If you were hoping to see competitive games that have you sitting on the edge of your seat, the first day of the Cape League playoffs did not provide that excitement. In the East, both of the higher seeded teams won. The two lower seeded teams were victorious in the West. Yarmouth-Dennis defeated Harwich, 7-2, and Brewster beat up on Orleans, 8-2. Things weren't much closer in the West where Cotuit stifled Falmouth, 6-1 and Wareham beat Bourne in the closest - and most exciting - game of the day, 9-5. Brewster won 5 of 6 regular season games from Orleans. Although the Firebirds entered the playoffs as the league's hottest team, having lost just once in their last 12 games, the Whitecaps continued their dominance over Orleans. Brewster jumped on Orleans starter Kyle Simon (Arizona) for 3 runs in the first. Simon posted a 0.92 ERA over 7 starts totaling 39 innings this summer. Brewster extended their lead to 5-0 after 7 innings before Orleans scored their runs in the eighth. The Whitecaps put the game out of reach when they answered with 3 runs off John Brebbia (Elon) in the home half of that inning. Matt Larkins was outstanding for Brewster. The righthander from UC-Riverside pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits while fanning 9. Whitecaps broadcaster Fred Katz reports that Brewster manager Tom Myers said that Larkins' start was was "the best Whitecaps start of the season." That's high praise considering some of the starts turned in by Anthony Ranaudo, Andrew Gagnon and Mike Palazzone. Khayyan Norfork lead the way offensively for Brewster. Norfork was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. Devin Jones (2 hits, 2 RBI), Taylor Ard (2 hits, 1 RBI) and Kyle Singer (2 RBI) all helped the Whitecaps cause. In Game 2 Saturday night at Eldredge Park, Brewster is expected to throw Matt Crouse (Mississippi) against Orleans' Matt Sisto (Hawaii).
Over in Yarmouth, the Red Sox jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four innings and cruised to a 7-2 win. Y-D sent 11 different batters up to the plate and 10 of them recorded a hit in a 14-hit attack. Randy Fontanez (South Florida) allowed 6 hits and 2 runs over 6 innings and picked up the win. Tyler Pill hit a two-run homer in the sixth to account for Harwich's only runs. Mariners starter Greg Peavey (Oregon State) was tagged for 9 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings of work. The probable starting pitchers for Game 2 at Whitehouse Field are John Leonard (Boston College) for Y-D and Joe Holtmeyer (Nebraska-Omaha) for Harwich.
In Falmouth, Austin Wood (St. Petersburg) dominated the Commodores lineup, limiting the hosts to 4 hits in 7 innings as Cotuit romped, 6-1. Wood struckout 10. The Kettleers scored one in the first and added 3 more in the second and they never looked back. Jordan Leyland was 2 for 4 with a homerun and 2 RBI and Chad Wright was 3 for 5 (two doubles) and 3 RBI. Zach Cone and Deven Marrero each had two hits for Cotuit.
Bourne scored four in the first off Wareham's Max Perlman (Harvard) but the Gatemen tied it with single runs in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Wareham added 2 in the eighth and 3 in the ninth to take Game 1 from the host Braves, 9-5. After struggling in the first inning, Perlman settled down and pitched shutout ball over the next 5 innings. Before the game, Bourne's Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt) was named the Pitcher of the Year after posting a 5-0 record with a 0.74 ERA. The Gatemen got to Garvin for 8 hits and 3 runs in 4.2 innings. Tyler Bream (2-5, 2 RBI) homered for Wareham. LJ Mazzilli (3-5, 2 RBI) and John Andreoli (2-3, 3 runs) paced Wareham's offense. Travis Shaw hit a 3-run homer to provide the bulk of Bourne's offense. It should be a good pitching matchup when these teams square off on Saturday at Spillane Field. Wareham's Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt) is scheduled to go up against Anthony Meo (Coastal Carolina) for Bourne.