By: Brian Melanson
On a day filled with joy as multiple past and present Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox heard their names called at the MLB draft, the Red Sox were back at Red Wilson Field to take on the Harwich Mariners.
Coming into today, the Red Sox held a slim 1.5-game lead over the second-place Mariners, but Y-D manager Scott Pickler did not seem to worry. “I don’t look at the standings, I just look at who we’re playing tomorrow,” Pickler said. “I just want to get better each day.”
The theatrics started early in the first. After Jacob Humphrey was hit by a first pitch hit-by-pitch and a Daniel Rivera walk, two Mariners were on quickly with no outs. A pickoff attempt to second resulted in a bang-bang double play as both Humphrey and Rivera were tagged out off the bases.
A would-be single turned into a Mason Guerra double after his hit snuck under the glove of left fielder Nathan Archer that put two in scoring position for the Mariners. A potential inning-ending grounder by Devin Obee ended in disaster for Y-D. Second baseman Brady Day bobbled the ball on the transition from his glove to his hand. As a result, a runner crossed home for the Mariners to take an early 1-0 lead.
Harwich continued their offensive success in the second. After the Red Sox were unable to match in the first, the Mariners tacked on their only other run of the game to extend their lead by two.
Before the game, Y-D’s Brady Day got the call of a lifetime. He was just drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the MLB draft.
In his first at-bat after the life-changing phone call, Day launched a no-doubt home run to cut into the lead, 2-1. Despite loading the bases afterward, the Mariners escaped without further damage.
The long ball quickly became a reoccurring event as Zander Darby launched one into deep right-center field and over the wall to tie the game up.
The Red Sox scored for the third consecutive inning in the bottom of the fourth. With Jacob Jenkins-Cowart on second and Casey Cook on first, Archer roped a single narrowly through the infield that scored Cowart and moved Cook to third to give Y-D their first lead. An ensuing squeeze attempt backfired, but the Red Sox had the lead.
With newcomer Gavin Bruni on the mound to start the fifth, a pitcher’s duel ensued as neither team even had a runner in scoring position until two innings later in the top of the seventh.
With Arendt on first, Humphrey attempted a check swing that made contact. The ball blooped into shallow right field, moving Arendt to third.
After a walk to load the bases, Pickler turned to Landon Beidelschies, Bruni’s teammate at Ohio State, out of the bullpen to escape the jam.
Beidelschies not only inherited the bases loaded, but he came in with a 2-1 count working against his favor. Leideslchies issued a strikeout and induced a groundout to end the inning unscathed.
“[Beidelschies] picks up his teammate from Ohio State and throws the gem right there and that turned the whole ballgame around,” Pickler said. “That was the biggest part of the game for us.”
The one-run stalemate finally broke open in the bottom half. After a fielder’s choice placed him on second base, Darby took off for third. The throw from Arendt was over the head of third baseman Mason Guerra, allowing Darby to score and bring Y-D’s lead to 4-2.
The Red Sox began to tack on more insurance in the eighth. A wild pitch scored Cowart from third and moved Cook over from second. Archer followed with an RBI single to extend their lead 6-2.
With Beidelschies back on the mound in the ninth, the Ohio State reliever retired the side with ease to secure the Red Sox the win and gain 2.5 games in the Eastern standings against the second-place Mariners.
“It was up and down the lineup,” Pickler said of the many players who contributed to the victory. “Everybody came through and the pitching held up.”
Back in the win column, the Red Sox will be back on the road tomorrow to take on the Hyannis Harborhawks, a makeup of the 4th of July rainout.