08/15/2011 10:33 AM
For the second time in the past four years, the Harwich Mariners captured the Cape Cod Baseball League championship Saturday with a gut-wrenching 7-5 win over Falmouth before a late-night crowd of over 3,000 fans at Guv Fuller Field.
After overtaking Brewster, two games to one, in the opening round, Manager Steve Englert and Co., swept past Y-D in the East and the upstart Commodores in the finals to win the coveted CCBL crown.
Harwich won Game 1 of the finals with a tight 5-4 victory over the Commodores at Whitehouse Field Friday night.
Falmouth had plenty of chances to extend it to Game 3 as it stranded 17 runners and out-hit Harwich, 16-12. East Carolina’s John Wooten led the Mariners’ offense with home runs in both Games 1 and 2. Mike Garza (Georgetown) hit .379 with four RBI and was named Star of Stars Playoff MVP for the Mariners.
Before its win in 2008, the Mariners had not captured the CCBL title since 1987, while Falmouth had not won the crown since 1980, although its’04 team led by MVP Daniel Carte, Cliff Pennington and Jacoby Ellsbury reached the finals before losing to Y-D.
Relief ace Chris Overman (North Carolina St.) of Harwich finished the season with a 0.00 ERA, pitching 33 innings without giving up an earned run. He preserved his perfect streak by getting out a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the ninth inning against the Commodores Saturday night.
Falmouth, which entered the playoffs as fourth seed in the West, knocked off top seed Hyannis and second seed Wareham, to reach the finals.
FLASHING THE HARDWARE – Congrats to the 2011 CCBL Postseason Award winners including: MVP – Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook) of Bourne;Batting Champion – Stephen Piscotty (Stanford) of Y-D;Top Pro Prospect – Victor Roache (Georgia Southern) of Cotuit; Top Pitcher – Ryan Eades (LSU) of Bourne; Top Relief Pitcher – Trevor Gott (Kentucky) of Orleans; 10th Player - Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville) of Orleans; Sportsmanship – Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) of Bourne; Top New England Player – Nate Koneski (Holy Cross) of Falmouth; Top GM – Bill Bussiere, Hyannis; Top Field Manager – Chad Gassman, Hyannis; Star of Stars Playoff MVP – Mike Garza(Georgetown), Harwich.
VANDY BOUND – Social Media/PR maven Ashley Crosby has landed a sports information position with Vanderbilt after four years working in the CCBL. She was presented with a specially engraved Barnstable Bat before last Thursday’s Wareham at Falmouth playoff game broadcast on WEEI Cape Cod (96.3 FM).
CCBL SPONSOR HONORED – Randy Shepard, CEO of Eye Health Services, was honored for 10 years of support of the CCBL during pre-game ceremonies at last Friday’s Falmouth at Harwich championship series playoff game one.
FALMOUTH KO ARTIST – Joe Bircher (Bradley) led the Cape League with 48 strikeouts and compiled a 1-1 record with a sparkling 1.44 ERA, good for second in the league;
TOP RUN PRODUCER – Catcher Dane Phillips (Oklahoma St.) of Chatham, who finished a mere .0002 points behind CCBL batting champion Stephen Piscotty, led the league with 34 RBI.
STINGY HURLER – RHP Scott Firth (Clemson) of Hyannis won the league’s ERA crown with a microscopic 1.15 ERA as he and Dylan Floro (Cal State-Fullerton) at 4-1 gave the Harbor Hawks a lethal 1-2 pitching punch.
MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR – It was 85 years ago that Truro native Danny “Deacon” MacFayden was mowing down opposing batters in the fledgling Cape Cod League. The right-hander posted a 9-2 record leading Osterville to its second straight CCBL title in 1925 before switching to a Falmouth uniform in 1926 and hurling a one-hitter against Hyannis. He signed with the Boston Red Sox and led the AL with four shutouts in 1929 and enjoyed a 17-year career before coaching at Hebron (ME) Academy and Bowdoin College.
CCBL ALUMNI: Where Are They Now? - Former Cape League southpaw Charlie Furbush (Hyannis ’05-‘06) started for the Seattle Mariners and held the Red Sox to just one run over seven innings with six K’s in a 5-3 win …Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth ’04) joined the 20-20 club Saturday night when he clouted his 20th HR in a 5-4 loss at Seattle. He has also stolen 31 bases this season… Ryan Braun (Brewster ’06) of Milwaukeeis second in the NL with a .323 batting avg…Lance Berkman (Wareham ’96) of St. Louis is tied for fifth in the NL with Braun with 76 RBI… Brian Wilson (Hyannis ’02) of San Francisco is second in the NL with 35 saves in 39 chances. Giants’ teammate Tim Lincecum (Harwich ’05) shut out the Marlins 3-0 Saturday with 10 K’s to improve to 11-9.
DID YOU KNOW – Former Cape Leaguer Craig Biggio (Y-D ‘87) finished his big league career with 3,060 hits and finished an impressive fifth all-time with 668 doubles, behind Tris Speaker (792), Pete Rose (746), Stan “The Man” Musial (725) and Ty Cobb (724). The hard-hitting catcher-turned-infielder finished three doubles ahead of George Brett (665) and 22 ahead of Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski (646).
EX/COM MEETING – The next Cape League executive committee meeting will be held Sept 7 at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center at 6 p.m., beginning with a round table discussion reviewing the 2011 season.
GENTLEMEN’S SMOKER AT CBI - The annual Gentlemen’s Smoker fund-raiser for the Cape League will be held Sept. 8 at the Chatham Bars Inn. The fun-filled evening will include a cocktail reception followed by dinner and a large-item raffle.