Baseball: Tomcats come up short against first-place Shelter Island


On days like Saturday, the Riverhead Tomcats must wish there was something like a baseball bank. Need a run, take a run. Need a hit, take a hit. Just tuck away any excess offense you may have to your credit and save it for a rainy day, so to speak.

It would have come in handy for the Tomcats, who banged out 22 hits (including four each by Nate Soria and Hunter Dolshun) in a 14-5 defeat of the Montauk Mustangs on Friday. Had they been able to carry over some of those hits and runs to Saturday’s game against the Shelter Island Bucks, it might have made a difference. As it was, the Bucks showed why they hold first place in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League and the hard-luck Tomcats came up short, 9-5, at Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton. 

The Tomcats (12-21) matched the Bucks (22-11) in hits; both teams had 10 apiece. The Bucks strung more of their hits together at the right time, though, as they pulled out to 7-1 and 9-2 leads before the Tomcats closed the gap with Ethan Schmidt’s three-run home run in the ninth inning. It was his second homer in as many days.

Bucks pitcher Andrew Cohen held the Tomcats to five hits and one run through the first four innings before he was relieved by Spencer Bunting.

Eddie Haus raised his league-leading batting average a point to .369 with a two-run double and a home run, his first of the season, which made the score 3-1 in the fifth. Haus drove in three runs.

The Tomcats received a good start from Nick Kuzia, who pitched the first five innings. He gave up four hits and two earned runs during his 85-pitch outing.

The Bucks scored the game’s first two runs with two outs in the second. Dominic Brugnoni, the designated hitter, delivered a deep double for the first run and Mark Flynn singled in the second one.

Just like that, the Bucks were on their way to their fifth win in six games. The Tomcats, by contrast, lost for the fifth time in six games and must surely be looking forward to the upcoming all-star break.

Ben Socher knocked in a Tomcats run with a double in the fourth, but the Bucks pulled away from there. They rang up two runs in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Chris Tracz chopped a run-scoring single and Flynn doubled in another in the sixth, Jack Machonis singled in both runs in the seventh, and Haus bounced his two-run double down the left-field line in the eighth.

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