On Saturday night at the Shark Tank, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks won the NECBL championship defeating the Vermont Mountaineers 7-6. Oak Bluffs native and 2017 graduate of MVRHS, James Sashin started the game on the mound, pitching three innings and only allowing one earned run.

“I just had so much gratitude out there and took it all in,” Sashin said after the game. “You know, it’s something you dream about growing up coming to the games.”

The Sharks defeated the Mountaineers in decisive fashion on Friday night, 16-3, in the first game of the series. On Saturday at home it was back and forth all night. In the eighth inning they were down by a run with a man on second and Logan Chambers at the plate.

Turning two. — Ray Ewing

After the game Chambers said his eyes lit up at the sight of a hanging breaking ball headed his way. At the crack of the bat everyone in the Shark Tank knew it was gone. The crowd exploded as the ball soared over the right centerfield fence and the Sharks pulled ahead 7-6 to sweep the Vermont Mountaineers and capture the organization’s first Fay Vincent Cup.

“All I was really truthfully trying to do was move him over to third and give our next guy an opportunity to score him,” Chambers said. “But it just happened to go on two strikes and he gave me a pitch that I put a good swing on.”

The beer-garden-blast was the second homer of the series for Chambers. On Friday, he hit a solo shot as the Sharks ripped off 15 hits in their 16-3 victory in Montpelier. Sharks first baseman Marcus Franco was 4-6 with a three-run homer and 5 RBIs. Catcher Thomas Bramley was also 3-3 with 3 RBIs in the decisive victory Friday night.

Not only was the offense impressive Friday but Sharks starting pitcher Zach Clesas was critical in preserving the Vineyard bullpen for Saturday’s showdown. Clesas threw an eight-inning gem, allowing only one earned run while striking out six Mountaineers to earn the win.

Reliever Cameron Hill celebrates after getting the final out. — Ray Ewing

For Vineyard student-athletes, the bus ride home after defeating an opponent like the Sharks did Friday is one of the best trips you can take. Sashin is familiar with that feeling, one that doesn’t change no matter the level you play at.

“The bus ride was long, like four hours,” Sashin said. “​​But we’re so close and get along so well and it was really exciting to know we’re coming home with a chance to win it all here. We didn’t want to go back to Vermont.”

But the Mountaineers weren’t going down easy on Saturday, taking an early lead in the third inning. The Sharks countered with a double by Michael Snyder that scored two to take the lead. But Vermont battled back with two more runs in the fourth to even the score at three each.

Snyder, the Sharks all-star third basemen and NECBL batting title champion (.406), again gave the Sharks a lead in the bottom half of the inning with a two RBI single that pushed the Sharks’ lead back up to two.

Sharks and Sharks fan celebrate with the league trophy. — Ray Ewing

With flamethrowing reliever Alejandro Torres on in relief, the Mountaineers managed to claw their way back into the game and knot the score at five each going into the eighth inning. With the bottom-half of Vermont’s order due up, Sharks Manager Jay Mendez went to the second half of his devastating one-two punch bullpen and brought in southpaw Camron Hill to quell the opposition.

Hill allowed a run in the eighth, but thanks to Chambers heroics he had an opportunity to redeem himself the following inning and did precisely that, getting the Mountaineers out 1-2-3 to finish the job.

“The eighth inning was a bit of a roller coaster for sure but after Chambers hit that home run it kind of re-energized and refocused me to get me on track and get those three outs in the ninth inning,” Hill said after the game. “When I got out in the ninth inning I wasn’t going to let my team down.”

Hill said when he first found out where he would be pitching this summer he had no idea where the Vineyard was. Now he has memories on the Island he will never forget.

“When I got here and met all these guys, they made it an experience of a lifetime,” he said.

More pictures.