The Greenport baseball team unveiled its stylish new purple uniforms, which arrived only two hours before game time Monday.
“We love them,” coach Brian Toussaint said. “They’re beautiful. We went for the kind of the more vintage-like old school vibe with the V-neck and the Porters script so, yeah, we like them.”
The jerseys went well with the purple cap that bore a gold “G” on the front with the “Porters” script on the back matching the front of the jersey.
Although the Porters sported a new look, a familiar problem popped up for them in the batter’s box: difficulty making contact.
Of course, the Bridgehampton/Ross pitcher had a lot to do with that. Kristopher Vinski was in the zone — the K zone — and Greenport batters spent much of the time flailing away at pitches and finding nothing but air.
It looked for a while as if Vinski might have no-hit stuff. The junior lefthander kept the Porters hitless through 4 1/3 innings and, in the end, had to settle for a dominant three-hitter with 16 strikeouts in visiting Bridgehampton’s 5-1 win. Six of his Ks came on called third strikes in the opener to the three-game Suffolk County League VIII series.
“He didn’t throw much balls,” Greenport rightfielder Brendan Syron said. “He only walked one guy and I heard in the Shelter Island game he didn’t walk anyone. He was pretty good throwing strikes. They were just like strikes on the corner. It was hard to hit.”
Vinski fanned eight of Greenport’s first nine batters and 10 of its first 12. Ten of the 11 Porters who batted in the game struck out at least once and five struck out multiple times.
“He pounds the zone constantly, relentless,” Toussaint said. “I told the guys, ‘Hey, he’s gonna be throwing strikes. We got to go up there swinging.’ And he just had some real good movement. We couldn’t connect too much today.”
Greenport didn’t get its first hit until the fifth inning when Danny Breen clocked a stand-up double. Breen said he wasn’t aware of the significance of his hit at the time, but he sure saw and heard the reaction from his teammates on the bench.
“I was just ecstatic,” he said. “I’m running around the bases. I hear the team screaming at me, ‘I love you,’ and all this stuff.”
Two of Greenport’s three hits on the day came off Breen’s bat. The senior leftfielder also drove in Greenport’s sole run in the seventh with another double. That scored Syron, who had led off with a single before stealing second base.
“At first going against him was a bit confusing,” Breen said. “I was trying to figure out like how to go against him because every pitch that he threw against me was way to the outside, so I had to like fully extend and I still wasn’t able to reach it.”
Bridgehampton had only two more hits than Greenport, but drew five walks, stole six bases (three by Hugo Kapon) and capitalized on three errors. Declan Crowley, Alex Maysonet and Aimen Tabor handled the Greenport pitching.
The Killer Bees put up a run in each of the first three innings: Milo Tompkins scored from third base with two outs when a third strike was dropped and the throw to first wasn’t in time; Dylan Fitzgerald came home on a fielder’s choice by E.J. McAuliffe; and Vinski scored on a passed ball.
Kapon scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and Kapon’s RBI single in the seventh made it 5-0.
This is Bridgehampton’s first varsity baseball team in 43 years, and the Killer Bees have started out by winning their first three games. Greenport fell to 0-4 after having been swept in three games by Pierson. The Porters have been outscored, 49-4.
“We’re definitely having trouble putting the ball in play,” Toussaint said. “You can see, it’s definitely a timing thing. A lot of them are off-balance. They’re out in front a lot, a lot of lunging. It’s one thing to take BP, hit off the machine, hit off one of the coaches throwing, but it’s a whole other thing when somebody’s out there [on the mound] with the movement, you know, the velocity, so I think the timing will come around.”
The series will continue Tuesday in Greenport and Wednesday in Bridgehampton.
Breen sounded confident the Porters will get into the swing of things. “It will come around eventually,” he said, “but we just need to work on it a little more.”