FROM CCBL RELEASE
“We didn’t know what would happen,” Y-D field manager Scott Pickler said. “That was our goal, just to score the first run. That’s a very good team in the other dugout.”
The Red Sox host the Kettleers on Friday at 3 p.m. at Red Wilson Field to decide the Cape League championship. Y-D last won the Arnold Mycock Trophy in 2007, while Cotuit was the champion in 1999.
With the combined pitching power of Austin Wood (St. Petersburg) and AJ Achter (Michigan State) for Cotuit, and John Leonard (Boston College), Anthony Desclafani (Florida), and Douglas Baxendale (Arkansas) for Y-D, batters struggled to generate runs. But a two-error fifth inning gave Y-D the breathing room it needed.
Red Sox catcher Ben McMahan (Florida) began the fifth inning by drawing a walk from Wood and made his way to third on an error by Kettleers shortstop Deven Marrero (Arizona State). He scored when first baseman Jordan Leyland (UC Irvine) mishandled Bobby Crocker’s (Cal Poly) bunt.
“I don’t care how we score runs,” said Pickler. “We put the ball in play and that’s what baseball is all about. They made an error and we capitalized.”
Matt Jensen (Cal Poly) scored the winning run, crossing the plate on a Tyler Hanover (LSU) double in the seventh.
“It’s baseball,” Kettleers field manager Mike Roberts said. “Errors are part of this game and as a coach you have to understand that physical errors are going to happen. I don’t want anyone thinking that an error lost this ball game, because it didn’t. We had all kinds of opportunities to score and we didn’t.”
Cotuit started a rally with one out in the eighth when James McCann (Arkansas) hit a solo home run over the left-field fence. But they fell short in the ninth as Baxendale shut down the Kettleers.
Pickler praised his three pitchers, especially Leonard.
“I think he was outstanding,” Pickler said. “He came back after four days rest and gave me what he had. He didn’t have a lot early and then he got stronger as the game went on. That’s the kind of pitcher that he is. I asked him if he could come back after four days, there’s no tomorrow, he said ‘I’ll take the ball’.”