The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks put on a hit parade in their home opener Tuesday night as Dan Crossen’s extra-innings double propelled the home team to a 6-5 victory over the Valley Blue Sox.

Down 5-4 with a man on third and two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Matt Woods hustled down the line for an infield single that evened the score and set the stage for walk-off drama. Crossen connected on an outside fastball and drove it far into the gap in right center. As the ball rolled to the fence Woods blazed around the basepaths, came home on his feet and joined the swarm of Sharks meeting Crossen in right field to celebrate.

It was a gritty win for a Vineyard team that was still getting to know each other by the start of the game. Sharks Manager Jay Mendez noted that Woods and starting pitcher Noah Johnson are the only returning players from last year’s squad and both played key roles in Tuesday’s victory.

The fan faithful were treated to an exciting first game. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“With one of them being our starting pitcher and the other our leadoff hitter, they set the tone both defensively on the mound and offensively at the plate,” Mendez said. “Woods beating out that two-out grounder up the middle that literally almost ended the game, that’s the kind of tone those guys set and I think these guys are already starting to follow suit.”

Johnson, a six-foot-five lefty from Virginia Tech University, struck out four with no earned runs through four innings of work. After Johnson, the Sharks needed only two relievers, Jack Beauchesne and Zach Clesas, to stifle the Blue Sox as the home team mounted its comeback.

“Honestly, those guys were throwing unbelievable…they were basically untouched,” Mendez said. “You look at what Zach Clesas did for us in the last three innings and asking him to do that on back-to-back nights is more than exceptional…he was pitching so well we had the confidence in him to finish it for us.”

The boys of summer are back! — Mark Alan Lovewell

On Monday, the Sharks scrimmaged the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League to start the summer fun at the Shark Tank.

For Tuesday’s opening game, Peggy Yoars threw out the first pitch, in honor of her husband Peter Yoars, a super-fan who died this spring. In the stands the Sharks faithful sported brand new Sharks apparel, enjoyed Vineyard trivia, a T-shirt toss, Offshore Ale beer, Mad Martha’s ice cream, racing Sharky and quite the ball game on a cool breezy June evening.

Next up, the Sharks hit the road for Montpelier, Vermont where they’ll play the Mountaineers on Wednesday before returning home to play the Ocean State Waves Thursday in the first of many critical coastal division clashes this season. The first pitch next Thursday is set for 6:35 p.m.