What was once a relatively comfortable three-run lead for the Westhampton Aviators became uncomfortable fast as the North Fork Ospreys loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning in game one of their Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader on Monday night.
Enter Brandon Kuter, arguably the most electric pitcher in the Hamptons this summer. The rising junior at George Mason promptly struck out the side on 10 pitches and stranded a leadoff triple by Ryan Brockett in the seventh to secure a 5-1 game one victory for Westhampton. The Ospreys struck back in game two, riding a stellar starting performance by right-hander Mike Czenszak to win, 3-0.
The latter triumph allowed North Fork (11-5) to stay two and a half games ahead of the Aviators in the ACBL’s Hampton Division.
In game one, Joe Lombardo went the first five frames to pick up his second win. Steven Roche and Zach Uher ran into trouble in the sixth, cuing Kuter’s entry into the game. By finishing it, Kuter seized the division lead in saves with four.
Kevin Heller provided offense early and it ended up holding up. The second-year Aviator belted a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, his fifth bomb of the summer. Matt DeRenzi ripped a pinch-hit, run-scoring double in the seventh for further insurance.
In game two, Czenszak had his best outing in two seasons as an Osprey. He went six innings, gave up four hits and struck out six for his first ACBL win. Czenszak went 0-4 out of the bullpen a year ago.
Kris Selvaggi drew even with Kuter in the division’s save race, striking out two in a one-two-three seventh to salvage the split.
A day after he went deep for the first time this summer, Ryan Williams doubled his total by smacking a solo homer in the opening inning. His sacrifice fly made the score 2-0 in the third, and in the sixth, Matt Carroll scored on an infield error by Westhampton.