06/28/13 7:52pm
06/28/2013 7:52 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead Tomcats outfielder Jerry Downs connects on a two-run home run in the first inning Friday against the North Fork Ospreys.

TOMCATS 12, OSPREYS 4

At the end of his freshman season this past spring at St. Thomas University in Miami, Jerry Downs’ coach sent him packing north.

“He told me, ‘You’re going to go play summer ball somewhere,’ ” Downs said.

The 6-foot, 205-pound outfielder landed with the Riverhead Tomcats in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. One month into the season, it’s turned out to be a terrific pairing.

“I love it,” Downs said. “No regrets.”

The Tomcats have loved his bat in the middle of the lineup as well. Downs hit a two-run home run in the first inning of Friday afternoon’s 12-4 victory over the North Fork Ospreys at Cochran Park in Peconic.

It was his league-leading fourth home run of the season.

“I’m seeing good pitches and hitting the ball hard,” Downs said.

He nearly missed another home run when he rocketed a double to center field in the fourth inning. His double actually appeared to be a better struck ball than his home run, an opposite field shot to left field that was aided by a strong wind.

Downs said he was surprised the ball left the park on his home run.

“The wind helped me out there,” he said.

As Downs walked back to the dugout after touching home plate, a teammate joked with him saying, “Nice pop fly.”

A Miami native, Downs made his first ever trip to New York to play with the Tomcats. He’s gotten a chance to take in the sights all while working on improving his game before heading back to college.

“I’ve been in Times Square a few times, on the beach with the boys,” he said. “Having a good time. It’s summer.”

At St. Thomas, Downs batted .263 with a home run and 24 RBIs in 44 games during his freshman season.

In the summer league, Downs said he hopes to improve on several parts of his game.

“Try to work on my defensive skills, hit more offspeed, little fundamentals,” he said.

Riverhead coach Randy Caden said Downs has shown he can hit with a lot of power.

“You got to be careful with him,” Caden said.

The Tomcats have quickly developed a deep lineup that can produce runs from top to bottom. The Tomcats added two more home runs Friday when designated hitter Josh Mason and catcher Charley Gould hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning.

“This team, you can’t make too many mistakes with,” Caden said. “They’re staying focused and having fun.”

When Mason returned to the dugout following his two-run homer, his teammates gave him the silent treatment, pretending as if nothing had happened.

“That was his first one of the year so we decided to do it,” Downs said.

The Tomcats scored five runs in the third inning to take a 7-1 lead and the Ospreys never got any closer.

Joseph Kuzia, a 6-foot-4 righty from St. John’s University, started for the Tomcats and earned the win pitching 5 1/3 innings.

Kuzia made his first start and got his first extended pitching outing of the summer season.

Early in the game Caden made a trip to the mound to tell Kuzia to quit relying so much on his fastball.

“I said I don’t care if you give up 100 runs,” Caden said. “Work on your change-up and other pitches. Then you see how he pitched great.”

The summer league mostly is an opportunity for players to improve on their games. The only tricky part, sometimes the players aren’t quite sure what those specific things are, Caden said.

“You get some rookies and they’re not sure what they should be doing,” Caden said. “So you say, this is for you. The league is for you.”

North Fork center fielder Nick Heath had a big day at the plate against the Tomcats going 5-for-5. Hid second was one of the more peculiar hits in baseball. With runners on first and second, Heath bounced a ball back to Kuzia. Thinking he needed to turn a double play, Kuzia turned to throw toward third, then looked at second before simply holding onto the ball while Heath ran safely to first.

The Tomcats, only needing one out, got out of the inning unscathed, so they could laugh about it afterward.

“You’ll see something new in baseball every day,” Caden said.

joew@timesreview.com

06/17/13 8:33pm
06/17/2013 8:33 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | North Fork shortstop Eric Solberg tagging out Riverhead's Josh Mason, who tried to steal second base in the second inning.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | North Fork shortstop Eric Solberg tagging out Riverhead’s Josh Mason, who tried to steal second base in the second inning.

OSPREYS 6, TOMCATS 5

Baseball is a quirky game. One can never be sure what play will spark a win or what result can turn a season around.

For their part, the North Fork Ospreys hope they found the spark they were looking for on Monday.

The last-place Ospreys fizzled late in several Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League games this season, and one couldn’t help but wonder if another late-game meltdown was in the making on Monday against the Riverhead Tomcats.

Ironically, relief pitching, which had been the team’s Achilles’ heel, saved the day. Specifically, it was the relief pitching of Joe Salanitri that came through down the stretch as the Ospreys held on for a 6-5 victory that had to feel good for them. It was their first road win of the season and the Tomcats’ first home loss.

How big was the win?

“They’re all the same, but you want to win one every day,” Ospreys manager Bill Ianniciello said. “We’re in a little bit of a hole with some losses. They’re all big for us right now.”

Speaking of big, Mike Hayden came up big for the Ospreys (4-8) with a three-hit day. It was Hayden’s double in the seventh inning that scored Jim Pjura for a 6-4 Ospreys lead.

That run proved to be an important one, as the Tomcats (5-5) made things uncomfortable for the visitors in the ninth. Jack Sundberg and pinch hitter Andre Jernigan opened the bottom half of the inning with singles for the Tomcats. Sundberg scored from second base when Jernigan’s single slipped past the left fielder, making it a one-run game.

That is when the Ospreys might have been thinking to themselves: “Oh no. Not again.”

After Ianniciello visited the mound, Salanitri (1-1) retired the next three batters for the win. That was the only run Salanitri allowed in his four and two-thirds innings in relief of Cody Johnson.

“It was down to the wire,” Sundberg said. “I thought we had it there for a second.”

Johnson had an odd pitching line. He allowed only two hits and two earned runs over his four and one-third innings, but what hurt him were walks, eight of them altogether.

Five of those walks came in succession in the third inning when the Tomcats scored four runs to tie the score at 4-4. Jerry Downs and Josh Mason drew bases-loaded passes before another two runs scored on an error.

“A lot of walks,” Sundberg said. “You got to be patient and really just wait for your pitch, and if it’s not there, just keep walking.”

The Ospreys avoided further damage when, with runners on second and third, Charley Gould shot a flare that right fielder Michael Fries made a nice shoestring catch on before firing a throw home to catcher Mike D’Acunti for a snazzy double play, ending the inning.

Tomcats manager Randy Caden disagreed vehemently with the umpire’s call, but he couldn’t ignore the fact that his team left 10 runners on base, hitting 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

“We left too many men on base,” Caden said. “We had to score in those opportunities.”

The Ospreys had scored in each of the first three innings. Pjura delivered a sacrifice fly in the first, Nick Heath tripled in two runs in the second, and one out after a Pjura ground-rule double, D’Acunti rapped a single to bring Pjura home in the third. Heath also stole three bases and walked twice.

In the sixth, the Ospreys went in front, 5-4, thanks to back-to-back singles by Eric Solberg and Austin Miller.

“We just came out aggressive and stayed that way the whole game,” said Hayden, who raised his batting average to .405 with his production on Monday. “Usually that’s what it takes to win games.”

The Tomcats’ starting pitcher, Mike Dolce, entered the game with a 0.90 earned run average, which ranked him second in the league. The Ospreys didn’t do badly against him, though, scoring four runs in the four innings he pitched before Caden brought in Christian Colletti to give him some work.

“That was pretty good because he usually doesn’t give up runs,” said Caden.

For the Ospreys, the manner in which they won might have been a sign of better things to come. When that was suggested to Ianniciello, the manager said, “One at a time.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead's Michael; Brosseau dove safely back to the bag before North Fork first baseman Mike Hayden could slap a tag on him.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead’s Michael Brosseau dove safely back to the bag before North Fork first baseman Mike Hayden could slap a tag on him.

06/09/13 8:11am
06/09/2013 8:11 AM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | North Fork pitcher Anthony Rosati earned his first win of the season, allowing Riverhead six hits over six innings.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | North Fork pitcher Anthony Rosati earned his first win of the season, allowing Riverhead six hits over six innings.

OSPREYS 6, TOMCATS 3

First baseman Mike Hayden clubbed a two-run home run and shortstop Eric Solberg doubled in another two runs as the North Fork Ospreys recorded a 6-3 victory over the Riverhead Tomcats in a Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League game at Jean W. Cochran Park in Peconic on Saturday night.

Right-hander Anthony Rosati worked in and out of trouble in his six innings of work and earned his first win of the season as North Fork improved to 2-3 while Riverhead fell to 1-1. Rosati, a Copiague resident who attends St. John’s University, scattered six hits while walking five and striking out four batters.

The Ospreys needed three relief pitchers to close out the game, with another St. John’s pitcher, right-hander Thomas Hackimer, to get the final two outs after the Tomcats scored twice in the ninth inning.

The Tomcats had taken a 1-0 lead on Austin Davis’ run-scoring single in the top of the fourth inning before the hosts took the lead for good behind Solberg’s two-run double and Tyler Bethune driving in another run with a groundout in the bottom of the inning. North Fork added two more runs in the sixth on Hayden’s homer to left-center field.

06/02/13 8:45pm
06/02/2013 8:45 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead's starting pitcher, Matt Peacock, gave up one earned run and four hits over six innings.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead’s starting pitcher, Matt Peacock, gave up one earned run and four hits over six innings.

TOMCATS 5, OSPREYS 4

It was a new beginning in more ways than one. A new season and a new league, and a season-opening game between two teams with plenty of new faces.

The seven eastern Suffolk County teams that formed a division of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League last year, broke off and formed their own circuit, the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. The HCBL, one of 12 summer leagues in the country that is sanctioned by Major League Baseball, was christened on Sunday with three games to start the season.

After the league president, Brett Mauser, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, the North Fork Ospreys and the Riverhead Tomcats engaged in an old-fashioned thriller. A home run by Jerry Downs kick-started a four-run seventh inning for the Tomcats, who held on for a 5-4 victory on their home field. Both teams held leads in the game, showing their ability to bounce back.

“We just kept fighting and fighting and fighting,” said Downs, the right fielder from St. Thomas University (Fla).

Downs is one of the many newcomers to the league. The Ospreys have two returning players in infielders Ryan Burns and Austin Miller. The Tomcats have two players back as well, infielder Joe Forney and pitcher Alex Summers.

The only player on either team with local ties is Ospreys outfielder Yianni Rauseo, a former Mattituck High School star who is coming off his sophomore season at Oswego State. He did not play in Sunday’s game.

The Tomcats have some interesting additions themselves. Two of their players, Ozney Guillén and Austin Davis, have fathers who played in the major leagues. Ozzie Guillén earned fame as both a player for a number of clubs and as a manager for the Chicago White Sox and the Miami Marlins. Doug Davis was a pitcher for several major league teams.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League president, Brett Mauser, is handed the ball by Riverhead Tomcats catcher Jason Gordon after throwing the ceremonial first pitch.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League president, Brett Mauser, is handed the ball by Riverhead Tomcats catcher Jason Gordon after throwing the ceremonial first pitch.

“It’s a new breed of kids, and they know baseball,” Riverhead manager Randy Caden said. “You can see they know baseball.”

They surely know a game goes nine innings, and not to give up hope until it is over.

Following Downs’ solo blast to left field, a sacrifice fly by Michael Brosseau brought in the second run of the seventh. Jason Gordon and Jonah Lakatos later scored on a throwing error, giving the Tomcats a 5-3 lead. The Tomcats might have done more damage that inning if not for a splendid play by Ospreys shortstop Joe Salanitri. With a runner on second base, Tyler Fox struck a looping liner that Salanitri did well to race back on for a running backhanded grab in shallow left field that saved a run and ended the inning.

Caden, who because of personal reasons didn’t arrive at the field until the bottom of the second inning, joked, “I got them four runs, great coaching from the bench.”

The Ospreys made things interesting in the ninth, though, pulling to within 5-4 when a two-out chopper by James Howard rolled dead just inside the third baseline for a run-scoring single.

The fans weren’t the only ones sitting on the edge of their seats. “Even though it was the first game, it was nerve-racking,” said Caden.

With the bases loaded, relief pitcher Brendan Mulligan got Tom O’Neill to bounce into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, ending the game. Mulligan earned the win, allowing three hits over three innings while striking out five.

“That’s just what we do,” Ospreys center fielder Nick Heath said. “We just don’t give up on anything, and I feel like if we play like that all season, we’re going to have a great season.”

The two starting pitchers did well. Anthony Rosati of the Ospreys gave up five hits and one earned run in three and a third innings. Matt Peacock of the Tomcats went six innings, giving up four hits and one earned run.

Both sides sounded encouraged by what they saw.

“There’s plenty of talent here,” Ospreys manager Bill Ianniciello said. “We have good players from quality programs.”

Ianniciello noted that the summer league is a good opportunity for players to get at-bats and playing time. Some players coming off their freshmen seasons did not play much or at all if they were red-shirted. “A lot of them, for that reason, they’re eager to go,” said Ianniciello.

As is the case with many teams early in a college summer league season, the Tomcats were still awaiting the arrival of seven players. Because of that, the team didn’t have any extra field players available, so a pitcher, Lakatos, filled in as the designated hitter.

“We’re a little low right now, so as soon as we get a full team I think we’re going to be alright,” Caden said. “We made two [division] finals in three years, so I told these guys, maybe we can go all the way this year. It would be nice, you know.”

Those kind of thoughts come with opening day.

bliepa@timesreview.com

03/23/13 10:00am
03/23/2013 10:00 AM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Riverhead Tomcats first baseman Jimmy Luppens went 4-for-5 in Game 1 Monday.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Jimmy Luppens bats for Riverhead against Shelter Island last season.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Ospreys, Tomcats rosters released The newly formed Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, which includes the North Fork Ospreys and the Riverhead Tomcats, recently released its rosters for the 2013 season.

The Ospreys have a player with strong local ties, SUNY/Oswego outfielder Yianni Rauseo of Mattituck (’11). Three other Suffolk County residents are on the team: Temple sophomore catcher Mike D’Acunti of Dix Hills, St. John’s sophomore pitcher Anthony Rosati of Copiague and Queens College senior pitcher/utility player Joe Salanitri of West Islip.

New York colleges are also represented on the roster by St. John’s sophomore pitcher Thomas Hackimer and Fordham sophomore pitcher Cody Johnson.

Bill Ianniciello will return for the second year as North Fork’s head coach.

The Tomcats have two Long Island products on their team, Connecticut sophomore pitcher Christian Colletti of Rockville Centre and Richmond sophomore infielder Doug Kraeger of Malverne. Two other new Tomcats, New York Tech sophomore pitcher John Axley and Wagner junior catcher Jason Gordon, play college ball in New York.

Randy Caden returns as the coach.

One hundred college programs are represented on the rosters in the seven-team league, which includes teams in Center Moriches, Sag Harbor, Shelter Island, Southampton and Westhampton.

Former Shoreham-Wading River High School standout Mike O’Reilly (’12), a pitcher for Flagler College (Fla.), will play for the Center Moriches Battlecats.

Hamptons Collegiate Baseball spent the past five years as a member of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League before pulling away to create its own league.

“We are looking forward to taking this next step and working toward becoming one of the elite summer baseball leagues in the country,” the HCBL president, Brett Mauser, said in a statement. “Through the efforts and support of many we have reached this point, and we are excited about what the future holds.”

The HCBL has applied to join the National Alliance of Collegiate Summer Baseball, which includes the prestigious Cape Cod League. In addition, the HCBL filed an application to become sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

“Major League Baseball and the Alliance are two organizations that you want to have in your corner,” Mauser said. “Their support and direction would help assure that we continue to provide a great platform for student-athletes to develop their skills as they strive toward their goal of playing professionally.”

The league will begin play in early June.
BOB LIEPA
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Powers is Pitcher of Week Junior pitcher James Powers of Jamesport recently earned Skyline Pitcher of the Week honors. Powers tossed three and two-third innings of scoreless relief to earn his second victory of the season as Farmingdale State edged Plattsburgh State, 1-0. He allowed just one hit and fanned three, not issuing a walk. This season Powers has allowed six hits in 12 innings, with 13 strikeouts.

David Zilnicki, a senior left fielder from Riverhead, collected his 38th career stolen base, which passed Luis Feliciano for the most all time in Farmingdale State history

AUTO RACING: Figure Eight champ to be honored The Suffolk Association of Figure Eight Racing will honor Riverhead Raceway’s 2012 champion, Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach, at its annual awards banquet on April 7. Mujsce’s championship was the first of his career.

08/06/12 6:00pm
08/06/2012 6:00 PM

GARRETT MEADE FILE PHOTO | Shaun Hansen in his high school playing days.

Shaun Hansen might be the perfect example of the big fish-little pond syndrome.

During his high school playing days for the former combined Southold/Greenport baseball team and then Southold and Greenport separately, Hansen was a dominant force as both a hitter and a pitcher. He was a monster at the plate who hit for power and average. As a pitcher, he routinely fired fastballs past overmatched batters.

Then again, that was then, in the small pond of high school baseball on eastern Long Island. The present situation is quite different for Hansen. At 6 feet 3 inches tall and 205 pounds, Hansen is a sizable speciman, but he is no longer a big fish. For one thing, he’s no longer playing in the proverbial little pond. He is in a much larger pool now. As Hansen has found, college baseball is a whole new ball game.

Hansen learned early on in his freshman season at Suffolk County Community College that he needed to adjust to a higher level, not to mention a new position: third base.

“It was a lot different than high school, a lot more intense, but I like that,” Hansen said. “Everyone is an all star. I would go out there and I would play terrible the first couple of games. I would be like: ‘Wow, I need to go to the gym. I need to do something different to help me get better. I need to get in the cage more. I need to do this and that.’ It made me want to do better, want to work harder to get better.”

In continuance of that pursuit, Hansen played for the Riverhead Tomcats in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League this summer. He played first base, took some swings as a designated hitter and pitched some.

Hansen came off the bench in a pinch-hitting role last Thursday to line a single over third baseman Bobby Geren in the ninth inning of a 12-4 loss to the Southampton Breakers in Game 2 of the Hampton Division finals. The victory brought the Breakers their first division championship.

But Hansen, who throws and bats right-handed, had difficulty with a back injury earlier this summer. “They found out that my vertebrae has actually shifted a little bit so it’s pinching my muscle,” he said. “They stretched me out and I guess they popped it back into place.”

The back trouble didn’t help Hansen’s numbers with the Tomcats. He batted .077 (3 for 39) during the regular season with two runs batted in. As a pitcher, he went 1-2 with a 13.50 earned run average. In the nine and one-third innings he pitched, he issued 10 walks against nine strikeouts.

Of course, the other side to this is the quality of the competition he faced in the ACBL, which draws college players from various parts of the country.

“Playing in this league, it’s a little overwhelming at first,” said Hansen. He added: “Really, when I came here, I just wanted to get the experience. I wanted to play against good competition. Even if I did poorly, either way it’s a good experience. It is summer ball. It really doesn’t mean much. It’s just about getting better. It’s what the league is about, developing players.”

Riverhead coach Randy Caden said Hansen has the size and strength to be a good player. “I think he has the ability, he just doesn’t believe in himself yet,” Caden said. “It’s a confidence thing with him. … He’s never played on this level, as most kids haven’t. It’s a new challenge. I try to tell him, ‘It will come; it will come.’ But that’s the thing, as you go up, the competition gets tougher.”

Hansen was in for a surprise this past college season at Suffolk when he was asked to play third base, a position he had little experience at, to fill a team need. He also pitched for the Sharks. Hansen, whose father Brian coached the North Fork Ospreys last year, said he would like to play for a four-year school after completing his sophomore year at Suffolk.

While Hansen may like to reminisce about his high school playing days occasionally, he knows they are done and over with.

“In high school I could throw a fastball right down the middle and usually two out of three times they’re not going to hit it,” he said, “but if I throw one down here, someone’s going to take it out of the park easily.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

08/02/12 8:10pm
08/02/2012 8:10 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bryan Palermo of Riverhead rocked a single off the pitcher’s mound in the second inning.

HAMPTON DIVISION FINALS, GAME 2 | BREAKERS 12, TOMCATS 4

In the quirky world of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League postseason, where up can be down and down can be up, playoff seedings don’t count for a heck of a lot these days. The top two seeds in the Hampton Division (the Shelter Island Bucks and the North Fork Ospreys), for example, didn’t make it out of the division semifinals.

Nonetheless, there have been a couple of constants. For one thing, it remains a hitters’ league, particularly late in the regular season when pitching staffs start running short on arms. Also, it’s still safe to say that the team that gets hot at the right time often wins.

Meet the hot Southampton Breakers, the 2012 Hampton Division champions.

The third-seeded Breakers became well-deserved owners of that title Thursday evening when they turned in a 12-4 shellacking of the No. 4 Riverhead Tomcats to take the series in two games. It is the first division championship for the Breakers since the team’s inaugural season in 2009.

“We really felt like we were the best team,” Breakers right fielder Brenton Allen said. “Honestly, we felt that from day one, that we were the best team in this league no matter if we were losing games or winning games, and I felt like this was a chance for us to show it, to prove it. The best team won it.”

The Breakers will face an unknown opponent in a league semifinal on Saturday for the right to play for the league title on Sunday.

Second baseman Jon Testani spearheaded Southampton’s 15-hit attack with four hits and four runs batted in. He homered for the Breakers as did Allen (3 for 5, three runs batted in) and Rob Fonseca.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Former Riverhead High School pitcher Steve Kimmelman started for the Tomcats.

The Breakers posted multi-run innings in five of the nine innings. They assumed a 4-0 lead by the second inning and never trailed, although the Tomcats did pull as close as within 5-4 in the fifth after Josh Mason smashed a run-scoring single. Then the Breakers put up three runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth.

Game over. Series over.

Offense has been the keyword this season, with all sorts of Hampton Division batting records being set. Among them was a new regular-season mark for home runs: 12 by Mason.

“I thought there was a lot more hitting this year,” said Riverhead coach Randy Caden, whose team played in the division finals for the second time in three years. “There was a lot of offense this year. There was less low-scoring games than high-scoring games.”

The Breakers continued the trend on Thursday, putting up 12 runs worth of scoring, as if they needed them all with Anthony Eichhorn on the mound. Over five innings, the right-hander gave up four runs (three were earned), six hits and two walks. He had four strikeouts in gaining the win.

The Breakers have been as hot as the weather, ever since the final days of the regular season. And it hasn’t all been hitting, either. Prior to Thursday’s game, Southampton had not given up an earned run in the playoffs.

“I knew the whole year that they were going to be good because I knew their pitching staff was unbelievable,” said Joe Forney, who delivered a two-run homer for the Tomcats. “They’re really deep. Once their hitting came around, they were playing great.”

Testani said, “Baseball-wise, everything’s been clicking, from pitching, hitting, fielding.”

The Breakers won the first game of the series, 6-2, in Southampton on Wednesday as Robb Scott produced five RBI. He had another one on Thursday.

“Every team in the league here was a good team and anyone could have won it, but we got hot at the right time,” said Breakers coach Rob Cafiero, who was presented with the division championship trophy by Westhampton Aviators general manager Henry Bramwell. The Aviators were last year’s division champs.

Thursday’s series clincher featured a couple of unusual — and controversial — plays. In the fifth inning, James Luppens powered a fly ball that Allen caught before toppling over the right-field fence, with the ball in his glove. One of the white caps on top of the fence fell to the ground about the same time as Allen did. With confusion over whether Allen had dropped the ball or not, Luppens was at first awarded a two-run homer. But after Cafiero argued the call, the umpires conferred and reversed the ruling, calling Luppens out and taking away the two runs in question.

Afterward, Allen said he didn’t drop the ball. “I can say that completely honestly,” he said.

Then, with Southampton batting in the seventh, Allen was involved in another debatable call — this time as a batter. With runners on second and third, Allen struck a soft liner that second baseman Bryan Palermo appeared to nab before it struck the ground. Both runners took off upon contact, and Palermo tossed the ball to the shortstop, Mason, covering second base for a double play. Once again, the umpires met and talked. This time, though, the original call stood.

For the Tomcats, the loss marked the end of an intense season that saw them play 44 games in 61 days.

“It’s fun, man, because for me, especially, I didn’t get to play that much on my school ball team my freshman year [at Xavier], so coming out here and just playing every day was exactly what I needed to get back in my groove,” Forney said. “I enjoyed my time in the Hamptons.”

As for playoff seedings, throw them out — at least as far as this year is concerned.

bliepa@timesreview.com

08/01/12 4:00pm
08/01/2012 4:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Tomcats first baseman Jimmy Luppens, a Shoreham-Wading River graduate.

The Riverhead Tomcats dropped Game One of their best-of-three series with the Southampton Breakers 6-2 Wednesday.

The series will decide who wins the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball Division championship.

You can read a recap on the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball Division’s GameChanger page.