It’s all starting to click for the Harwich Mariners.
After playing .500 baseball for almost the entire first half of the season, the Cape Cod Baseball League’s 2019 runner-up is hitting its stride at the right time. The Mariners extended their unbeaten streak to seven consecutive games and took sole possession of second place in the East Division standings following a 2-2 tie against Yarmouth-Dennis on Monday.
“It’s a really good group of guys,” Harwich manager Steve Englert said. “They get along with each other and they’re good character kids and they want to win. They play hard and come out and compete every day and get their work in. It’s a really fun group to coach.”
On Sunday, Harwich (12-7-1) earned a 3-2 victory over Chatham to improve to 4-0 against the Anglers (9-13-3) this summer. First baseman Carter Putz (Notre Dame) gave the Mariners the lead in the eighth inning with a two-run single off Chatham pitcher Alexander McFarlane (Miami) that plated Pres Cavenaugh (UNC Greensboro) and Brock Wilken (Wake Forest).
“It was great,” Putz said of driving in the game-tying and winning runs. “Obviously we’ve had a lot of guys come up in big situations over the past couple of weeks, so when I was able to get the chance, I was just trying to do anything I could do to get at least a runner in. I got a good pitch to hit and just tried to put a good swing on it, and it worked out for us tonight.”
Harwich hasn’t lost since falling to Brewster 4-0 on July 11. The team has gone 7-1-2 since then, a run Englert said he attributes to everybody contributing.
“We’ve been getting good starting pitching and our bullpen has been tremendous and we’re getting timely hitting — it’s everybody,” he said. “Everybody is contributing. It’s not just one or two guys — Brock was carrying us a little bit earlier — but now other guys are jumping in there too. There’s still a long way to go, though, so you never get too high.”
Cavenaugh led the Mariners at the plate during the week, batting .389 after going 7 for 18 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored. On the mound, Danny Wilkinson (Villanova) struck out five batters in two innings of work during the team’s 4-1 win over Falmouth on July 17, while Eric Reyzelman (LSU) tossed five innings of one-hit ball in Sunday’s victory.
“It’s good to do it for coach [Englert] too,” said Reyzelman, who boasts a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched this summer. “He’s one of the best guys that I’ve been able to meet in this game and he really loves winning, and so do all of the guys on the team. So, whenever your turn comes up and you’re able to put in your due diligence, it makes everything a lot easier and a lot more fun.”
Putz said the team is playing loose and approaching the game with a relaxed approach, which he feels has contributed to the momentum they have been able to build in recent weeks.
“I think right now we’re playing super loose and having fun,” he said. “This is a great group of guys. We believe in each other and we’re all really good friends even though we’ve only known each other for a couple weeks. We’re just trying to enjoy every second of it. Throughout the last week or so, we’ve been playing really good and we’re hoping we can keep it going.”
Englert said his team will need to “keep showing up every day and play free and easy and fast and loose” in order to maintain the success of recent weeks.
Orleans Falls At Hyannis
The Firebirds fell into last place in the East Division following Monday’s 13-1 loss at Hyannis. The host Harbor Hawks exploded for 14 hits, while Orleans mustered eight.
With the loss, Orleans (8-10-4) fell one point below Chatham in the East Division standings to last place. They have 20 points, third-place Y-D has 26, second-place Harwich has 28 and first-place Brewster sits atop the standings with 30 points.
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com
Recent/Upcoming Games for Harwich (12-7-1)
July 18: Harwich 3, Chatham 2
July 19: Harwich 2, Yarmouth-Dennis 2
July 21: Harwich at Yarmouth-Dennis, 5 p.m.
July 23: Harwich at Wareham, 6:45 p.m.
July 24: Hyannis at Harwich, 5:30 p.m.
Recent/Upcoming Games for Orleans (8-10-4)
July 18: Yarmouth-Dennis 11, Orleans 9
July 19: Hyannis 13, Orleans 1
July 21: Brewster at Orleans, 7 p.m.
July 23: Orleans at Bourne, 6 p.m.
July 24: Wareham at Orleans, 7 p.m.