30 July 2008

Mariners cling to second place in East

By Matt Rice

By Barry Donahue
Harwich third baseman J.T. Wise. 

Another up and down week has the Harwich Mariners in good shape in second place in the East Division behind Brewster. The Mariners ran their record to 7-5 with a 10-5 win over Chatham on a foggy Sunday night.

The new lighting system proved their value as the improved lights made quick work of the fog.

The Mariners middle of the Mariners lineup proved to be the difference as Harwich scored in every inning except for the first and seventh innings.

Harwich pounded out 16 total hits, led by Joe Sanders and Jeff Cusick, who each blasted a homerun in the win.

Sanders has been hot lately, going 8-for-23 in his last five games. He’s currently batting .358 in 12 games, with the team lead in hits (19), total bases (30), doubles (5) and a .566 slugging percentage. He also has a hit in nearly every Mariner game this season.

Leadoff hitter Sean Black picked up three hits on the day and scored a run, while J.T. Wise had a pair of hits and drove in a pair of runs. Wise is returning to the team after a solid stint for the Mariners last season where he batted .261 in 29 games.

Starter Ryan Quigley, a product of Tauton, Mass., is the teams first two-game winner as he won his second game in as many tries as the Mariners provided all the offense he needed.

He allowed three earned runs on only two hits while striking out four. 

Harwich missed a golden opportunity to make up some points in the division as they played Brewster on Friday. The Mariners managed only two hits as they lost to Whitecaps 5-0, then followed that loss up with a 3-2 loss at the hands of the lowly, last-place Wareham squad.

Despite the losses, the Mariners found themselves in a good position entering the week.

One of the biggest advantages for the Mariners this season has been their pitching staff.

Although not in the top ten as far as ERA or other individual stats, the Mariners staff as a team has the second best ERA at 2.59 behind Cotuit.

Look for starters J.J. Hoover, Steve Kalush and William Bullock to continue the solid work of the Harwich pitching staff as they’ll take the hill at some point this week.

The Mariners have another game-filled week as they get more into the summer, and vie for a playoff spot.

Harwich will host Orleans tonight, travel to Hyannis tomorrow night and host East Division leading Brewster on Fourth of July night.

That game could determine who’ll be in first place after the holiday weekend. Heading onto the week, the Whitecaps had a three-point lead over the Mariners.