10 August 2004
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
Cape League Intern Brian MacPherson
Red Sox slug way to 9-1 Win in Series Opener
Yarmouth-Dennis pitcher Daniel McCutchen didn’t turn in his best start of the season, but his outing, coupled with a ferocious display of power from Red Sox hitters, was more than enough to win the first game of the East Division series against Brewster.
McCutchen (Oklahoma) scattered six hits through six shutout innings and struck out nine to lead Yarmouth-Dennis to a 9-1 victory on Tuesday at Red Wilson Field.
“He competed,” said Red Sox coach Scott Pickler. “He’s been much sharper at other times, and he didn’t have his great stuff, but he competed.”
Yarmouth-Dennis hitters supported the righthander in grand fashion. Nick Moresi (Fresno State), Frank Curreri (UMass-Amherst) and Ben Crabtree (Ohio) each blasted home runs in the game, and Ryan Rohlinger (Oklahoma) hit a two-run double in the second inning.
“It’s great to have the offense that we have behind me,” McCutchen said. “You put up nine runs with wood bats in this league, (and the pitcher can) just throw strikes and you have a good chance of winning.”
Even before that offense could go to work, though, McCutchen had to work out of a first-inning jam. Brewster third baseman Gaby Sanchez (Miami) drove a hanging breaking ball to right field to put runners at first and third, and Andy Hunter (Minnesota) followed with a four-pitch walk.
But McCutchen came back with his second strikeout of the inning to end the threat.
The Red Sox didn’t waste any time in the bottom of the first. Joe Anthonsen (Campbell) singled to right and went to third when Bryan Byrne (St. Mary’s) followed with another single. Will Harris then (Louisiana State) walked to load the bases.
Brewster starter Josh Cribb (Clemson) worked the count to 3-2 against Curreri before he hit him in the ankle with a pitch, forcing in a run. Rohlinger then followed with a line-drive double to score two runs.
“It hasn’t been just one guy carrying this club,” Pickler said. “You look at our RBI totals, and there’s nobody with astronomical RBIs. It’s pretty even all the way up and down the lineup, and that’s what makes this team good.”
McCutchen found himself in another jam in the top of the second inning when Craig Cooper (Notre Dame) and Marco Albano (Boston College) hit back-to-back singles. But Pickler went to the mound to correct a mechanical flaw in McCutchen’s delivery, and the Oklahoma native went to town.
He induced a fly out and struck out James Boone (Missouri) to end the threat, and he allowed just three hits through the next four innings.
Much of his success – and most of his strikeouts – came from a sharp breaking ball that often ended up bouncing in front of the catcher, and that meant Crabtree had to be on top of his game behind the plate.
He was more than equal to the task.
“That gives a pitcher a bunch of confidence when he knows he can throw curveballs in the dirt and know they’re not going to the backstop,” McCutchen said.
With their starting pitcher cruising, the Red Sox continued to roll at the plate. Anthonsen drove in Crabtree with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Moresi hit a solo home run in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0.
In the fifth inning, though, the floodgates opened. Harris led off with a double, and Curreri followed with a home run to dead center field. Rohlinger then doubled to right-center field, and after a fielder’s choice, Crabtree blasted a home run to left field to give the Red Sox a 9-0 lead.
Brewster got one run back in the eighth inning when Cooper drove in Ryan Roberson (George Washington) with a single to right field, but the deficit was too much for the Whitecaps to surmount.
The series continues on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Brewster’s home field at Cape Cod Tech. Brandon Morrow (California) is expected to start for the Red Sox, while Matt Avery (Virginia) will take the hill for the Whitecaps. -- By Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
John Garner, Jr.
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Bruce hack, League Historian