Written by Kathleen Szmit
Fans expecting to see a simple exhibition game between the Hyannis Mets and Senior Babe Ruth’s Team Cape Cod were treated to a night of spectacular baseball beneath the newly-installed lights.
In one dugout was Team Cape Cod, 17 of the Cape’s finest players, most of whom are still in high school.
In the other were the Hyannis Mets, 28 of the country’s best ballplayers from colleges like UC Riverside, UNC and Clemson.
UNDER THE LIGHTS – McKeon Park’s new lights glow beautifully against a velvet sky during the Hyannis Mets – Team Cape Cod exhibition game on Wednesday night. It was the first time any team had played beneath the new lights.
The game was the brainchild of Mets general manager Bill Bussiere, who talked with Team Cape Cod coach Dan Proto about the possibility of a match-up.
Proto’s protégé’s were excited about the opportunity to come up against some of the best and the game was set, and their excitement was well founded.
As the sun dipped low over McKeon Park, players took to the field with the Mets’ Austin Hudson getting things started on the mound.
First up against the right-hander from Faulkner University was Team Cape Cod and Barnstable High School’s Sean Adams, who hit a clean shot to reach first.
Adams was followed by D-Y graduate and Dean College freshman Bobby Ewing, who also reached the plate to the delight of the crowd.
Neither Team Cape Cod nor the Mets were able to score when they first came to bat. In fact, the game remained scoreless until the seventh inning, when Hyannis’ Ben Paulson finally crossed home plate.
Although the Mets ultimately won 5-0, it wasn’t without tireless effort on the part of both teams, with major kudos going to Team Cape Cod for more than holding their own against the big dogs.
At the plate, Adams and Ewing went 2-for-4, with teammates Drake Deluga and Joe Sellitto going 1-for-4.
Deluga put forth an impressive performance during the game with numerous physical feats including an over-the-fence catch and multiple displays of acrobatics, when he went into a split several times to successfully catch throws and tag players out.
On the mound Sellitto was also stellar, eliciting praise from the Mets dugout with a few of his best pitches.
Chris Thompson, Justin Campbell, Joe Ruo and Dylan Flynn also pitched for TCC, with Thompson and Campbell each fanning one.
Paulson was a heavy-hitter for the Mets, while on the mound Ashur Tolliver wowed the crowd with his southpaw fastball.
Casey Frawley and Jon Hinson were the evening’s bat-breakers, with Frawley’s sailing over the head of a completely unfazed Sellitto.
In an interesting twist, Barnstable Bat Company’s Tom Bednark examined Hinson’s bat and correctly determined, based on the break, that Hinson was a left-handed hitter.
Bednark, who has been making Barnstable Bats since 1992, was able to tell Hinson’s hitting handedness based on where the ball had connected with the bat (on the label) versus where it should have connected (on the opposite side of the bat).
The game was a first-time experience for both teams and served as a dual fundraiser, raising money for both Team Cape Cod and the Hyannis Mets.
Regardless of the final score, the event was considered a success, with the buzz in the bleachers praising the “real baseball experience.”
“The lights against the night sky are so beautiful,” one fan was overheard commenting.
Came the reply: “Yeah. This is what it’s all about.”