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Baseball: Greenport plays with nine in loss to McGann-Mercy

Bishop McGann-Mercy wore stylish throwback baseball uniforms. Greenport went old school itself, playing throwback ball with only nine players. That wasn’t by choice, of course.

Mercy’s white uniforms come with horizontal green and gold stripes on the tops with an Old English “M” that also adorns the green caps.

“They look great,” said coach Ed Meier.

Mercy typically wears the throwbacks every third game, but since Saturday’s contest in Greenport was a makeup game, the decision to wear them came on a vote by the players.

The Monarchs played as well as they looked in those uniforms, jumping on inexperienced Greenport from the start for a 22-2 trouncing of the Porters at Robert Costantini Field.

More than anything else for Mercy, perhaps, the Suffolk County League IX game served as a trial for pitcher Ethan Aube. The sophomore righthander didn’t disappoint in his first career varsity pitching start. Over five innings, he gave up six hits, two runs (one earned), a walk and struck out two. By throwing two-seamers, four-seamers and mixing in an occasional curveball, Aube remained in control of his pitches and the game.

“That’s my job. That’s what I’m going to do,” he said of finding the strike zone. “I knew I was going to be nervous, but you just got to shake it off and throw strikes. I felt good.”

Andrew Smith and Christian Atkinson each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Meier liked what he saw from Aube. Asked what he thought of Aube’s work, Meier replied: “Great. He threw strikes, mixed it up well. He did a great job. We’re kicking the tires today. Hey, if you can throw strikes, you’ll be out on the mound for us, and he threw strikes today. We were kind of auditioning for a starting pitcher.”

Judging by this performance, Aube could be another option for a starting staff that includes Matt Chilicki, Allan Zilnicki and Joe Marti.

Greenport was missing players for various reasons and had no bench players available. That didn’t help a struggling team already beset with other issues.

Mercy, coming off a 4-16 season, is vastly improved. The Monarchs (6-4, 6-4) believe their current record should be even better.

“We had a stretch of bad luck lately,” Meier said. “I think we’ve just been hitting into hard outs and lost a few one-run games that we’d like to have back. That’s baseball, but I feel like we’ve been playing better than our record.”

They sure did on Saturday.

It was a good day for the Monarchs to bump up their statistics, and they did so. Phil Marino and Sean Hinck knocked in three runs apiece. Smith and Marti had two RBIs each. Leadoff batter Christian Doroski walked three times, stole four bases and scored four runs.

By the time all the damage was done, eight Mercy batters contributed to an 11-hit total. The Monarchs stole 11 bases.

“I think they put together a complete game today,” said Meier.

What really stood out, though, were the errors upon errors committed by Greenport (1-9, 1-9). There were 14 in all, including six in a nightmarish seventh inning in which Mercy scored seven times.

“We’re all trying to work hard here,” said Jordan Fonseca (3-for-4), who played shortstop and threw three innings of relief for Greenport. “We’ve just had a lot of adversity to overcome. I mean, we’re always the underdog in every situation. We have to prove that we can fight with other teams.”

“I knew today was going to be tough,” he continued. “We just need to keep working out there in practice. We just need to get better.”

Mercy, meanwhile, seems to be getting better. For one thing, the Monarchs look to have found a starting pitcher.

Said Meier, “We’re always looking for more starting pitching.”

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Photo caption: Jordan Fonseca (3-for-4) pitched three innings of relief for Greenport after playing shortstop in Saturday’s game against Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Bob Liepa)