HARWICH – One rain delay, one lightning delay, and some solid pitching by the opposing team weren't enough to keep the Harwich Mariners from eking out a 2-1 victory against the Cotuit Kettleers on Saturday night in the second week of Cape League action.
After wet weather delayed the 5:30 p.m. game by an hour, the Mariners took their positions, ready to throw down, but it was the visiting Kettleers that made it onto the scoreboard first when Nick Gonzales came home in a walk during the third inning.
While not what the Mariners were looking for, the lone run proved all the Harwich home team would allow as game play progressed after a roughly 45-minute lightning delay stopped play when one of several storms rolled through.
After the aforementioned walk, Harwich hurler Will Heflin went to work, quickly retiring Cotuit's fourth inning batters, one by strikeout and the remaining two by quick defensive moves by Heflin and first baseman Niko Kavadas.
Then came the bottom of the fourth and the Mariners' time to shine. Tyler Keenan opened the frame by reaching on a walk before moving into scoring position on second courtesy of a single from Bobby Seymour. A fielder's choice from Daniel Cabrera then put Keenan on third, though Seymour was caught en route to second, drawing the first out.
As the most dedicated fans remaining in the stands cheered on the home team, Kavadas stepped up to the plate and swung into a single that moved Cabrera to third and allowed Keenan to race home for the tying run.
Up next was Chris Lanzulli, who offered up another fielder's choice, but an error by Cotuit shortstop Camryn Williams paved the way for Cabrera to go home for the go-ahead, making it 2-1 Harwich at the end of four.
From there the game remained scoreless. Although the Mariners had the hits they were unable to push across more runs as pitchers on both sides kept batters stymied. Harwich fans were hopeful in the seventh when Patrick Winkel hit a single to reach first, but Winkel drew the first out during a fielder's choice hit by Hal Hughes.
With Hughes on first, Cameron Thompson walked his way to first, with Christian Fedko loading the bases with a nice single to center. Unfortunately for Harwich, the Kettleers turned in a swift 6-2-3 double play to end the inning, leaving three runners stranded. Save for a single from Kavadas in the bottom of the eighth that was all the hitting Harwich could muster, leaving it to the bullpen to earn the W.
After Heflin's 3.1 innings of work, during which he fanned seven, walked three, and allowed no hits or runs, Nick Stewart stepped up for the final three innings, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts and one walk with no runs to earn the save, while Heflin earned the win.
“It was a great game,” said Harwich head coach Steve Englert. “We had a great pitching performance tonight. We had a quality start (from Carson Seymour) and the bullpen was tremendous.”
Englert said it was good to have the offense supporting the pitching in the outing.
“We came up with a couple of big hits with guys in scoring position,” Englert said. “I would have liked a little bit more breathing room, but overall that was a true Cape League game right there.”
Next up for the Mariners after a break today (June 27) is a home game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday with a 6:30 p.m. start, followed by another home game on Saturday against Orleans beginning at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday the Mariners travel to Orleans for a 5:30 p.m. contest, and on Monday (July 1) head to Y-D for a make-up game against the Red Sox.