13 August, 2004

Sox win! Sox Win! (Y-D does)

     Booming bats, sharp defense and sprightly pitching buried Brewster as the Y-D Red Sox swept the Whitecaps, 9-1 Tuesday and 3-1 Wednesday, to win the Cape Cod Baseball League East Division Playoffs. 

     The Sox will play the winner of the Hyannis/Falmouth series, currently tied at one game apiece as we go to press, with game one today. 

     Y-D won the regular season crown with a 26-17 mark, and they've won nine of their last 11 games. The Whitecaps (23-21) stumbled at the end of the season, dropping eight of 10 but had a shot in the last playoff game to reverse the skid. 

     They rallied for a run in the seventh and two men on in the seventh when Brett Harker gloved Ryan Patterson's hard one hopper at the mound and stranded a man on third in the eight when J.B. Tucker lined out to Harker. 

     "Harker made the big plays," noted Y-D manager Scott Pickler. "You talk about pitching and defense in this league and he did both. This is very exciting. Now we've got a chance to do something special." 

     "These guys like each other a lot," he added. "They're into this till the end. They've done a great job. The chemistry has been very good all year long. They've been a great group all year. They like being around each other." 

Y-D 3 - Brewster 1 

     P.J. Finigan was the winning pitcher for Y-D. He came in the fourth, in relief of Brandon Morrow, who'd tossed three shutout innings. Finigan worked three more till he was relieved with one out in the seventh after Ryan Roberson and Marco Albano of Brewster singled. 

     Brett Harker gave up a lead-off RBI single to Will Rhymes and that was Brewster's last hit. The save was by ace reliever Josh Faiola who struck out the side in the ninth. 

     Y-D scored two runs off starter Matt Avery. Bryan Byrne doubled in the fourth and scored on a throwing error. Ben Crabtree doubled in the fifth and scored on Joe Anthonsen's triple to right. Will Harris homered in the sixth to complete the Y-D scoring. 

     Crabtree had two hits in the game and he homered and singled in game one as well. 

     "I've been working with the coaches just on hitting. I'm working on relaxing and breathing and it seems to be working," he said. "Our ultimate goal is to win the whole thing. It's one step at a time." 

     Brewster had a great season, although they faded at the end. But considering they had five players trying out for Team-USA and seven at the College World Series and went two weeks with a dozen temps, they did very well. 

     "We did play tough today," manager Bob Macaluso noted. "The guys hung in there. We had a couple of chances and that's what you ask the guys to do. Y-D outplayed us. They deserve to win the championship." 

     Macaluso hoped Brewster would finish stronger. 

     "I'm a little disappointed in the way we finished because all summer we played well and I expected that to continue." 

Y-D 9 - Brewster 1 

     The Red Sox rolled up a quick 9-0 lead after five innings of the first playoff game and Dan McCutchen, 5-1 during the regular season, picked up the win with six innings of solid work. 

     "He wasn't as sharp as he's been in the past," says Pickler. "It was nice I got to rest him so I can bring him back if we need him. He's a pretty tough kid. He competes as well as anybody on the pitching staff." 

     The team likes Red Wilson Field as well. The wind was blowing out, toward left-center, but the Sox blasted home runs to all three fields as they drove Brewster starter Josh Cribb from the game after four frames and battered Adam Gold as well. 

     Joe Anthonsen and newcomer Bryan Byrne both singled with one out in the first. Will Harris drew a walk and DH Frank Curreri was hit by a pitch to force in a run. All-Star shortstop Ryan Rohlinger slashed a two-run double down the left-field line and Y-D was up 3-0 which would be plenty. 

     "We want to win," says Rohlinger, who had three hits. "We have an extra week and we want to win the whole thing. Everybody wants to get the job done. Coach Pickler has shown us good fundamentals and good technique and now we're swinging the bats at the right time." 

     Brewster had threatened in the first, thanks to two walks and a single by Gaby Sanchez (who had three hits on the day). McCutchen struck out Ryan Roberson with the bases full. 

     "I struggled with my change-up in the first, but I got it by the third inning," McCutchen said. "My fastball was working good and I spotted it well. My three walks were all on bad pitches. My better pitches were when I was 0-2 or 1-2 and throwing curve balls in the dirt they couldn't hit. And it helps to have good defense behind you. You've got to love it when your team throws up nine runs." 

     Y-D added another run in the second and then Nick Moresi, who hit six homers during the year, belted the first Red Sox home run in the fourth, a high shot into the pines in right. 

     Harris doubled to open the fifth and Adam Gold came on. Curreri greeted him with a line drive over the center field fence. Rohlinger's third hit of the day was a double to center. Crabtree ripped a long two-run homer to left and Y-D was up 9-0. 

     McCutcheon left after six. Giving up six hits, walking three, whiffing nine and surrendering no runs. 

     "We brought our bats today," he noted. "And we're planning on doing it tomorrow. The pitching has been great. We've made it to the playoffs and our only intention is to win them." 

     Blake Holler pitched the final three innings, giving up four hits and one run. Brewster's run came on three straight singles to right by Roberson, Mark Wagner and Craig Cooper. 

By Rich Eldred