(Photo Courtesy of Shae Nally)
By Kieran Wilson
In a game that was rescheduled from July 4th, Y-D faced Hyannis on a sweltering evening at McKeon Park. So far this season, Y-D has only been on the winning side of walk-offs, but they couldn’t manage the same result against Hyannis.
The game stayed scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, with both Y-D’s Micah Bucknam and Hyannis’ Darin Horn pitching very well until then. The Red Sox had tested Horn through the first three innings: they had four baserunners through those innings, but had failed to score.
But after a walk by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, Paxton Kling belted a pitch to deep left field, and he knew the ball was gone the second it left his bat. He took a few seconds to admire his first home run of the season before trotting around the bases, and just like that, the Red Sox had a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
In his first start of the season, Bucknam looked sharp. He had only given up one hit until the third inning, but he ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back singles by the Harbor Hawks brought Zach Erhard to the plate. He laid a perfect bunt down the third base line that Zander Darby let roll past him in the hopes that it would go foul. But the ball came to a stop right on the line, giving Erhard a hit and Hyannis the bases loaded with no outs.
A sacrifice fly by Will Taylor scored the runner from third and put Hyannis within one. Erhard stole second, but Bucknam escaped the inning after inducing a pop up and a grounder to short, preserving the 2-1 Y-D lead.
Connor O’Hara entered the game for the Red Sox in the bottom of the fifth inning and walked the first two batters he faced. Jon Jon Gazdar bunted both runners over to put them in scoring position. An attempted sacrifice fly to left field was foiled by a strong throw from Jenkins-Cowart and O’Hara struck out Zach Erhard to end the inning.
Y-D had a scoring threat in the sixth inning after a walk by Paxton Kling and a single by Dub Gleed put runners on the corners with one out. Casey Cook chopped a ball to short which allowed Kling to score and extended the lead to 3-1.
With O’Hara still on the mound in the seventh, he allowed a leadoff double and a walk, and then a poor pickoff toss to second squeaked into center field, which moved the runners over. A walk to Zachary Yorke loaded the bases again for Hyannis, and Y-D brought in Leighton Finley to put out the fire.
But Austin Kelly hit a chopper that bounced up the middle and both Max Viera and Brady Day had trouble with it, so the run scored and all three runners were safe. With no outs in the inning, Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored a run and tied the game at three. With runners still on first and third, Trey Lipsey was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, but Finley struck out Aaron Parker to finally end the inning.
Y-D failed to score in both the eighth and ninth innings, which gave Hyannis a chance to win the game in their half of the ninth. Finley was still on the mound, and he gave up a leadoff single to Yorke, who was lifted for a pinch runner, former Y-D player, Nick Mitchell. He attempted a steal, but the throw to second sailed into center field, and Mitchell took third. He represented the winning run with no outs in the inning and Austin Kelly at the plate. Kelly hit a sacrifice fly to right field that was deep enough to score Mitchell and win the game for Hyannis, 4-3.
Manager Scott Pickler simply said, “We just didn’t execute…it was all the little things we didn’t do.”
Despite the loss, Y-D remains atop the East Division with 31 points, which is tied for second most in the league. The Red Sox’s next contest will come on Thursday at Chatham.