Aviators Searching For Win Streak

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A 9-1 victory over first-place Center Moriches on June 18 and a 6-5 victory over North Fork a day later made it look like the Westhampton Aviators were ready to turn a corner and finally put together a string of wins.

After the pair of road wins, though, Westhampton instead lost four straight games last week and has lost five out of seven games as of Tuesday morning.

Westhampton is 6-11 as of Tuesday morning in the Hampton Division of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League but is just 4½ games behind Center Moriches and North Fork, which are tied for first place.

The Aviators lost 4-3 at Sag Harbor on June 20, lost 4-2 at Riverhead on Thursday, June 21, lost 7-5 at North Fork on Saturday, and lost 12-2 at home to Southampton on Sunday.

In the win over Center Moriches on June 18, the Aviators got a great pitching performance from Chase Cunningham (Walters State Community College), who went eight innings and allowed just one earned run on two walks and six hits. Esteban Gomez (San Jacinto Junior College) went 3 for 5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Jordan Hill (George Mason) was 2 for 4 with three RBIs, and Sam Frost (Mississippi State) had two hits.

“We bunted when we needed to, we stole bases when we needed to,” Westhampton head coach James Lally said. “It was one of those days where the offense, defense, base running was there. When we do all of those things, we win. It’s no secret to why we’re losing.”

Lally was alluding to the fact that his team’s pitching and defense have come up short lately, leading to the recent losses. In the loss to Sag Harbor last week, the Whalers actually committed more errors (five) than the Aviators (three), but Westhampton’s defensive lapses proved more costly.

Westhampton had tied the score at 3-3 in the top of the eighth inning on a Frost double that scored Danny Muller (Queens College). With the score still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Westhampton made two infield errors, and the second one cost the Aviators the game, as Sag Harbor scored the winning run on it.

“We know we have the talent to put from nine to 15 runs on any given day—it’s a matter of us not getting down early by poor defense or pitching,” Lally said. “It’s tough to hit when you’re in the field for two hours of a two-and-a-half-hour game.”

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