14 July, 2004

Tough luck dogs Harwich and Sabo

     Tim Sabo’s hometown is Suffern, N. Y., and the Mariners’ right hander has been suffering so far, at least as far as chalking up victories goes.

Tim Sabo of the Harwich Mariners has pitched well but is a tough luck 0-4 so far this season.
Staff photo by Rich Eldred

     He pitched well Saturday night, but he left the game trailing 1-0 with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Two runs, both unearned, came in after his departure and Sabo’s mark dropped to 0-3 as Bourne’s Mike Madsen pitched a rare complete game shutout (see other story). 

     Sabo, who attends Seton Hall, is 0-3 despite a 2.45 ERA in five games. He’s given up 20 hits in 25 innings and struck out 31 while walking nine. Not bad at all but it hasn’t paid off in the win column. Nevertheless, Sabo was upbeat after Saturday’s loss.
“I was spotting the fastball pretty good today,” he noted. “The curve ball came around. I was getting guys out with it and I was able to throw it early in the count.”

     Sabo struck out four and gave up three hits in the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth with a walk, wild pitch and RBI single. But then he regrouped and struck out four of the next seven batters he faced.

     “I think after I settled down in the sixth inning I picked it up a bit. I wanted to keep the team in it,” he said.

     Sabo hopes to play pro ball and wants to impress the scouts, but he doesn’t pay attention to the radar guns behind home plate.

     “I just want to show the scouts what I can do,” he said. “And I want to prove myself against the best guys in the country, and hopefully win the championship here and help myself for the draft next year.”

     Sabo is headed into his junior season at Seton Hall.

     “I just try to pitch my game and to stay focused. That’s the most important thing,” Sabo reflected. “I think this is more fun than college. It’s more about showing yourself and proving yourself, and having fun. The coaches are great. They pick us right back up after a loss.”

     Harwich manager Steve Englert is content to see his team in the middle of the pack.

     “We’re right there. We’re playing well,” he said. “We’ve struggled a little offensively. The starting pitching is doing a good job for us. We’ve lost a tough game yesterday (2-1 to Cotuit in 10 innings). That was a heartbreaker.”

     Englert believes Harwich’s hitting can improve. He felt they made Madsen look even better than he should have.

     “Our two-strike hitting isn’t good. We have a good offensive team and we’ll be there. The pitching is coming around. If we can get into the seventh or eighth inning with the lead, we’ve got a good shot at winning,” Englert noted. “But tonight (at the plate) we were aggressive when we shouldn’t have been and we were not aggressive when we should’ve been. I think we helped him out a lot.”

     The Mariners continually were behind in the count after taking strikes and then chased high fastballs from Madsen as he piled up 11 strikeouts and induced eight flyouts.

     “We’re right there. We’re in third place (at 10-11). This league is all about timing. Stay close to .500, hover around there till there are about seven games left and then make a little move and you’ll be in good shape,” he said.

     That sounds like Lance Armstrong’s strategy.

     Brewster (13-8) and Yarmouth-Dennis (12-10) are ahead of Harwich, and Chatham (10-12) and Orleans (8-14) are behind.
The Mariners have got some great work from pitcher Dan Brauer who is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA. Craig Hansen has five saves in 11 games and hasn’t given up an earned run. Devin Monds has a 0.82 ERA 11 innings, Anthony Varvaro is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA and Zach Ward has no wins but sports an 0.84 ERA in 21 innings.

     The Mariners are batting only .207 as a team. Jon Aughey, the No. 9 hitter, leads the team with a .280 average while Ben Copeland is second at .271.

     Brent Lillibridge, who hit two homers in the first game of the season, leads the Mariners with three home runs. Recently added Clete Thomas has two home runs in 32 at bats.

By Rich Eldred