Mariners Struggle Against Sox, Triumph Against Braves

By: Kat Szmit

Topics: Cape Cod Baseball League

Harwich's Tanner Morris watches his ball pop up during game play against the Y-D Red Sox at Red Wilson Field on July 29. Kat Szmit Photo

SOUTH YARMOUTH – Eight seems to be a tricky number for the Harwich Mariners, who fell to the Y-D Red Sox in back-to-back games with scores of 8-5 and 8-1, but beforehand were able to defeat the Bourne Braves 8-5 as the end of the regular season fast approaches.

The Mariners had a hard time finding the hits on July 29 when they traveled to South Yarmouth to face the Y-D Red Sox for their second outing against the team in three days. While the Sox scored two runs in the opening inning on a homer from Noah Campbell, Harwich's only run came in the third when Tanner Morris batted into his second homer of the season to put his team on the scoreboard and prevent a shutout.

Meanwhile, the Sox plated three more runs in the second, one in the fourth, another in the sixth, and their last in the seventh as the Mariners struggled to get past the stellar Sox bullpen. Nate Eikhoff led off the second with a double, but was tagged out on a fielder's choice from Ben Norman. Brad Debo ran into a similar situation in the same inning, hitting a single but drawing the third out on Gabe Rivera's fielder's choice.

The visiting Mariners wouldn't see another hit until the sixth when Aaron Schunk hit a single, but was the designated target when Andre Lipcius swung into another fielder's choice. While an error loaded the bases with two outs remaining, Logan Driscoll was stymied by Y-D hurler Tyler Madrigal, earning the final out of the sixth inning.

A single from Norman at the top of the seventh gave Harwich fans hope, but two strikeouts and another fielder's choice dashed them as quickly as a well-thrown fastball. The Mariners looked to try again at the top of the eighth but couldn't get past Y-D reliever Chandler Fidel. Closer Sam Kessler shut down the last Harwich batters at the top of the ninth to give the Sox the win.

The day before Harwich played host to the Red Sox, falling 8-5 after taking a 5-0 lead into the later innings.

Aaron Schunk brought in the first run of the game in the bottom of the first on a single from Driscoll to put Harwich ahead early, with three more runs in the second giving the home team a welcome boost. Tanner Morris hit a single to bring in Danny Casals, with a double from Schunk bringing home Morris and John Stanton next for a 4-0 Harwich lead. A sac fly from Will Mathiessen in the bottom of the third brought in Norman to cap off the scoring, with Harwich fans looking forward to celebrating victory in favor of the 5-0 lead.

That lead evaporated quickly in the sixth inning when the Sox went on a scoring spree that included a grand slam from Noah Campbell. Also scoring in the inning were Andrew Daschbach on a single from Nick Quintana, and Zach Zubia on a walk by Vito Friscia.

The Mariners bats were then silenced by the Y-D pitchers as the visiting Sox went on to score two more runs in the ninth en route to a win.

The Mariners traveled to Doran Park in Bourne on July 27 where they played to an 8-5 win on the road. While the Braves scored two runs in the opening frame, a big sixth inning led the Mariners to victory.

First across the plate was Brad Debo, scoring on a single to left from Aaron Schunk, with Tanner Morris and Matt Gorski coming home on a single from Lipcius, with Schunk scoring on a putout from Driscoll.

The Braves responded in their half of the sixth with two more runs to tie the game at 4-even, but the Mariners weren't finished yet. After the home team took a one-run lead in the seventh, the visitors tied the game in the eighth when Nate Eikhoff came in for an unearned run during Norman's at bat. Three more runs in the ninth, the first when Morris came in on a single from Driscoll, and the next two on a double from Norman, put the game away for Harwich.

The Mariners were set to wrap up their regular season with games against Chatham and Brewster, with playoff action beginning Aug. 4.