Written by Kathleen Szmit
Being on top in the Western Division of the Cape Cod Baseball League is good.
Rumor has it members of the Hyannis Athletic Association believe that winning the Barnstable Patriot Cup is also good, especially after two games this week put them well on the way to winning it.
Hyannis is in the lead in the Western Division (tied with Cotuit and Bourne) and also leads the race for the Barnstable Patriot Cup 2-1.
HYANNIS’ HURLER – Y-D might have its famed Hurler Burger, but Hyannis has new pitcher Will Harvil, who took the mound on Sunday against Cotuit in the second Barnstable Patriot Cup Series game.
The teams faced each other in Cotuit on Sunday and Tuesday nights, with Hyannis holding Cotuit at bay in both outings.
The crack of Chris Dominguez’s bat might not have been heard ‘round the world on Sunday night, but it was certainly heard throughout Lowell Park.
So were the cheers from Hyannis fans following the third baseman’s monumental first-inning homer, which led to a thrilling 5-2 victory.
With the win Hyannis holds a 2-0 lead in the race for the Cup and the top spot once again in the Western Division.
Dominguez’s impressive hit came just moments into the start of the game in Cotuit, with one man on and two outs.
As fans watched his hit disappear over the left field fence, Dominguez rounded the bases with a satisfied grin on his face, preceded by teammate Marcus Jones, who had reached on a walk.
Cotuit appeared close to scoring a run of their own in their half of the first on a daring steal attempt by Brett Jackson, but found the effort thwarted by none other than Dominguez, whose agile catching resulting in a controversial out.
After Jackson reached second on a hit from Jeff Kobernus he attempted to take third but was tagged out after Dominguez, crouching on the bag, caught a throw from catcher Dale Cornstubble.
Cotuit field manager Mike Roberts vehemently argued the call and was nearly ejected from the game but the out stood, ending the inning at 2-0 Hyannis.
Hyannis hit the board again in the third when Ryan Eden clocked a single to center field to bring in Jones and make the score 3-0.
Mike Bianucci gave the Kettleers their first run of the game in the third when he smacked a solid double to center field to bring in Dallas Poulk, preventing a shutout, but Hyannis pitcher Alex McRee kept the Kettleers from more runs, striking out Evan Crawford swinging.
The fifth inning was big for Hyannis and frustrating for Cotuit as the boys in blue scored two more runs, extending their lead further over the Kettleers.
Shortstop Casey Frawley hit a beautiful double to left center, followed by a nice single from Cornstubble that allowed Frawley to advance to third.
Marcus Jones again reached on a walk, setting up a bases loaded situation for Cotuit pitcher Zach Von Tersch, who was quickly relieved by Sam Brown.
Although Brown immediately struck out Dominguez and Eden, Ben Paulson was able to single to right center, plating Frawley and Cornstubble to give Hyannis a comfortable 5-1 lead.
After three scoreless innings from both teams, Cotuit earned their second run in the eighth when a throwing error by Cornstubble resulted in a failed pickoff attempt on Jackson, who reached second before scoring on a single from Kevin Patterson.
Strong pitching from both Hyannis and Cotuit kept the game scoreless for the remainder. On the Hyannis side, Russ Brewer earned his league leading ninth save of the season.
Although Brewer clipped Bianucci with a pitch, he forced strikeouts from Jason Kipnis and Evan Crawford, while Dallas Poulk flied out.
Cotuit’s Alex Sogard also did well in his ninth inning performance. Though he allowed a double from Trent Ashcraft, he got Frawley to foul out on a botched bunt, and forced a pop out from Cornstubble and a ground out from Jones.
Frawley turned in a terrific catch late in the game, diving Coco Crisp-style to snare a hit from Poulk for a thrilling out.
With Hyannis now leading the contest 2-0, the stage was set for a real battle when the teams met again on Tuesday for Game Three, again in Cotuit.