Baseball: Dog days of summer arrive early in HCBL

North Fork second baseman Kyle Colletta tags out Riverhead's Tyler Osik, who tried to steal in the seventh inning. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)
North Fork second baseman Kyle Colletta tags out Riverhead’s Tyler Osik, who tried to steal in the seventh inning. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)


It’s not even July yet, and it appears as if the dog days of summer have arrived in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

Keen-eyed observers are noticing signs of wear and tear taking their toll on players not accustomed to playing such a congested schedule of games. With teams just about halfway through a grueling 42-game schedule, managers are seeing players battling the grind, the heat and the humidity. The league has a busier June schedule than usual, noted the Riverhead Tomcats manager, Randy Caden.

Given all that, the North Fork Ospreys manager, Bill Ianniciello, liked what he saw from his team Friday. The Ospreys turned in a well-executed, all-around game, from their starting pitcher, Anthony Catinella, to their sharp defense to their timely offense. It all added up to a 3-1 victory over the Tomcats at Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton.

The Ospreys improved to 11-9 while the Tomcats dropped to 8-12.

Catinella, who has a 2.25 earned run average, gave up six hits and one run in seven-plus innings. The right-hander from Molloy College walked two and had three strikeouts.

The Ospreys snapped a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning. Two outs after James Morisano reached base on a fielding error, Tyler Houston entered the game as a pinch hitter and doubled in the go-ahead run. Moments later, Houston scored himself on a single by Nick Vogelmeier.

The Ospreys took a 1-0 lead in the second after Ryan Mahoney, Vogelmeier and T. J. Ward opened the inning with successive singles. Ward was initially called out on the throw to first base, but Ianniciello asked for the umpires to confer. They did, and the call was then reversed, infuriating Caden. Two batters later, Brendan Satran brought in the run on a fielder’s choice.

The game moved swiftly along without either team scoring until the seventh when the Tomcats drew even. Turner Buis, who raised his batting average to .345 with a 2-for-3 game, led off by smacking a single and then stealing second base. He was thrown out trying to advance to third base on a grounder by Nate Soria, who then stole second himself. The next batter, former Shoreham-Wading River High School player Tyler Osik, ran out an infield single and a bad throw to first base allowed Soria to score.

Chris Burkholder struck out two in two innings of one-hit relief to close out the game for the Ospreys.

Erin Baldwin pitched the first five innings for the Tomcats, allowing four hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.

The game was part of the Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer event in which teams throughout the league are raising money for the Go4theGoal Foundation to fight pediatric cancer. Players wore Go4theGoal’s trademark yellow shoelaces, which are being sold throughout this weekend’s games.

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