Harborfields Baseball can't overcome Islip
by Ryan Ackerman
After losing two out of three games against Sayville, the Harborfields Tornadoes were looking to even out their record in League VI play.
During an eventful athletic day at Harborfields, on the diamond we saw the Tornadoes take on Islip in the first game of a three-game series. Taking the hill for the start was junior Jordany Mendez.
Mendez got into some early trouble in the first inning, when two walks and three hits resulted in a three spot for the Buccaneers.
After the shaky first Mendez was able to settle in and throw solid ball for the next five innings. After the first, no runner reached past first base, and Mendez recorded four strikeouts.
As put by junior first baseman James Cameron, “He gave us everything he had. Even after starting out the game giving up a few runs, he toughened up and kept us in the whole game. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Cameron is right in that Mendez kept the Tornadoes in the game, however, that would still mean they had to get through Islip’s Mike Mirando.
The top of the Harborfields order, Cameron, Greco, Buda and Mendez, as a group were one for twelve with five strikeouts. When these guys aren’t performing you not only know that it might be a long afternoon, but that opposing pitcher must have some pretty good stuff working.
Mirando proved to be too much for the Harborfields bats, as he went seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Only three men reached base against the Islip ace, on two hits and a walk.
Those two hits for Harborfields came from freshman catcher Anthony Madigan, and junior third baseman Donny Mastroianni in the bottom of the second inning. That was the only real threat the Tornadoes offense posed the entire game, as Mirando retired the last fourteen batters he faced.
Harborfields head coach Casey Sturm believes that the Tornadoes “need a better approach that plate and sharper focus on the base paths if we want to be successful.” After a soft offensive day the third year head coach is undoubtedly correct.
A team like these Tornadoes know that when they get a quality start from one their top guys they need the offense to capitalize. If Harborfields looks to end this two-year playoff drought they will undoubtedly need to provide more support for their pitchers.
Luckily for their chances moving forward this Harborfields offense is very talented. Before moving into a collective offensive slump over the last three games, the Tornadoes had eleven runs in their first two games.
Harborfields will look to rebound from a 1-3 start in League VI play this Friday when they take on Islip in the second game of the series. Coach Sturm will either send Gavin Buda or Bryan Tucker to the hill in hopes of evening the series with Buccaneers.
Buda has won both of his starts this season, allowing no runs in eleven innings. Meanwhile, Tucker has thrown two scoreless innings in relief.