Baseball: Tomcats’ nine-run lead slips away against Ospreys

Tomcats' first baseman Colton Rice reached base three times Monday, including a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Ospreys. (Credit: Garret Meade)
Tomcats’ first baseman Colton Rice reached base three times Monday, including a solo home run in the eighth inning. (Credit: Garret Meade)


Luke Stampfl has a knack for timely hits against Riverhead.

Stampfl singled up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday night to drive in two runs, rallying the North Fork Ospreys to a come-from-behind victory over the Riverhead Tomcats in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. The Ospreys trailed 6-0 in the first inning and 11-2 in the fourth at Cochran Park in Peconic before a stunning rally.

As a senior at Half Hollow Hills West in 2013, Stampfl delivered a big blow against the Riverhead Blue Waves. He hit a three-run home run in Riverhead the ended Matt Crohan’s scoreless inning streak at 44. They were the only runs Crohan gave up on the year. Crohan, who now pitches at Winthrop University, won the Carl Yastrzemski Award as the top player in Suffolk County that year as a senior for the Blue Waves.

“That’s funny, I didn’t even put that together,” Stampfl said when reminded after Monday’s game of his previous big hit against Riverhead, albeit a different team. “That’s really funny.”

After the Ospreys had rallied back from nine down to tie the game at 11, the Tomcats regained the lead in the eighth on a solo home run to right by first baseman Colton Rice. The Arizona native, who had his own cheering section in the crowd with several girls holding up signs with his name, appeared to put the Tomcats on the verge of victory.

But the Ospreys quickly loaded the bases in the ninth inning, bringing Stampfl to the plate with no outs. On 1 -0 count, he lined a ball up the middle to bring home Austin Miller and Casey Baker for his second and third RBIs of the game.

“I was telling myself I was going to try to hit something right back at the pitcher and I’m just going to try to get a good piece on it,” Stampfl said. “Sure enough, the kid threw me a nice pitch to hit and I connected on it.”

Stampfl finished the night 2-for-5 with a walk and run.

Leading up to his last at-bat, Stampfl said he looking to atone for his previous two at-bats, which could have been walks.

“I had two 3-2 counts,” he said. “I swung at two bad pitches where I popped up and I struck out, so I was kind of mad.”

Caleb Schillace, a pitcher from the University of Toledo, took the loss. He came in to close in the ninth and was the fifth pitcher for the Tomcats in the game.

The big lead for Riverhead began to unravel in the fifth inning. Starter Brendan Mulligan of Hofstra University allowed the first four batters to reach, three on walks. With a scout day scheduled for Tuesday, both managers were reluctant to burn through too many pitchers. Riverhead manager Randy Caden brought in a position player, Mike Conti, to relieve Mulligan.

The Ospreys quickly went to work, capped by a grand slam from center fielder Kyle Adie of the University of Massachusetts. Adie finished the game with 5 RBIs.

Catcher Hunter Dolshun appeared to put the game out of reach early when he hit an opposite field three-run home run to right field in the fourth inning that put the Tomcats ahead 11-2. Dolshun finished the game 2 for 5 with 4 RBIs and is now batting .354 this summer.

The Ospreys improved to 13-10 with the win while the Tomcats fell to 12-11.

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