Division finals after completing a two-game semifinal sweep of the Ocean State Waves with a 6-0 win, Saturday night at Old Mountain Field in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Sharks starter Jackson Nezuh held the Waves to only two hits through seven innings, striking out 12 and walking none. Clark Klitenic pitched two innings of relief to complete the shutout.
The Sharks scored three runs in the second inning and added three more in the eighth. Collin Shapiro and Matt Woods hit RBI-singles and the Ocean Staters aided the Sharks with five errors.
Game 1 of the best-of-three Southern finals is Sunday night at the Shark Tank in Oak Bluffs, beginning at 7 pm. Game 2 is Monday night in Danbury and a third game, if necessary, is scheduled for Tuesday night at 7 pm back at the Tank. The Sharks and Westerners played seven times during the regular season, with the Vineyard holding a 6-1 edge.
Sharks took game one
After two rainouts, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and Ocean State Waves finally got their New England Collegiate Baseball League Southern Division semifinal series underway Friday night at the Tank.
For the Sharks and the home crowd, it was worth the wait. The hosts struck early and late with a pair of seven-run outbursts to beat the Waves 14-5 and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
The Waves jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Jonathan Tuccillo home run but the Sharks responded with seven runs in the home half of the first. Matt Woods and Jaydn Jackson drew walks. Then began the hit parade: Michael Brown singled to score Woods, Will Duff singled to load the bases and Grant Norris cleared them with a grand slam over the fence in left. The Sharks weren’t done yet. Jorge Corona walked, A.J. Shaver doubled and Collin Shapiro singled for a 7-2 lead.
The Ocean Staters chipped away at the Sharks lead with runs in the third and sixth innings but MV put seven more runs on the board in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
Matt Woods, Jake Berger and Will Duff all singled, Grant Norris doubled to earn his fifth RBI of the game, A.J. Shaver ripped a scorcher off the glove of Waves first baseman Kyle Maves and Collin Shapiro hustled out an infield hit.
The game wasn’t all about offense. Both left-fielders, Ocean State’s Travis Honeyman and Shark Collin Shapiro, made outstanding catches to retire the side in the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth, respectively. Matt Woods then stepped up in the seventh with a big putout to nab Luis Altiles on a rundown at third.
Winning pitcher Ryan Ramsey threw seven innings, striking out ten and walking one, while allowing five runs on seven hits. Riley Phillips closed out the night with two innings of scoreless relief, striking out five.
Updated to include Saturday’s results.