07/22/14 11:34pm
07/22/2014 11:34 PM
Riverhead's starting pitcher, Zach Hamilton, pitched five scoreless innings during which he held North Fork to one hit. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Riverhead’s starting pitcher, Zach Hamilton, pitched five scoreless innings during which he held North Fork to one hit. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

OSPREYS 3, TOMCATS 2

Like the blinding orange orb in the evening sky that descended on a slight arc toward left field at Jean W. Cochran Park, the sun is setting on the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League regular season.

The race for the playoffs is tight, remarkably tight. Like a game of musical chairs, six contending teams are cautiously circling, eyeballing the four playoff spots. When the music stops playing, two of those teams will be left standing, and disappointed.

Given the circumstances, the value of every win is magnified. Who knows how much good the North Fork Ospreys did for themselves by pulling off the stunning escape act they executed on Tuesday night? (more…)

07/18/14 9:44pm
07/18/2014 9:44 PM
Riverhead's Dan Popio slides in safely at second base while Sag Harbor second baseman Ted Shaw covers the bag. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Riverhead’s Dan Popio slides in safely at second base while Sag Harbor second baseman Ted Shaw covers the bag. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TOMCATS 9, WHALERS 8 (10 INNINGS)

The Riverhead Tomcats have had their share of offensive heroes this season. Cole Fabio was one of them on Friday evening.

The Tomcats did things the hard way, blowing a six-run lead. Having conceded five runs to the Sag Harbor Whalers in the ninth inning, the Tomcats pulled out a tense 9-8 triumph on Fabio’s walk-off single in the 10th at Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton. (more…)

07/13/14 12:40am
07/13/2014 12:40 AM
Jake Cousins of the North Fork Ospreys started a stretch during which North pitchers retired 12 straight South batters. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Jake Cousins of the North Fork Ospreys started a stretch during which North pitchers retired 12 straight South batters. (Credit: Garret Meade)

HCBL ALL-STAR GAME | NORTH 7, SOUTH 2

The North Fork Ospreys all stars and their manager wanted to take a group photo, but they were short one. So, they waited patiently while their on-field leader, Austin Miller, was being interviewed for a webcast. When Miller was done with the interview, he picked up his newly won prize, an engraved bat, and trotted over to his waiting teammates, who happily cheered and embraced him.

It was a warm welcome for the most valuable player of the 2014 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game. (more…)

07/12/14 12:00pm
07/12/2014 12:00 PM
Riverhead shortstop Danny Mendick fielding a ground ball for an out during the Tomcats' 10-9 season-opening loss to Montauk. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead shortstop Danny Mendick will represent the North all-star team tonight. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League will host its all-star game Saturday night at Cochran Park in Peconic. More than 50 of the top players in the seven-team summer league will participate. (more…)

07/09/14 7:00pm
07/09/2014 7:00 PM
Riverhead Tomcats outfielder Andrew Plunkett slides into third as North Fork Osprey Penn Murfee tries to apply the tag. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead Tomcats outfielder Andrew Plunkett slides into third as North Fork Osprey Penn Murfee tries to apply the tag. (Credit: Bill Landon)

The “Oh, wow” moment happens every year.

Around the middle of June, when the high school sports season winds down, I shift gears toward the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League to help fill the sports pages along with high school summer leagues, features and columns. Inevitably, when I head down to the field for the first time each summer, I know I’m about to watch college players, several of whom come from big-time programs. (more…)

07/08/14 9:50pm
07/08/2014 9:50 PM
Stephen Woods, a Half Hollow Hills East graduate, struck out eight batters in four innings Tuesday against Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Stephen Woods, a Half Hollow Hills East graduate, struck out eight batters in four innings Tuesday against Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

For one of the top pitching prospects out of Long Island in recent years, Stephen Woods’ career on the mound has been remarkably brief.

It wasn’t until his junior year at Half Hollow Hills East High School that Woods turned to pitching full-time as a baseball player. He had been a third baseman and outfielder, winning a gold glove award at third as a sophomore and earning all-league honors.  (more…)

07/07/14 10:00am
07/07/2014 10:00 AM
Nick Ahmed, who played for the University of Connecticut when he was a member of the Westhampton Aviators in 2009, was the first Hamptons League player to reach the big leagues. (Credit: Steve Slade/UConn Athletics)

Nick Ahmed, who played for the University of Connecticut when he was a member of the Westhampton Aviators in 2009, was the first Hamptons League player to reach the big leagues. (Credit: Steve Slade/UConn Athletics)

Brett Mauser had hoped the milestone moment would have come late last summer when Major League Baseball rosters expanded and clubs began calling up players from their farm system. Alas, it never happened.

As the 2014 MLB season unfolded, it quickly became apparent that the race was on. The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, now in its seventh year, was on the verge of seeing its first former player called up to the majors.  (more…)