7 August 2007

Harwich saves best for last

By Staff reports
GateHouse News Service

Harwich - Like the rest of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Harwich Mariners had a light schedule last week, playing only three games. On Wednesday, all the players and interns headed for Fenway Park in Boston, where the Red Sox honored the Cape League All-Stars.

    “What a great experience it was to see our guys down on the field before the game and watch a baseball game in a historic park I have never been to before,” said Jared Bolden.

    Highlight performances for the week included Alex Avila’s 4-for-4 effort Monday night in a loss to the Hyannis Mets at Whitehouse Field and a 15-strikeout pitching gem by Brett Jacobson against the Orleans Cardinals on Tuesday at Eldredge Park. The Mariners ended the week with a satisfying 3-2 win over East Division leader Yarmouth-Dennis before the biggest home crowd of the summer.

    Against the Mets, the Mariners led, 2-1, until the sixth inning when Hyannis exploded for six runs. Avila’s four hits included a double and a mammoth solo home run to right field. He also made a spectacular sliding catch near the dugout to end the ninth inning.

    Jacobson’s spectacular strikeout show came in a 1-1 tie game that was called in the seventh inning because of fog. The right-hander faced only 21 batters in the six innings he worked. Harwich’s only run in the game was provided by Kyle Day, who homered in the fourth.

    “Jacobson’s performance was just amazing and, the way he was going, I didn’t even notice it until the fifth inning,” said Mariners general manager John Reid.

    The Mariners ended their week Friday when they hosted powerful Yarmouth-Dennis on Family Fun Night at Whitehouse Field. Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster came to town and helped attract the largest and most vocal crowd of the season – more than 3,400 fans.

    Harwich starter Dan Hudson pitched six scoreless innings, striking out nine. Hudson labored at times throwing 116 pitches. Steve Strausbaugh hit a moon shot three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to put the Mariners ahead to stay. Strausbaugh added a single for a 2-for-3 night at the plate.

    Harwich’s bullpen preserved the victory for Hudson, although Y-D pushed across two runs to make it close. The three-headed monster of Ryan Kulik, Danny Farquhar and Evan Crawford held off the powerful Red Sox, and Crawford picked up his fifth save of the season.

    Harwich’s final home game of the season comes on tonight, Aug. 8, against Brewster.