HARWICH – In a game of back-and-forth baseball that went into extra innings, both the Monomoy and Cape Tech teams were chomping at the bit to claim victory. Unfortunately for the Sharks, the hard-hitting Crusaders clinched a 6-5 win in the bottom of the ninth on April 25 in Cape and Islands League play.
“It was a great baseball game, back and forth all game long,” said Monomoy head coach Steve Porter. “I figured the team that had the last at bat was going to pull it out, and it just so happened it was them. Hats off to them.”
The Crusaders came out swinging, loading the bases in the first inning and scoring two runs to take an early lead, which they extended in the second thanks to some savvy base stealing.
The Sharks just needed a little warm-up before finding their way to the scoreboard, pushing across three runs in the third to tie the game before a lucky call worked in Cape Tech's favor and ended the inning before Monomoy could do further damage.
After the Crusaders were held scoreless in the bottom of the third, the Sharks added one more run to their tally, taking a short-lived lead heading into the fourth when Tech's Ryan O'Connell swung into a long bomb that brought in the tying run.
So it went through the fifth inning with each team adding another run to knot the score at five all before bats on both sides were mostly silenced in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, save for a nice hit by Monomoy's John Michael Canto in the top of the seventh.
Eager for a hit, the Sharks sharpened their focus in the top of the ninth, but in spite of an ever-increasing pitch count, Cape Tech pitcher Jared Blake showed no signs of fatigue and quickly retired the side.
Then came the moment of glory for the home team Crusaders. With Jack Derosier on second thanks to a sacrifice by O'Connell, up to the plate stepped Josh Toolas, who swung into a long double that brought in Derosier for the winning run as fans on the hillside above the field cheered.
“They hit the ball well all game long and deserved to win today,” said Porter, who gave kudos to pitcher Drew Edson for his stellar work on the mound, as well as Asa Kline at the plate. “But mostly just shoutout to them. They played a good baseball game. Good pitching, no errors, good defense, and they hit the ball well.”
“It was a great win for us,” said Cape Tech head coach Chuck Myrbeck, who praised the hard work of Blake, who lasted all nine innings and was ready for more. “I can't say enough about him. Since the sixth inning he had only two base runners. He was pitching outstanding. He was going to make it hard for me if we kept going to decide whether to bring him out for the 10th. He did a great job.”
Also earning the nod from Myrbeck was first baseman Harrison Doeg who went 3-for-4 offensively and defensively had a heck of a catch in the fourth. He was also part of the team's first conventional double play of the season. O'Connell was also noted for his help in moving along the winning run.
Myrbeck said catcher Chase had what he deemed “probably the best offensive game he's had” going 2-for-3 with a sac fly RBI.
“Even his last out was loud,” Myrbeck said. “Just an outstanding game at the plate. Hope to see more of that.”
Myrbeck said what makes his team unique is that there are five seniors in the starting lineup that didn't play baseball last year but are showing strength this season.
“I think we have the potential to have an even bigger second half of the season,” Myrbeck said.
The Crusaders host St. John Paul II today (May 2) at 4 p.m., while Monomoy travels to face Sturgis West today at 4:30 p.m.