May 10, 2006
Clippers Clinch 7th Straight Playoff Spot
By defeating Port Jefferson 2-1 last week, the Southold/Greenport varsity baseball team improved its record to 9-6 in League VIII, but more important, it qualified for the playoffs.
Last Thursday, junior David Kubiak won his second straight start, striking out a career-high 11 batters while allowing only three hits and one walk in the Clippers' 6-1 win over the Royals at Port Jefferson High School.
In Kubiak's previous start, back on April 26, he pitched another complete game three-hitter and racked up nine strikeouts to lead Southold/Greenport to a 13-0 victory against Shelter Island.
The Clippers' postseason clinching win occurred again at Port Jefferson last Friday as the arm of senior pitcher Kyle Charters and the bats of Nick Koehler and Kubiak ensured Southold/Greenport that it would be the lone spring sports team from its area represented in the playoffs.
Charters held the Port Jefferson (7-8 in League VIII) bats in check for the entire contest en route to picking up his team-leading fourth victory of the season. Koehler went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI; Kubiak (two RBI) knocked out two hits in three-at bats and the Clippers cruised to an easy 11-1 win.
This season, good fortune appears to be shining on Charters whenever he has taken the mound as Southold/Greenport's high-octane offense has provided him with an average of 14 runs of support over his last four starts, which ironically have all been wins.
Port Jefferson, one of the teams that were battling Southold/Greenport for one of the final playoffs spots (Center Moriches had already clinched and won the league title), grabbed the first of the three-game series in the opener at Southold on May 2, winning 5-2 behind the pitching of Jared Ibrahim who limited the Clippers' lively bats to only four hits in seven innings.
Southold/Greenport has now qualified for the playoffs in each of its past seven seasons, a remarkable task for the baseball program. Much of that credit goes to the hard work of its committed multi-sport athletes who apply their desire to succeed on both the soccer field and the basketball court.
Unlike the previous season in which the Clippers were led by the pitching arms and bats of since-graduated Joe Sawicki and Ben Wenczel — a year that saw Southold/Greenport win a share of the League VIII title — this season's team has been led by a different player each game.
The Clippers' offense has come from a multitude of different areas this year as players such as Derek Genoino, David Kubiak, Kyle Charters, Max Comando, Nick Koehler, Matt Hansen, Doug Conklin, and Ryan Osmer have all provided big games at the plate when called upon.
Southold/Greenport's pitching staff has also been a source of strength for the team this year as Charters, Kubiak, and Hansen have combined to form the second best rotation in League VIII.
The Clippers can breathe a sigh of relief this week as they finish out their regular season by facing a Smithtown Christian team that enters the three-game series with a record of 2-10, having allowed an average of 16 runs in its past seven games. Sweeping the series would give Southold/Greenport a 12-6 record and would guarantee the Clippers a second place finish along with a favorable playoff seeding.