10-Time Cape Cod Baseball League Champions

The Comeback Kids: Yamouth-Dennis Red Sox’s Unyielding Spirit Rolls Them to Exceptional Start

By: Brian Melanson and Ben Strober

Anthony Martinez didn’t spend much time in Yarmouth-Dennis. After just a week, he left for an opportunity to try out for Team USA, an incredible honor for the youngster at UC Irvine.

In his brief moment in YD, one at-bat stands as his most memorable. What’s even crazier? That at-bat didn’t end in a hit.

Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth against Wareham, Martinez held the chance to bring the Red Sox even with the Gateman.

It was incredible that the Red Sox even had a chance. They trailed 5-1 heading into those final three outs. They had done it before, and somehow, they did it again.

Martinez withstood an incredible nine-pitch at-bat, which saw him finally put one in play. Martinez’s ground ball shouldn’t have tied the game, but sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.

Wareham’s second baseman let it trickle through his legs and into right field. The second egregious error of that ninth inning from the Wareham infield was the most costly of them all, as RJ Austin raced home from second to tie the game.

Austin’s Red Sox teammates mobbed him and all others as part of the incredible rally that tied the game that once appeared over.

It was just Austin’s second day with the Red Sox, and he couldn’t stop smiling in the dugout as his team celebrated the eventual walk-off victory in the 10th.

“It was just a special moment to be a part of,” Austin said. “Nobody on the team lost confidence.”

This wasn’t the first time Yarmouth snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. In fact, its resilience morphed into the team’s identity.

“We don’t give up in games,” manager Scott Pickler said. “They’re going to fight through every last at-bat.”

YD’s comeback effort over Wareham was only the third day Austin dawned the Red Sox uniform. He said he could tell from day one that his teammates are a resilient group.

The Red Sox have shown the ability to preserve in many ways through the first quarter of the season. While the major come-from-behind-victories over Harwich and Wareham stand out, that’s not the only way Yarmouth has battled.

Following dropping the first two games of the season, the Red Sox went six-straight games without falling, which revealed their determination in itself.

However, in the first three games of that streak, they found ways to win even after they nearly blew it.

Against Brewster and Falmouth specifically, the Red Sox relinquished large leads late, and appeared vulnerable. Well, they weren’t. Eighth inning heroics propelled them to the streak that cemented them as legit.

“They just found ways to string together some great at-bats in those games,” Pickler said. “They just stuck with what we’ve been telling them.”

The Red Sox went on a three-game stretch where they scored 15 runs combined in the eighth inning.

The Red Sox’s late-inning heroics has longtime YD fan Gary Wilson in awe.

“These are good times. This is good stuff,” Wilson said.

Wilson said Enzo Apodaca’s walk-off walk wasn’t the first time he’d seen that in his seven years of watching, but the moments leading up to it were inspiring.

Wilson’s seen a lot of talent come through South Yarmouth, including multiple teams that won league championships. However, Wilson feels this team has an undeniable bond.

“These guys have come together over these first few weeks, and it’s been amazing,” Wilson said. “We’re going to keep plugging. We’re going to keep going. We’re not going to give up. And we’re going to win.”

Wilson’s mentality carries over to the individuals who take the field.

“We don’t give up,” Jakob Christian said on the team’s late inning heroics. “No matter the score, we play like there’s no clock until the last out. We’re gonna play like its 0-0 and we’re gonna play as hard as we can.”

Christian is no stranger to the big moment himself. Trailing 6-3 against Harwich in the first week, the Red Sox would storm back for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win. Christian was the man of the hour as his RBI single walked off the game. 

Less than a week later, on June 22, the walk-off bug would bite again. Down four runs in the bottom of the ninth to Warehman, Martinez heroics tied the game. After outstanding pitching from Cole Hiller, Y-D entered the bottom of the tenth with a chance. After working the bases loaded, Apodaca came to the plate.

A four-pitch walk was all the Red Sox needed to quite literally, walk it off. “It’s super gritty out of us. We don’t quit no matter what,” Apodaca said. “No matter how much we’re down we always find a way to keep battling. We just don’t quit.”

Apodaca was also key in the bottom of the ninth as his two-RBI single started the rally before Martinez was able to tie it.

Even in games that did not end in victories for the Red Sox, their resilience is still evident. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the tenth against Falmouth, the team never gave up. 

With two outs in the bottom half of the tenth, Nick Mitchell was called to pinch run for Casey Cook at second for Y-D with the game on the line. Mitchell advanced to third on a passed ball and scored when Hunter Hines legged out an infield single to tie things at 4-4. That was all Y-D would get as no eleventh inning was played per league rules. However, they never lost their fighting spirit despite trailing.

More recently, the team rides  a three-game winning-streak that has them in first place in the East. Catalyzed by their walk off against Wareham, the team’s momentum has buoyed them to success.

Fifteen strikeouts between Jackson Kent, Saewyer Hawks and Blake Aita, coupled with a Hunter Hines two-run home run helped them shut out Brewster, and great mid-inning hitting and late pitching won them their third against Harwich.

Will King, one of Y-D’s most consistent hitters, came up big. He hit 2-4 against Harwich, with three RBI’s to fuel their 5-2 win. To King, the formula is simple, “Just keep playing the way we play and hopefully get some more wins.”

Currently standing at 8-4-1 on the season, the Red Sox are in first place in the East and remain one of the highest scoring offenses in the Cape Cod Baseball League. They will be back home on June 25th, taking on the Orleans Firebirds.

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2 thoughts on “The Comeback Kids: Yamouth-Dennis Red Sox’s Unyielding Spirit Rolls Them to Exceptional Start”

  1. This great group of guys are going to keep on going and going! I feel we are as good as any team in the
    League and we will be competing for another Championship as the Season unfolds!!!
    Lots of fun for everyone involved , Players, Coaches Interns , Staff and Fans!!! ENJOY THE RIDE!!!



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