By Gavin Menu
The Sag Harbor Whalers will not be in competition for the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League (HCBL) crown this summer after missing out on the postseason by finishing fifth in the overall standings with a record of 17-23-2.
Top-seeded Shelter Island won its playoff opener against Montauk, the fourth seed, as the playoffs got under way with a pair of semifinals on Monday. The North Fork beat Westhampton on Monday and both series were scheduled for a second game in their best-of-three series on Tuesday. The winners from each series will advance to a best-of-three championship round starting Friday, July 31, at the higher seed’s home.
Two local boys, Nick Kruel and Colman Vila, pitched in the final two games for Sag Harbor, which lost both to fall out of playoff contention. Kruel, a 2014 graduate of Pierson High School and soon-to-be sophomore at the University of Tampa, pitched well enough to win against Shelter Island on July 22, allowing two runs on six hits through seven innings, but received little help at the plate in a 4-2 loss. Kruel finished the summer with a 2-5 record and received just three runs of support in his five losses.
Vila, who will be a redshirt sophomore at the University of Delaware this year, pitched the final three innings in the team’s 3-2 loss to Westhampton on Friday, allowing just two hits and one earned run in his final appearance this summer.