HARWICH – It wasn't the way the Sharks wanted their regular season to end, but a tough third inning made the difference when Monomoy boys baseball hosted Martha's Vineyard on May 31, with the Vineyarders earning a 3-1 win.
Monomoy took an early lead in the late-spring outing when Ian Johnson came home on a hit from Sean Gould in the first inning, but although the Sharks had other hits, they were unable to convert them into much-needed runs.
Meanwhile, MV's Keaton Aliberti managed to smack a double in a bases-loaded situation, allowing all three runners to reach base. Though Shark pitcher Joe Cottle silenced the visitors in the innings that followed, those runs were all the Vineyarders needed to come away with a win.
In spite of the score, Monomoy continued battling throughout the game's remainder, out-hitting the Vineyarders 8-3.
“We just didn't hit when it mattered and they scored all their runs on the bases-clearing double in the third inning,” said Monomoy head coach Steve Porter.
Overall, Asa Kline had two hits, while Gould had two hits and an RBI. Johnson had one hit and one run scored, while Brandon Willis had one hit, as did John-Michael Canto—a nice, late-game bomb that boosted spirits in spite of the loss.
On the mound for Monomoy, Joe Cottle pitched seven innings with 11 strikeouts, three hits, and three errors.
“This was one of the best games Joe pitched all year, he deserved a better outcome, but that's baseball,” said Porter. “Sometimes the line drives are right at people and the bloopers drop in.”
Porter was pleased with his team's efforts and said he's looking forward to the playoffs.
“It was a well-played game by both sides,” he said. “I think the only difference was that three-run double in the third. Other than that [it was] a great game on both sides.”
Porter said he appreciates the way Cottle mixes up his pitches, keeping opponents guessing, as evidenced by the Vineyarders low hit count. Porter also gave kudos to Kline as well as the Monomoy defense for making key plays that kept their opponents off the scoreboard after the third, including stellar catches by Willis and Jacob Poitras and a nice tag out at first from Joe DeMango.
In terms of the South Sectional playoffs, Porter was confident that his team would have at least one home game.
“I think this might have been the difference between having two, but we are in the tournament, which was our goal from the beginning,” Porter said. “But it does leave a bitter taste to go out on a losing note. Hopefully we'll go out and get back at it.”
According to the MIAA website (miaa.net) the Sharks are the No. 10 seed in Div. 3 South, and will play at South Shore Voke at 4 p.m. today (June 6).