All three South Fork teams will make the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League playoffs, which are slated to begin this week.
The Westhampton Aviators (27-11-2) were awaiting the results of Tuesday evening’s game between the Riverhead Tomcats and Southampton Breakers. If the Tomcats (27-10-2) won, they would be the top seed in the postseason. If they lost, the Aviators would be the top seed.
Both teams have been, by far, the top teams in the league throughout the season and have been trading first place for the past few weeks. Westhampton defeated Shelter Island, 15-4, on Monday night to tie a team record 27 regular season wins.
It’s been that type of season for the Aviators, in which multiple team records have been matched or broken. Daniel Franchi (Binghamton) broke the Aviator hit record earlier this season: he has 55 this season, which leads the league. Bailey Peterson (Michigan State), who is second in the league in hits behind Franchi, with 50, tied the team record for doubles with 14. Chaney Dodge (Northwestern State) broke the Aviator stolen base record with his 25th swipe, and Joe Stewart (Michigan State) became the first player in HCBL history to play all nine positions in the field.
While the past two weeks or so have been slow for the Sag Harbor Whalers (19-21), having gone 3-8 in their last 11 games, they will be the three seed in the playoffs and were awaiting to see who their opponent would be as of Tuesday morning. Despite their rough stretch, the Whalers won their regular season finale, 11-7, at Southampton on Monday, led by Ramon Jimenez (Boston College) and Brendan Dowd (NYIT), each of whom drove in three RBIs.
The Southampton Breakers (15-23-1), after sitting in last place for a good portion of the first half of the season, turned things around in the beginning of July, going 10-8, to become the fifth and final team to clinch a spot in the wild card game against Shelter Island. That game was to be played Wednesday on Shelter Island if Tuesday’s finale between Riverhead and Southampton was played, barring a weather cancellation.
The winner of Shelter Island/Southampton will play the top seed in a best-of-three semifinal series while the team that finished second will play the third-seeded Whalers in the other best-of-three series. For updated playoff info, such as matchups, game times and locations, go to hamptonsbaseball.org.