With Harwich's 3-2 win over Brewster last night, the East Division finals are set. The Mariners wil host Yarmouth-Dennis in Games 1 and 3. Harwich will travel to Y-D for Game 2. In the West, Wareham closed out their divisional semifinal against Bourne on Saturday and the Gatemen await the winner of tonight's game between Hyannis and Falmouth. Brewster scored two runs in the top of the second. Harwich came back with one in their half of the inning. The Mariners plated two runs in the third to take a 3-2 lead. At that point, the game looked like it may end up with a 9-8 type score. Neither Harwich starter Andrew Leenhouts (Northeastern) or Brewster starter Luke Bard (Georgia Tech) lasted long. Bard was removed with one out in the third. Leenhouts night was done after the third. All of the runs in the game were charged to the starters. Harwich's third - and eventual game-winning run - was unearned.
Both bullpens were tremendous. Austin Voth (Washington) and Joe Biagini (UC-Davis) combined to allow Harwich just 3 hits over the last 5.1 innings. Voth struckout 9 in his 4.1 innings of work. For the Mariners, Eddie Butler (Radford) quieted the Brewster bats from the fourth through the eighth inning, allowing just one hit while striking out 6. The Whitecaps got to Butler in the ninth when Tanner Nivins singled to start the inning. After Chase Anselment sacrificed Nivins to second, Trace Tam Sing singled, setting Brewster up with runners on the corners with just one out. Harwich summoned Chris Overman from the bullpen. Overman's first two pitches to Andrew Toles were balls but he came back to throw the next three past Toles to record the key second out. Overman then got JJ Altobelli to ground into a fielder's choice to send the Mariners on to the next round. Brewster stranded 8 baserunners. Harwich left 7 runners on base.
CodBall sends a big "Thank-you" out to all the people who gave so much of their time to make Whitehouse Field playable, and to those folks who worked well into Sunday night in an effort to drain Hyannis' McKeon Park. We know the league is made up of many hard-working volunteers, but at a time like that it was most impressive to see the effort that these folks put forth. For a better perspective on the work that went into this, see Ashley Crosby's High Heels at Home Plate story: http://highheelsathomeplate.wordpress.com/
Taking a look around the league, and a few other random thoughts...
Speaking of Ashley, CodBall wishes her all the best with her new job at Vanderbilt University. Ashley has been a valuable source of information for myself and many others. She will be missed. Ashley has been warned about the law against switching allegiances from the Patriots to the Titans or from the Bruins to the Predators. She has assured me that she will be faithful to her Boston-area teams. Best of luck, Ashley. Oh, and please do what you can to remind the folks who you are leaving behind that the internet is here to stay and twitter isn't something to be afraid of!
It shouldn't, but it bothers me to see Carter Capps leave Harwich to sign with Seattle at this point of the season. I know the players are at the Cape to pursue professional careers. With the August 15 signing deadline only days away, it would have been nice to see Capps finish the season with Harwich. He has had an outstanding summer and his loss is a big blow to Harwich's chances of winning the championship. This is not meant to indict Capps or any other player who may leave under the same circumstances. Obviously I don't know what conditions Seattle may have imposed on him. I'm sure they wanted to get him signed and have him start working with their minor league coaches as soon as possible. The bothersome part to me is that Harwich's season will be over in somewhere between two to five days and you would hope MLB teams would let players finish their commitment when it is this close to the end of the season. I'm sure most fans would like to see the teams as close to full strength as possible as the season winds down and not have a pitcher playing leftfield, as happened to Cotuit in the 2008 championship series.
Yarmouth-Dennis took 4 of the 6 games from Harwich during the season. It's understandable if Wareham is pulling for Falmouth to knock off Hyannis. The Gatemen were swept in their season series with the Harbor Hawks. Wareham split their six games with the Commodores.
It's a small sample size when looking at playoff stats, but it does give an idea of who is hot. Yarmouth-Dennis' Tyler Hanover is batting .667 (6 for 9 in 3 games) and Wareham DH Daniel Palka is at .571 (4 for 7 with 3 RBI in 2 games). Hyannis' Chadd Krist and Justin Gonzalez are both at .500.
It seemed that there were a lot more high scoring games in the league this year. There were a total of 1,704 runs scored. I didn't have to go back very far though to find a summer with more scoring than this one. In 2008, there were 1,911 runs scored. Scoring was up this year from 2009 (1,670 runs) and 2010 (1,580 runs).
With less than a week to go in the regular season, a certain person who reminds us that he is a "national writer" tweeted that we shouldn't have written what we did about Cotuit's Victor Roache because he "is on the verge of winning the triple crown so no idea how you can say he is unimpressive." First of all, the CodBall writer never said he was unimpressed with Roache. In fact, he said many glowing things about the summer Roache was having. He merely merely stated that he was not sold on Roache over the long haul. Agree or not, that's a fair statement. Funny thing is, at the time when we were reminded that Roache was "on the verge," he didn't lead the league in any of the three statistical categories that make up the Triple Crown. Roache finished the year tied for second in homeruns with 6. His 28 RBI placed him second in that category. Roache was batting .397 on July 13. He finished 20th in batting average with a .316 mark. Late in the season, Cotuit made a run and looked like they might overtake Falmouth for the last playoff spot in the West. In the Kettleers last ten games leading up to the day when they were eliminated, Roache batted .111 (4 for 36). He had one homerun in his last 19 games and 4 RBI in the last 17 games. Still, I think we all agree that Roache had a very solid and impressive season. We share opinions on CodBall and because of that, we're fair game for criticism. We encourage others to share their opinions. All we ask is that you don't twist words around or put something out there that was never said.