Martha’s Vineyard Sharks a “good squad” for 2023 

The team is still looking for host families to take in players 

The Martha's Vineyard Sharks will get their season started in June — courtesy MV Sharks

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks have recently announced their 2023 season schedule, starting with an inter-league exhibition match on June 5 versus the Cotuit Kettleers, and their regular season opener against the North Shore Navigators on June 7. 

The Sharks will play a total of 44 regular season games in 54 days as they fight to defend their New England Collegiate Baseball League title.

According to General Manager Russ Curran, the Sharks play in the toughest division of the NECBL, the Coastal, but “are going to have a good squad.” 

He explained that he’s recruited a lot of Power Five conference players, particularly from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He is especially excited about two Duke freshmen, Andrew Fischer and James Tallon. Fischer is hitting at a .311 clip through 34 games, with 10 home runs, and a 1.106 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Meanwhile, Tallon has been dominating with a 0.49 ERA through 13 appearances, with eight saves. 

As for the coaching staff, Billy Uberti of Lasell University will serve as the Shark’s manager. Collin Shapiro of U-Mass – Amherst will serve as the hitting & first base coach, and Drew Stebbins of Farmington College will serve as the pitching coach. Uberti is a former hitting coach for the Sharks, and Shapiro is a former Shark himself. “I needed to find former members,” Curran explained, so that they’d be familiar with the organization and the team culture.

For Curran, the key to the Sharks’ success this year will revolve around the team’s chemistry and dedication. “It all depends on how the guys mesh. Last year, the guys got along great and wanted to be there. I tell them, ‘If you guys buy in and commit, you’ll be rewarded.’” He added, “[On our end] we try to create a good atmosphere and take care of them.”

On that note, Curran and the Sharks haven’t been immune to the Island’s housing crisis; Curran is still looking to lock in 12 additional beds for his players by the end of the month. Host families will get free season tickets, gear, and admission to kids’ baseball clinics. 

“People don’t realize how tight-knit the families and players become. I was recently invited to one of my former host son’s college graduations… my own son still talks to all the kids we’ve hosted, and he’s 28 now,” Curran stated. “[Besides], it’s not a big pain; the players spend half the season off-Island playing games anyway.” 

Call Russ Curran at 508-813-0380 for more information on how to become a host family.