10-Time Cape Cod Baseball League Champions

With its season on the line, Y-D returned to its resilient form

By Ben Strober

“This team’s too good to lay over and die,” Y-D field manager Scott Pickler said after the team fell 18-7 in game one of the East Semis.

That game one showed a division champion team looking uninspired, and sluggish. Brewster’s 18 runs marked the most given up by the Red Sox all season. Jared Jones’ first-inning three-run homer changed everything.

13 Brewster runs through the game’s first four innings forced Y-D to begin conserving arms, so they could hope for the best in an elimination scenario.

There was something about this Red Sox team early in the summer that refused to quit and consistently snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. And while on the brink of an early ending, they returned to their resilient form.

Two-straight gutsy performances — including a come-from-behind effort in a winner-take-all game three — rocketed the Red Sox to a date with Orleans in the East Finals.

Other than an outlier performance in game one, dominant pitching from Yarmouth lifted the team when the bats laid dormant. The Red Sox used five pitchers in the final two games of the series — who gave up just four runs.

There have been plenty of phenomenal starts from the pitching staff this summer, but none can really compare to Finnegan Wall’s game-two gem. The energetic right-hander from UC Irvine delivered six no-hit innings while facing elimination.

All smiles from Finnegan Wall after his gem kept Y-D’s season alive. (Photo by Zach Foley)

“He’s just a fierce competitor,” Brady Day said. “He always gives us a great chance to win a game.”

Boston Mabeus closed the game’s final three frames, helping Pickler preserve an arsenal of arms for a decisive game. And in the end, three admirable appearances sealed the deal against Brewster.

Boston Mabeus shut the door on Brewster in game two and helped Y-D eventually win the series. (Photo by Zach Foley)

Jackson Kent took the ball for game three, and turned in a solid 4.2 innings, allowing three runs. Pickler handed the ball to Will Armbruester, who deserves a lot of credit for how he controlled the game.

The Arizona State hurler commanded the zone phenomenally and shut out the Whitecaps in his two-and-a-third innings in relief. Armbruester’s work kept the Red Sox in a position to get it done.

Will Armbruester fired up after a pivotal strikeout to end the seventh inning of game three. (Photo by Zach Foley)

The bats struggled mightily in game three, but when it’s a tie game late, one swing changes everything. 

Theo Hardy said during batting practice, he had a good feeling he’d hit one out in game three. Hardy, for the most part, is a contact hitter, but at the moment, he revealed his power.

The Red Sox only had one hit in the whole game by the bottom of the eighth. Amazingly, ten Brewster walks through five innings helped three Y-D runs come in. Hardy found Y-D’s second hit — and that hit could become the difference in a championship.

“I got a first-pitch slider and made a good take,” Hardy said. “I knew I was going to get a fastball next and that’s what I was looking for.”

Hardy’s first homer of the summer ignited the Red Sox and sent them to another chance in the East Finals.

The East Finals is where Y-D fell to Brewster last season, with Orleans being the team they beat in round one, so that’s some reversal right there.

Orleans and Y-D went toe-to-toe down the stretch in a battle for the top spot in the East. After Orleans stormed into Red Wilson Field for an 11-4 win, it appeared the Firebirds would claim the top spot. Instead, the Chatham Anglers stunned them, and helped the Red Sox reclaim the division crown.

It’s only fitting these two matched up with a spot in the league championship up for grabs. The East’s top two teams split the season series at three games apiece.

Jason Doktorczyk will get the start in game one, providing Orleans a chance at redemption. Doktorczyk’s first start of the summer came against Orleans on July 24th, and the ‘Birds couldn’t touch him.

Doktorczyk pitched six scoreless, fanned seven, and didn’t walk a single batter. Orleans is a tough lineup to keep down, so Doktorczyk’s outing is vital in setting the tone for the series.

It’s not just about pitching — the bats need to come through. All around, the Y-D bats remained quiet most of the series. If it weren’t for a couple of big swings and strategic bunts from Skylar King, Y-D would have packed its bags already.

Skylar King has only been with Y-D for four games. He has six bunt singles. (Photo by Zach Foley)

The Red Sox put together only eighth hits over the final two games of the series. That won’t cut it against a team with explosiveness like Orleans.

Orleans struggled to generate a ton of offense in its round-one sweep over Harwich. However, they found timely hitting when they needed it.

Jack Penney hit a walk-off single in game one — capping off a ninth-inning comeback where they trailed 1-0.

Orleans trailed 2-1 in game two before putting up three runs in the game’s final two frames to close the series. It’s obvious; both Y-D and Orleans can come through when behind, making pitching crucial in this series.

The Red Sox entered the postseason with a league-best 3.93 ERA. Who was right behind them? Orleans of course. 

Similarities reveal themselves on both sides and now with a championship appearance on the line, the intensity will be on another level.

The series begins today at Red Wilson Field at 4:00 p.m.

1 thought on “With its season on the line, Y-D returned to its resilient form”

  1. I agree with Ben ,and as he and I have said before, we need the bats to be “ALIVE” and with our good pitching
    we can beat the Birds and move on to the Finals. I have a lot of confidence in “Dok” today to give us
    another good outing and an edge in the series. As before , “See Ya All at the Field” and GO SOX!!!


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