The Long Island Road Warriors are clinging to first place in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, but the Westhampton Aviators are closing fast.

Warriors Trying To Hold On

The Long Island Road Warriors are clinging to first place in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, but the Westhampton Aviators are closing fast.

The Road Warriors took one on the chin July 13, losing to the Shelter Island Bucks 15-9 on the winners’ field. This dropped the defending champions to 20-11 on the season.

Westhampton, meanwhile, edged the North Fork Ospreys 6-5 on July 14 to move to within one game of the league leaders.

The Ospreys, playing at home, erupted for five first inning runs but the visitors methodically chipped away, scoring one in the second and two runs in the third and fourth innings.

It stayed at 5-5 until the top of the eighth when the Aviators pushed across the winning run. With two out and none on, Tristan Welch drew a walk off of Liam McDonnell. David Wyle, brought in to replace him, uncorked a wild pitch to move Welch to second. Michael Amandola then ripped a double to bring home what proved to be the winning run.

Alto Sujack, the second of three pitchers for the Aviators, earned the win. Dean McCarthy pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.

The loss dropped the Ospreys to 13-17-3 on the season though second baseman Tyrese Clayborne stroked two hits and is now batting .346 for the losers. Welch and Alex Ojeda homered for the winners.

The Bucks and Road Warriors staged a donnybrook. Long Island scored three in the first; the big blow, a two-run bomb off the bat of Thomas Colombo. The Bucks evened things up in the bottom of the first with Jack MacKenzie going yard. The Road Warriors scored four more in the second and the Ospreys twice, one coming on a long double by Tyler Smith. Alex Volpi’s league leading 13th home run brought the home team to within one and then the floodgates opened as the winners scored eight times in the next three innings.

Andrew DuPont led the hit parade, stroking four in as many at bats and scoring five runs. Smith had three hits and three runs scored. Mike Cassaleggio went two for three and knocked in five runs. He’s hitting .320 for the season.

Matt Codispoti went two for two and banged a zinger for the losers.

There are two weeks to go in the regular season. The Road Warriors play the Ospreys in Greenport on Thursday, June 19, at 5 PM. The Aviators take on the Riverhead Tomcats the next day in Riverhead, also at 5. The Tomcats are very much in the thick of things with a 17-13-3 record, good for third place.

As aforesaid, Volpi is the league’s home run leader with 13, four more than Tyler Becker of West Hampton. The two are also one-two in the RBI race, with 37 and 34. Nick Thornquist of Sag Harbor leads the league in batting with a .449 mark; Louis Antos of Riverhead is hitting .407. Carson Seymour of Southampton is first in pitching wins with four, and second in strikeouts with 37, six behind Joseph Quintal of Shelter Island. The North Fork’s Alex Pansini leads the league with a 2.33 earned run average.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com