(Photo courtesy of Zach Foley)
By Kieran Wilson
On a drizzly night at Veterans Field, the Yarmouth-Dennis bats out-hit the Chatham Anglers to win 11-5 and pick up their ninth win of the season. Their record stands at 9-5-1, and with 19 points, the team is now in first place in the East Division.
After a quick top half of the first inning, Y-D’s Nick Juidice had a rough start to his outing, allowing the first four batters of the game to reach on a single and three walks, which put the Anglers up 1-0. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly led to two more runs, and Chatham started off hot with a 3-0 lead.
But Angler starter, Trey Gibson, has his own share of struggles in the second inning. Zander Darby led off with a single, and Dub Gleed was hit by a pitch. Brady Day laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners over, and Casey Cook hit a two-run double in right-center field, cutting the deficit to one. A single by catcher Connor Dykstra scored Cook and tied the game, but Y-D was not done yet.
After RJ Austin was hit by a pitch, Jakob Jenkins-Cowart loaded the bases with a single. Two batters later, Hunter Hines stepped to the plate, coming off of a two home run game against Orleans. He sent a pitch from Gibson deep over the center field fence for a grand slam, putting the Red Sox up 7-3. Hines now has six homers and 21 RBIs on the year, both tops in the league.
Y-D manager, Scott Pickler said, “The best part of the offense is our guy [Juidice] didn’t have his best stuff, gave up three [runs] and we answered with the seven. That tells you that they’re built to pick that guy up…we turned all the momentum back our way.”
The Red Sox offense would not be content with a four run lead though, as RJ Austin hit his first home run of the season off of relief pitcher Liam Paddack in the fourth inning. Then, Jenkins-Cowart was hit by a pitch, Max Viera singled, and Hines reached on an infield single to load the bases again for Y-D. Paddack walked Darby to score Jenkins-Cowart and put the Red Sox up 9-3 in the fourth.
Nick Juidice kept the Angler bats at bay until the fifth inning, when he gave up a single to Carson Benge and then a two-run home run to Lyle Miller-Green, which ended Juidice’s night. He left the game leading 9-5, with a final line of 4 ⅓ innings pitched, five runs allowed, and six strikeouts, which moved him into fifth place on the CCBL strikeout leaderboard.
Pickler commended Juidice’s effort after the game: “It was good that Juidice went out there and did what he did because it would have crushed our bullpen had he not given me three innings.”
Matt Fernandez, out of Pittsburgh, relieved him, and pitched a scoreless 2 ⅔ innings, only allowing one hit, while walking one, striking out one, and earning his first win of the season. Cole Hillier, from Point Loma Nazarene, also pitched two clean innings, striking out two and walking one. Hillier’s ERA still sits at zero through three appearances this season.
The score remained 9-5 until Connor Dykstra hit a solo homer, also his first of the year, to put Y-D up 10-5 in the seventh inning. In the ninth inning, Nathan Archer pinch-hit for Austin and hit Y-D’s fourth home run of the night to end the game’s scoring and give Y-D an 11-5 win.
The first-place Red Sox will have an off day on Tuesday and then will take on the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field on Wednesday, June 28, at 6 PM.