Coach Eric Brown called them the no-name kids.
No one on the Suffolk CC baseball team hit over .400 this season, he explained, and no one throws over 90 mph, but despite that and a rocky start to their season, the Sharks this year proved greater than their respective parts.
They advanced all the way to the NJCAA Division III College World Series in Tyler, Texas before eventually faltering Sunday, 7-2, to Herkimer CC in the first round of the loser's bracket. The loss eliminated the Sharks from the tournament.
Suffolk CC lost to Tyler Junior College, the No. 2 Division III program in the country, according to the NJCAA national poll, 5-4, on Saturday. Herkimer is ranked third.
"The big thing about us is that everyone did this," Brown said. "Everyone had to pull together . . . and they were disappointed. They worked hard to get here and they deserved to be here."
Suffolk CC (22-12) never bounced back from Herkimer's three-run first inning -- the big blow coming on Shinnosuke Takahasha's two-out, two-run double. The Sharks scored both their runs in the fourth, on Michael Carson's two-run double.
Herkimer tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, and two in the fifth. The Sharks managed only two hits against starter Nicholas Burch, while Will Apps and Alexander Lynch pitched 41/3 innings of hitless relief.
"We just got out-hit today," Brown said. "It's just one of those things, unfortunately . . . And I give a lot of credit to [our] kids. We played the No. 2 team on Saturday and the No. 3 team today . . . We've been competitive with them all year."
He added that the bright side was that he was getting almost his entire team back next year.
"These kids all stepped up this season," Brown said. "They got their jobs done when I called on them. Dan D'Onofrio, Frank Valentino, Richie Motta, Ryan Dollop, Brandon Edwards, Timothy Frisher, Brandon McKnight, they all jumped in feet first, and kudos to them."
All of them, apparently, no-name kids no more.