At 6 feet, 6 inches, and 230 pounds, Sharks pitcher and Oak Bluffs native James Sashin has quite an appetite. But parents Howie and Cheryll make sure that he never goes hungry.

“I mean, it costs about fifteen hundred bucks a month,” said father Howie. “But we feed our boys well. At least my Stop & Shop card is loaded,” he added with a chuckle.

By “boys,” Howie means James and Mac, James’ older brother. Believe it or not, James is actually the runt of the Sashin litter. Mac, the center on Emerson College’s basketball team, is 7 feet, 2 inches.

A typical breakfast at the Sashin household includes 12-egg omelets and an unceasing production from an overworked waffle iron. Lunch may necessitate the dismantling of a 10-can-tall tower of Bumble Bee tuna fish, and rehousing it in a sea of Hellmann’s Light.

And what do the Sashins drink?

“Milk,” Howie replied. Twenty-eight gallons a month of it, to be exact.

But the Sashin boys haven’t just grown into two of the tallest people on the Vineyard. They are growing into fine young men as well. Mac is set to graduate from Emerson with a degree in sports communications, while James has secured a roster spot on the University of San Diego’s baseball team next year, where he will be an incoming freshman. And this summer James is pitching for his hometown Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, a team he has looked up to since his parents started housing Sharks players seven years ago.

Although the family is still in contact with all the Sharks players they have housed over the years, they said that the first Shark they took in, Karl Kapinos from Western Massachusetts, is the one with whom they are closest. Karl’s framed, autographed baseball card still sits on their mantle.

“He really loved baseball . . . and blended right in with our family,” Howie said. “Karl’s dad was one of the first people I called when James made the team.” Growing up, James viewed the Sharks as role models. “I always watched college baseball on TV, and it was cool to see guys who were right up there, and get to see what they do, what their work ethic is, and then you go to a game and you’re like, I know that guy. He lives with me and he’s kinda famous.” The Sashins’ open-door policy has extended beyond housing baseball players each summer. Over the years they have taken in over a dozen foster children.

“When I came over to the Island,” Cheryll said “I just felt that I had two healthy boys, and that I had truly been blessed with them and to be where I was in life, and I felt I needed to give back in some way.”

Cheryll is originally from Easton, and moved to the Island with Howie in the nineties.

One of those foster kids, Josh Naylor, lived with the family for seven years. Before Josh came to the Sashins, he was sleeping on the living-room floor of his grandmother’s house.

“So I feel like him living with us for seven years, and graduating from Vineyard High . . . that’s why he is the person he is today,” Cheryll said. Josh is now 25 and lives with his girlfriend on the Cape.

Early on all the boys gravitated to sports. They started with hockey but at around 13 years old, Mac turned to basketball and James found baseball.

For James, pitching was destiny. “When I was younger, I would go to the beach and the first thing I’d want to do was grab a rock and skip it,” he said. “I was addicted to throwing things.”

But it wasn’t always easy.

“The first day of Little League I told the coach I wanted to be a pitcher, and the first pitch I threw, I threw it as hard as I could and it almost went over the backstop.”

His coach pulled him aside and told James that all he cared about was whether he could throw strikes. That was something he struggled with early on. Now, however, James gets people out by being crafty.

“I never saw him dominate an opposing team,” Howie said. “He encourages guys, induces them into groundouts, flyouts, gets his teammates involved.”

That’s what James loves about pitching, not overpowering hitters, but beating them mentally. “There’s a game within a game a lot of people don’t understand,” he said.

According to Cheryll, James has always been an excellent student. After graduating from high school last year, he did a post-grad year at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, where he discovered a love of pottery, and finished with the highest GPA among one-year students.

At the University of San Diego, he wants to study marine biology. “I just love the ocean. Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard plays a big part in that,” he said.

His high school coach, Gary Simmons, is even more enthusiastic about James’s on-field career. “His potential is unlimited,” Coach Simmons said. “He’s got all the tools, and should be really good. I’m excited to see where he ends up in the next five years.”

Right now, James is just focused on the task at hand, helping the Sharks win games this summer. Last Wednesday, he pitched a no-run ninth to close out the season opener.

“It was surreal,” he said afterward. “Being able to be the one that the all the Little League kids are asking for high-fives and autographs from, when not too long ago I was on the other side of that fence doing the same thing they are.”