By Ben Strober
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox dropped its second-straight game, falling 3-2 to Hyannis in a class action pitcher’s duel.
“That was a great baseball game,” field manager Scott Pickler said. “We pitched well, they just did slightly better.”
A controversial balk call on Y-D starter Micah Bucknam in the second inning wound up as the difference in the game.
The Red Sox and Hawks were knotted up late in the game and a phenomenal day from Haynnis’ right fielder Zach Erhard culminated with an eventual game-winning hit.,
“We didn’t see a balk,” Pickler said. “They said Micah moved his shoulder but that’s not what we thought was a balk.”
Bucknam was excellent for the Red Sox in his second start, pitching an efficient six innings while allowing just one earned run.
The Red Sox held chances late in the game that just fell short.
Throwing errors on pickoff attempts are a recurring issue for Yarmouth-Dennis this summer and those growing pains showed again in the first.
Bucknam’s pickoff attempt after a bunt single got away, setting Hyannis in business with one out. All Zachary Yorke had to do was put a ball in play to bring in Brody Donay from third and put the Harbor Hawks in front
Bucknam caught a much needed break in the second. After putting the first two on, Eric Snow’s attempted sacrifice bunt popped up in the air for an unproductive first out. That break wasn’t enough to get Bucknam out the woods, as he balked with the bases loaded to bring in a run.
“He pitched great,” Pickler said. “He was dialed in from the start.”
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the bottom half but couldn’t break through.
An inning later, Y-D catcher Manny Garza lined one to right for a potential run-scoring hit. Pickler sent Stafford to the plate, and a perfect throw from Erhard nailed Stafford, ending the inning.
After the first two frames, Bucknam settled in and started to cruise through the innings.
Y-D finally broke through in the fifth. Back-to-back hits from RJ Austin and Zander Darby put them both in scoring position with no one out, and finally, Ryan Stafford provided the spark.
Stafford roped it directly through the middle for a game-tying two-run knock.
Stafford advanced to second on the throw home, then to third on a wild pitch. But Hyannis reliever Aaron Parker prevented Y-D from going in front.
Bucknam kept it rolling after the Red Sox tied it, putting up a second-straight 1-2-3. Through six, Bucknam had only hurled in an efficient 70 pitches.
“Our guys pitched well and we had a balk to score a run. That was the difference in the game,” Pickler said.
Despite the low pitch count, Pickler summoned Landon Beidelschies out of the bullpen in the seventh.
Erhard got to Beidelschies with two outs, as he beat the shift for a go-ahead RBI single. Following the run, Beidelschies locked in for two-straight 1-2-3’s.
Paxton Kling reached second, representing the tying-run, but Y-D couldn’t find the clutch knock it needed.