SOUTH YARMOUTH – The Harwich Mariners held a three-run lead against the Y-D Red Sox into the bottom of the eighth inning on Monday night, but weren't able to keep a tight enough grip as the Sox rallied back to claim a 5-4 victory in Cape League action.
The Sox hopped onto the scoreboard first in the early evening outing when Brad Beesley made it home on a single from teammate Noah Campbell in the bottom of the opening inning, but the Mariners remained determined, responding with two runs of their own in the third.
After Dylan Neuse swung into a pop-up for the first out, Daniel Cabrera reached on a walk, as did Niko Kavadas, putting two men on with one out.
When Christian Fedko drew the second out, fans were increasingly sure Kavadas and Cabrera would be left stranded, but a single from Michael Ludowig loaded the bases, setting things up nicely for Joey Wiemer, Jr., who hit a solid single that was just deep enough to allow Cabrera and Kavadas to make it home, putting the Mariners ahead 2-1.
As Harwich starting pitcher Jordan Butler worked to keep the Red Sox off the basepaths, succeeding with a few exceptions, the Mariners worked to extend their lead. In the fifth they got their wish when Kavadas came home on yet another single from Wiemer, boosting the Harwich lead to 3-1.
A third single from Wiemer in the seventh brought home Fedko, bringing the Harwich tally to 4 as the end of the game neared. Then came the unraveling courtesy of a ruinous eighth inning.
After Y-D pitcher Oscar Carvajal stepped in and quickly shut down Harwich's Riley Tirotta, Hal Hughes, and Dylan Neuse, the home team Sox had another chance at evening the score, which they did courtesy of an error and a homer.
Y-D's Noah Campbell led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right before teammate Jake Palmer incurred the first out with a fly ball to left. A single from Riley King moved Campbell to second, setting up the possibility for a double play to end the inning, but a bobbled ball by Harwich right fielder Cabrera on a single hit by Y-D's Tate Samuelson gave Campbell enough time to race home, bringing the score to 4-2.
With the Mariners still holding sway, Joe Boyle stepped in for relief pitcher Jared Wetherbee, just in time for Y-D's Jack-Thomas Wold to take up a bat for the Red Sox, swinging into a three-run homer on his first pitch from Boyle, bringing the score to 5-4 before the inning ended with a strikeout against Austin Wells.
The Mariners held high hopes for another run in the ninth but it wasn't to be as Y-D closer Taylor Dollard brought the game to an end with a 1-2-3 inning.
Harwich starter Butler lasted six innings that included four strikeouts, seven hits, one run and one error, with Wetherbee stepping in for 1.1 innings with three hits, three runs, and three errors before Boyle closed the game with two strikeouts, one hit, and one run.
At bat Cabrera went 1-for-4 with one run, while Kavadas went 1-for-4 with two runs. Fedko went 1-for-3 with one run, while Wiemer went 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
With the playoffs fast approaching and Harwich in last place in the East, no doubt the Mariners will be battling through every game to come as they seek to overtake Brewster for a spot in the post-season. At press time Harwich had 26 points, with Brewster just slightly ahead with 27. Harwich hosts Orleans tonight (July 18) at 6:30 p.m., and the Red Sox tomorrow night beginning at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday the Mariners travel to Chatham for a 7 p.m. contest, with Sunday marking the 2019 All-Star Game at Eldredge Park in Orleans. On July 22 the Mariners head to Cotuit to face the Kettleers at 5 p.m. and on Tuesday host the Firebirds at 6:30 p.m.