Military ball
CCBL shuts out Military All-Stars

 June 16, 2005


It was a good game, an entertaining game, a contest that stayed close even as the home squad threatened inning after inning to turn it into a rout.

And in the end, the game itself was almost beside the point.

RABBIT RUN - Kevin Koski of the Hyannis Mets leads off first base during Saturday’s game between the U.S. Military All-Stars and a team of Cape Cod Baseball Leaguers at McKeon Field. Outfielder Koski went 1-for-2 with a single, three walks and two stolen bases as the CCBL team topped the armed forces squad 5-0. 
David Curran/Barnstable Patriot

A team of Cape Leaguers scored a run in each of the first five innings while holding the U.S. Military All-Stars to just four singles on the day en route to a 5-0 victory in front of nearly 900 fans at McKeon Field in Hyannis Saturday.

“It’s great people come out in the community,” said Lt. Cmdr. Terry Allvord of the U.S. Navy, head coach of the armed services squad and the driving force behind the team and its Red, White and Blue Tour of New England. “I think they want to see us do well.”

The game was the second in the historic two-week, five-game tour that included contests against New England Collegiate Baseball League entries in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut and a visit to Fenway Park for Wednesday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinatti Reds.

“Historic” because the armed forces team is the first ever to be assembled with the best available talent from all five branches of the U.S. armed forces. “Available” because some players could not be considered for the team because they are engaged in more important assignments, most prominently Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war against terrorism.

Many of the players on the team were recently returned from tours of duty overseas.

“There’s other guys over there, we’d really love to have ’em,” Allvord said after the game.

But he emphasized that the Red, White and Blue Tour is a way to honor people in the armed forces and their sacrifices in service of United States interests, to bring military people to the public in a non-military context, not to take attention away from the U.S. military’s engagements around the world. The players paid their own expenses for the chance to take part. “We just want to give the fans an opportunity to get into a patriotic setting,” Allvord said.

Armed services veterans were honored in a pre-game ceremony that featured a military color guard and a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” by Sgt. Casey Wade of the U.S. Army recruiting station on North Street in Hyannis. Eastham’s Max Sarazin, 72, a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Marines, threw out the first pitch. 

The pre-game program also featured an appearance by Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts for 2005, Laurel Labdon of West Brewster.

Allvord was impressed by the Cape League team, which included players from nine of the league’s 10 clubs. (Wareham had an exhibition game of its own Saturday.)

The score easily could have been much more one-sided - the CCBL team had nine hits and benefited from six bases on balls but left a dozen runners on base, while the Military All-Stars stranded just three - and Allvord acknowledged as much during his postgame remarks, saying the game showed quality of the Cape League.

“That’s just a testament to the pitching these guys have,” he said. The Cape squad had 10 pitchers, and all saw action. The first seven, including the Hyannis Mets’ Charlie Furbush and the Cotuit Kettleers’ Jason Cline, pitched an inning apiece. The remaining three split the final two innings evenly.

Furbush, a 6’5” lefty from Maine’s St. Joseph’s College, retired the side in order in the fifth, striking out two. Cline, a 6’3” lefty from North Carolina’s Belmont Abbey College, took his turn the next inning and more-or-less duplicated Furbush’s effort: two strikeouts and a ground ball to the infield.

Hyannis outfielder Kevin Koski of Southern Illinois was one of half a dozen Cape Leaguers to play the entire game. The right fielder collected a hit in two at-bats but also worked the Armed Forces’ pitchers for three walks and stole two bases.

Mets left fielder Kevin Mark McGonigle of the University of Houston entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Cotuit favorite son Roddy Ames of Colby College, starting the season on a temporary contract with the Kettleers, went the distance for the CCBL team, starting the game as the designated hitter and moving to first base in the seventh. He went 1-for-4 at the plate, singling in the fourth and coming around to score the team’s fourth run.

After the game, the players exchanged gift bags while Allvord presented a framed, autographed sheet of Military All-Stars baseball cards to CCBL president Judy Walden Scarafile and commissioner Paul Galop.

All of this took place under sunny skies and mild temperatures, free of the stifling heat and humidity that prevailed across inland sections of New England or the thunderstorms that weather forecasters had warned could threaten the game.

“It was a great day,” said Allvord, “from the weather to the gift bags.” 

By David Curran



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