Mariners Fight Through Tough Losses And Narrow Wins To Hold Top East Spot

By: Kat Szmit

Topics: Cape Cod Baseball League

Harwich's Tanner Morris (10) watches his ball fly foul during game play against the Y-D Red Sox on June 23.  KAT SZMIT PHOTO

SOUTH YARMOUTH – For local fans keeping an eye on the Cape League standings, it's been a wild ride, with Harwich and Chatham each vying for the top spot in the East Division. At press time, in spite of a pair of tough losses mingled with a no-hit win and a 1-1 tie, the Mariners have once again claimed the coveted spot, no doubt hoping to hang on as the season progresses.

It was not the Harwich bullpen's finest hour when they traveled to South Yarmouth on June 22 to face the Y-D Red Sox, when an eight-run fourth inning left the Mariners scrambling in a 12-1 loss. The trouble started when Y-D's leadoff batter Jonathan Deluca kicked off the inning with a walk, with the pattern continuing through the next two batters to load the bases.

With three men on and no outs, Luke Waddell stepped up and into a single that brought in Deluca for the inning's first run. One more followed on Harwich starter Xzavion Curry's watch before Harwich head coach Steve Englert brought in Austin Wood, who wasn't able to stem the tide as five more Y-D players made it home while Wood was on the mound, with a few defensive errors adding to the damage.

Tom Sutera then subbed for Wood, hoping to get things under control, but one more run came in before Sutera was able to end the agonizing inning with a strikeout and a pop-up.

Unfortunately for Harwich, the Sox weren't finished, plating two more runs in the fifth when a single to right from Deluca brought in Andrew Daschbach and Reese Albert, with Christian Koss bringing in Vito Friscia and Daschbach, sending home Waddell to cap off the Sox scoring in the sixth.

Harwich scored its only run in the third when a single from Zach Watson brought in Ben Norman.

After a rain-out on Saturday night, the Mariners played host to the Bourne Braves in a Sunday doubleheader, winning the first game 1-0, with pitchers Zack Hess, Kyle Brnovich, and Joe La Sorsa combining forces for a no-hitter before Hess and Brnovich headed off to Team USA.

Hess went three innings with no hits and four strikeouts, while Brnovich went two innings with two strikeouts, with La Sorsa earning the win in two innings with one strikeout. Meanwhile, a passed ball and a single from Tanner Morris brought around Zach Watson for the lone run of the game, which proved the winner for the Mariners.

The Mariners scored early in game 2 when a sac fly from Watson allowed Cam Thompson to come home, but the game ended in a 1-1 tie when the Braves plated a run in the fifth, with a quartet of pitchers from both sides keeping the game scoreless through two extra innings before officials let the tie stand.

The Mariners traveled to Hyannis on Monday night (June 25) for a makeup game against the Harbor Hawks, suffering a 2-0 loss as the Harbor Hawks scored one in the fourth and one in the eighth, but with the rival Anglers falling to Cotuit on June 24, Harwich held enough points at press time to hang onto the top spot in the East, with Chatham and Y-D tied for second.

The Mariners travel to Orleans tomorrow night (June 29) for a 7 p.m. start before heading to Chatham for a 7 p.m. game at Veterans Field on June 30. July 1 finds Harwich hosting Hyannis at 5:30 p.m. before enjoying a day off on July 2, but the team will be back in action July 3 against Chatham at Whitehouse Field (6:30 p.m.), and travels to Brewster on the Fourth for a 5 p.m. game.