A number of North Fork Ospreys can look back on the 2017 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League season with fond memories.
Count Andrew Ciocia among them. The Jacksonville University pitcher posted the most regular-season wins in the league, going 6-1 with a 2.72 ERA. He had 40 strikeouts, allowing 11 walks and 39 hits in 39 2/3 innings.
Mike Sciorra, an outfielder from Centreville, Virginia, led the Ospreys with a .365 batting average (42-for-115) that ranked him fifth in the league during the regular season. The James Madison University senior also had a home run and 15 RBIs.
The next Ospreys hitter on the league’s batting average chart was Tom Archer. The Hofstra infielder batted .308 with 12 RBIs. Another Ospreys infielder, Chris Adams, finished with a .304 batting average, three homers and 13 RBIs.
* New team is a champion
A new team is the new HCBL champion.
The Long Island Road Warriors became the first post-2009 expansion team in the league to win the title in its first season Tuesday when they closed out a two-game sweep of the Westhampton Aviators, 5-3, in Southampton.
On Monday, for the first time in the history of the HCBL Championship Series, the road team won the opening game of the series. Long Island, trailing by 8-2 after six innings, chipped away and took an 11-8 victory. A pinch-hit grand slam by Jordan Folgers in the ninth inning accounted for the final score. Nick Bottari of Wading River smacked a two-run homer for Westhampton.
Folgers and teammate Shane McDonald were named co-MVPs of the championship series, the first time that has happened.
• A parting gift for Phelps
In recognition of becoming the first Ospreys pitcher to hurl a no-hitter, Chase Phelps was named the HCBL Pitcher of the Week. In his final pitching appearance this season (and the same day he learned of the death of a friend), the Fort Wayne, Indiana, resident tossed the sixth no-hitter in league history. Phelps fired eight strikeouts without issuing a walk against the Southampton Breakers. Only two Southampton batters reached base, the result of a pair of errors.
• ‘Oh, say can you see …’
The national anthem was not played before the start of the first game of the Ospreys semifinal series against Long Island last Thursday in Southampton. That didn’t stop the spirited Ospreys, however, from singing it themselves, smiling and laughing at themselves in the process.
Photo caption: North Fork pitcher Stephen Hansen gave up six hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings in Game 1 of the semifinals against Long Island. (Credit: Bob Liepa)