MV Sharks season begins Tuesday night

The Sharks play host to the reigning champion Newport Gulls.


The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks of the New England Collegiate Baseball League begin their 2024 campaign on Tuesday night, hosting the Newport Gulls at 6:35 pm in the Shark Tank.

The Sharks will play two more home games to kick off their 44-game season, against the Bristol Blues of the West division on Wednesday at 6:35, and the Vermont Mountaineers of the North division on Thursday at the same time.

With players from powerhouse programs such as Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Vanderbilt, the Sharks have high expectations for this summer, having won the NECBL championship in 2022, and posted the league’s top offense in 2023.

The Sharks held their first practices this week, and first-year head Coach Sean Stevens already has a lot of confidence in the 2024 squad’s intangibles.

“I love our players already. The human element of these guys is off the charts,” Stevens said. “It’s a long summer, and the mentalities that we have are key. We expect to roll out a good product.”

Headlining the Sharks’ roster are their four returning players from last year: designated hitter Scott Seeker, first baseman Carsten Sabathia, two-way star Demitri Diamant, and reliever Jack Beauchesne.

Seeker of Mount St. Mary’s University had the NECBL’s third-highest batting average last season (.336), with seven home runs and 34 RBIs. Sabathia — son of six-time MLB All-Star C.C. Sabathia — batted .255, with a .500 slugging percentage and six homers.

Sabathia’s Georgia Tech teammate Diamant did it all for the Sharks last year, batting .290 as a shortstop, and pitching in 11 games with a 3.24 ERA. Beauchesne — a Chelmsford native and rising senior at Northeastern — appeared in 17 games, throwing 22 strikeouts over 26.1 innings, with a team-best 2.05 ERA.

Stevens, a 41-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., native, expects to hit the ground running.

“We have 48 hours to put the puzzle pieces together. It’s about trusting your eyes as a coach, and focusing on whatever’s in front of us,” Stevens said. “We can’t coach scared, and don’t want to overthink things.”

Stevens is also excited about rising sophomore Chris Hacopian of Maryland and rising senior Brian Duroff of St. Mary’s (California).

Hacopian (infield) was a second-team All–Big Ten selection this spring, batting .323 with 30 walks, 15 home runs, and 42 RBIs in 55 starts for the Terrapins. Duroff (outfield) hit .286 with 30 walks, 11 homers, and 32 RBIs in 53 games for the Gaels.

“These guys will give us quality at-bats. They’re gonna be prepared,” Stevens said.