After winning the district championship in 2016 and coming in second last year, the Suffolk County Community College baseball program is moving into the new season with nothing but confidence.
The Sharks had an overall record of 26-11-1 in 2017, finishing the season with a conference-best 20 wins and only two losses. However, most people on campus, let alone the region, aren’t aware of the team’s success.
It’s about time for that to change, according to the current and past coach, as well as observers.
“Our boys deserve more recognition from both the college and the local news networks,” said former head coach Eric Brown, the longest-tenured coach in the college’s history who retired last year. “These boys have talent and have proven it. There is not a good reason why they do not get more coverage.”
New head coach Brian Klammer, who started at the conclusion of last season, says he has confidence in the program and players, and that news outlets should give the team the attention it deserves. Without the press, players can get overlooked for future possibilities, he said.
“I know in the past watching these guys perform, they’ve had guys that have wanted to transfer to higher-level programs and even go pro, and they haven’t been given a fair shot,” Klammer said. “It isn’t even just this school or even Long Island. Truthfully, it’s the entire Northeast. None of these players get the same respect as some down South who get to play year-round.”
The team’s season opened on March 1. It has a 3-2 record.
Vinny Messana , who started aXcess Baseball, an online publication specifically dialed in on covering local high school and college baseball on Long Island, is one who believes there’s a real demand for coverage of Suffolk and other schools.
“People don’t realize that Long Island wants baseball,” Messana said, whose publication has grown to the point where he now holds an awards banquet at the end of every season. “I created this outlet because of the lack of coverage these players were getting and I never expected the results to look like this.”
The next time the Sharks will see the field is March 11 in a double-header against Orange County.