Eights were wild across the CCBL landscape last night. Y-D scored 8 and won. Orleans scored 8 and lost. Cotuit and Bourne played to an 8-8 tie. Chatham 9; Orleans 8: For the second night in a row, Chatham staged a furious comeback as they beat Orleans, 9-8. This game looked to be a good pitching matchup between Orleans' Matt Thomson (San Diego) and Chatham's Justin Marks (Louisville). The result of the game proved that looks can be deceiving. After rallying from a 4-0 ninth inning deficit to beat Bourne 9-4 on Monday, last night the A's saw Orleans grab a 7-1 lead in the third inning. Thomson lasted only 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Four Cardinal relievers did not fare any better. Marks allowed 7 runs in 3 innings while giving up 3 hits and 6 walks. Only 3 of the runs were earned as the A's made 3 errors. David Hale (Princeton) took over in the fourth inning and settled things down to give Chatham the chance to chip away at the lead. Hale pitched 4 innings of hitless ball, allowing one run. In the meantime, Chatham scored 2 runs in each of the third, fifth and seventh innings and the teams went to the ninth with Orleans clinging to an 8-7 lead. Orleans brought in closer Alex Hassan (Duke) to close it out. Hassan had walked only three batters all season, but gave the A's three free passes last night. Evan Ocheltree (Wake Forest), one of the heroes in Monday's game, came through again with a two out, two-run single lifting Chatham to an important victory. I was surprised to see Hassan in this game since he had thrown 33 pitches in one inning against Brewster on Monday.
Falmouth 3; Hyannis 1: In a game with major playoff implications in the West, Ryan Jones (Wichita State) hit his eighth homerun of the season (and second in two nights), and had 2 RBI to power the Commodores past the Mets. Jorge Reyes (Oregon State) danced in and out of trouble, allowing 6 hits and 4 walks, but only one run, in 5 innings of work. Four Falmouth relievers shut down Hyannis the rest of the way. With the win, division-leading Falmouth now has a 3 point lead over Hyannis.
Cotuit 8; Bourne 8: In a wild game at Lowell Park, Cotuit came back from 4-1 and 8-4 deficits to tie Bourne. This was the second night in a row that the Braves gave up a large lead. Bourne's Bryce Stowell (UC-Irvine) had his worst outing of the summer as he allowed 6 runs in 5+ innings. Matthew Holliman (Dyersburg St. Comm. College), Kevin Patterson (Auburn) and Joey Lewis (Georgia) hit homeruns for Cotuit. After combining for 16 runs over the first seven innings, neither team could push across a run over the final two before the game was called due to darkness.
Brewster 7; Harwich 5: Harwich scored 2 in the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead but Brewster scored 3 in the top of the ninth to tighten up the race for the last playoff spot in the East. After winning five in a row, the Mariners have now lost five straight. Their grip on second place has been reduced to 4 points over Chatham and Brewster. Chatham has a game in hand on both teams. Harwich hosts Chatham Thursday evening. The Whitecaps winning rally started after there was one out in the ninth. James Meador (San Diego) singled and Jason Nappi (Mississippi State) walked. Yasmani Grandal (Miami) then lined a triple to give Brewster the lead. A single by Mike Freeman (Clemson) gave Brewster some insurance. Iden Nazario (Miami) made it interesting in the bottom of the inning when he walked three but Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Y-D 8; Wareham 4: The Red Sox kept their slim playoff hopes alive while pushing the Gatemen closer to playoff elimination. Y-D trails Harwich by 7 points with 7 games to play. After a 5 game winning streak, Wareham has now lost 3 in a row and they sit in last place in the West, 9 points out of a playoff spot. Y-D scored 7 runs in the second ining to put this one away early. Brandon Workman (Texas) had by far his worst performance of the year as he lasted only an inning and a third and gave up all 7 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Eight of the nine batters to face Workman in that second inning reached base. Pitching with a big lead, Eddie Burns (Georgia Tech) worked a serviceable 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits to push his record to 4-3. D'Angelo Mack (South Carolina) hit his first homerun while Josh Rutledge (Alabama) and the Boston College duo of Mike Belfiore and Tony Sanchez all had multiple hits for Y-D.
The league takes a breather today as the CCBL All Stars travel to Fenway Park where they will be recognized before Angels-Red Sox game. Ex-Harwich Mariner Joe Saunders is scheduled to start for the Angels.