It was just Manny Jr. being Manny Jr.
The North Fork Ospreys played against Manny Ramirez Jr. on Tuesday night, but they may have felt as if they faced the big guy himself, Manny Ramirez Sr.
Ramirez Jr., the son of the former major league star, did a pretty good job of imitating his dad by driving in both runs, the first on a majestic home run, in the Sag Harbor Whalers’ 2-1 defeat of the Ospreys at Jean W. Cochran Park in Peconic. The cleanup batter’s efforts enabled the Whalers (12-16-1) to snap a four-game losing streak.
The fifth homer of the season by Ramirez Jr. came in the fourth inning when he slammed a shot that sailed high and far, landing well over centerfield, onto a basketball court.
But it was Ramirez Jr.’s second hit of a 2-for-4 day that ultimately grounded the Ospreys (17-13), snapping a 1-1 tie in the eighth. Oscar Marchena led off by singling through the left side of the infield. Following a sacrifice bunt by Jake Williams, Ramirez Jr. came through by bouncing a hit into rightfield. It was the 14th RBI of the season for Ramirez Jr., who carries a .266 batting average.
The first baseman, who will be a senior for the University of San Francisco, was one reason why a solid starting pitching effort by Ospreys lefthander Tevita Gerber was spoiled. Another reason why was the Ospreys’ uncharacteristic struggles in the batter’s box.
Then again, the Whalers’ starting pitcher, Jordan Sheinkop, had something to do with that. Sheinkop limited the Ospreys to only two hits: a slapped single by Sean Buckhout in the third and a leadoff homer by Bobby Romano in the seventh, his fourth long ball of the summer.
Other than that, the only other times the Ospreys reached base were when Hayden Rappoport and Nick Bellafronto were hit by pitches and Richie Palacios reached on a fielder’s choice.
Sheinkop fired six strikeouts in his seven innings. Jack Morello (1-0) closed things out with two scoreless, hitless innings for the win.
Gerber went seven innings, giving up five hits, one run and three walks against six strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Alejandro Aponte doubled twice for the Whalers.
Photo: Sag Harbor first baseman Manny Ramirez Jr. after catching the ball on a pickoff attempt of North Fork’s Nick Bellafronto. (Credit: Garret Meade)