On a perfect Thursday evening, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks opened up their season with a dominating 8-1 victory over the North Shore Navigators at the Shark Tank.

The Navigators, based in Lynn, boarded the ferry at Woods Hole with the intent to steal a win on opening night. Instead, they ran into a Sharks team that looked and played like it was in mid-season form, even though most Sharks arrived on-Island only two days prior.

Little Leaguers know where the best seat in the house is. — Ray Ewing

The team’s cohesiveness was obvious both on and off the field. Starting pitcher from Fordham, lefty Matt Mikulski, struck out the first four Navigator hitters with fastballs that touched 90 miles and hour. Catcher Nick Raposo from Wheaton College matched Mikulski’s power on the mound with a huge arm of his own from behind the plate, throwing out two runners at second. One of those came on a strike-him-out, throw-him-out to end the third inning.

Before the game began, a legion of Vineyard Littl -Leaguers took a break from the bouncy-house located down the right-field line to run the bases. It didn’t take long for the Shark players to follow suit, scoring one run in the first, another in the second on a huge homerun to left field from shortstop and Yale junior, Brian Ronai, and a couple more in the third. After that, the team never looked back, cruising to victory on the shoulders of sound defense and five shut-out innings from Mikulski.

Many fans on Thursday were Island families hosting Sharks players for the summer. Dianne Powers, the self-professed “Marriott of the team,” currently has seven players staying in her home. If you count her four great danes, that’s 11 hungry stomachs to feed every night. While she plans to host five for the duration of the summer, the team is still in search of housing for a few players, so she volunteered for two more.

Sharky joins kids in race around the bases. — Ray Ewing

“I love it,” Ms. Powers said. She described the players she’s met in her seven years hosting as “great young men,” and that they make her summers “so much fun.” When one of those players, second-baseman and Vanderbilt freshman Tate Kolwyck, hit a line-shot over the left-field fence, Ms. Powers was one of the first to stand and cheer as he rounded the bases.

Thursday was a particularly special night for Oak Bluffs residents and Sharks hosts Howie and Cheryll Sashin. The Sashins have hosted Sharks ever since their son James showed an interest when he was in Little League. Seven years later, the kid who spent his childhood looking up to Sharks players is now playing with the team . An incoming freshman at the University of San Diego, Sashin closed out the game on the mound with a no-run ninth.

“It’s something I’ll never forget,” he said.

The Sharks next play at home against the Brockton Rox on Saturday, June 2. All first responders get free entry to the game.