SOUTH YARMOUTH – It was a game that meant nothing to the final standings or playoff seeding, but nobody told that to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks who pulled out a thrilling 10-9 win over the playoff bound Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the final regular season game of the year at Red Wilson Field on Thursday.
“Usually when you end the season winning in this league it’s the championship,” said Hyannis Head Coach Chad Gassman. “There were some things that didn’t always go our way that maybe kept us from the playoffs, but that group out there never quit.”
Knowing that this would be their final game this summer the Harbor Hawks came out swinging with seven runs over the first four innings, highlighted by a two-run first inning homer by Brad Zebedis (Presbyterian) and a three-run, fourth inning bomb by Brandon Trinkwon (Cal-Santa Barbara).
The Red Sox pulled within one, 7-6, with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, two coming on a double by Mickan (3-3, 4 RBI, R, BB) who would then tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly to the center field wall that plated McHugh.
“He’s done a good job,” said Y-D Head Coach Scott Pickler of Mickan who has a .438 BA and .558 OBP in eleven games. “He’s a student of the game and I’m glad I got him.”
Y-D would strike again in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead, 9-7, on a two-run double from Zac Blair (Mercyhurst) that found the gap in left-center.
The Red Sox relievers would keep the Harbor Hawks bats in check after their early onslaught, holding them scoreless for four innings.
Sox reliever Jose Lopez (Seton Hall) looked as if he would continue that trend to the end when he got the first batter of the ninth inning to ground out.
He then drilled Trinkwon right between the numbers on his back and three pitches later Pat Fortunato (URI) made Lopez pay when he took a fastball over the wall in straight-away center field to tie the game at nine.
“I’ve been struggling for the past 5 or 6 games,” said Fortunato, who will be a redshirt-senior at Rhode Island. “I knew it was probably going to be my last at-bat, so I just wanted to make it memorable. I think I did and that’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
Mitchell Garver (New Mexico), Zebedis and Blake Austin (Auburn) followed with three straight singles that ultimately plated Garver for the 10-9 lead.
Gage Smith (Florida State) would shut the door on the game, earning his lone win of the summer after pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch.
“I think they were really disappointed two nights ago when they found out they didn’t make the playoffs,” said Gassman. “But they wanted to finish strong and they did. I felt like they gave the fans of Hyannis a treat at the end. It was good.”
NOTES: Hyannis starter Peter Miller (Florida State) allowed six runs on sevens hits and three walks in five innings. The three walks doubled his season total. He also fanned five Red Sox hitters on the night...Y-D starter Spenser Linney (Stanford) gave up seven runs, six earned, on five hits (three home runs) in 3 1/3 innings. On the bright side, the lefty did strike out six batters besting his season total of four coming into the night…RHP Andrew Thurman (Cal-Irvine) is slated to start game one of the playoffs for Y-D versus Chatham at Red Wilson Field on Thursday. “I think we got a chance,” said Pickler of his team heading into the playoffs. “It’s a matter of getting hot at the right time when you come in to the playoffs. It used to be the top two teams, now it’s anybody.”…Hyannis pitcher Sean Manaea scooped up two big pieces of hardware before departing the Cape for the summer. On Monday the left-hander from Indiana State was named winner of both the B.F.C. Whitehouse Top Pitcher Award and Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award. In nine games (eight starts) he posted a 5-1 record with 1.22 ERA and a 12.12/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio thanks to a league-high 85 Ks. “I feel honored,” said Manea. “I feel amazing right now. I’m going to remember this summer for the rest of my life. It was fun being out here playing against the best competition in the nation.”
FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF MATCHUPS
(lower seed will host game one on Thursday)
#1 Harwich Mariners vs. #4 Orleans Firebirds
#2 Y-D Red Sox vs. #3 Chatham Anglers
#1 Cotuit Kettleers vs. #4 Bourne Braves
#2 Falmouth Commodores vs. #3 Wareham Gatemen
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