08/11/2004 9:06 AM
11 August 2004
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
Cape League Intern TJ Lasita
Costanzo’s walk-off Home Run
sends West Division series to third game
Hyannis’ Mike Costanzo went 4 for 6 with two home runs, including a walk-off blast in the bottom of the eleventh inning, to give the Mets a 6-5 victory against Falmouth on Wednesday at McKeon Field to even the Cape Cod Baseball League West Division series.
With the series knotted at one, Hyannis and Falmouth will meet Thursday with the winner advancing to face East Division champ Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape League final.
With the game tied at five in the eleventh, Costanzo (Coastal Carolina) led off the inning with a towering shot to center, crushing a 1-2 delivery over the fence and into the trees.
To reach extra innings, though, the Mets had to play catch-up for most of the game. Commodore center fielder and ninth hitter Danny Perales (Southern California) gave his team an early cushion in the second, hitting a three-run home run to right center.
The Mets clawed back, however, thanks to Costanzo. The Springfield, Pa., native hit his first home run of the day – also a solo shot – in the fifth inning to put Hyannis on the scoreboard for the first time. The Mets tacked on another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead.
Hyannis stayed on top until the ninth. Costanzo, who started the game at first base, was inserted to close out the game with Falmouth down to its final three outs.
Designated hitter Paul Christian (Brown) singled to lead off the inning, then was sacrificed to second base by Chris Lewis (Stanford). Brian Bogusvic (Tulane) pinch-ran for Christian and scored from second base on a fielding error one batter later to tie the game.
A Jacoby Ellsbury single loaded the bases with one out for Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest). Costanzo walked Antonelli, forcing in the go-ahead run.
Down a run with elimination staring them in the face, the Mets didn’t quit in the ninth. Costanzo led off the inning with a single and later scored on a Mike Constantine (Maryland) base hit with two outs, tying the score at five.
Both teams came up empty in the tenth, setting up the late inning dramatics. Just minutes after blowing a one run lead on the mound, Costanzo gave his team new life at the plate--forcing a rubber match game three.
“There’s so many ups and downs in baseball,” Costanzo said. “You just have to keep an even keel, keep your head up.”
Mets manager Greg King marveled at his team’s ability to stay positive – especially Costanzo‘s.
“The thing that makes him a great player is that he has what a lot of kids struggle with, and that’s handling failure,” King said. “He’s got an attitude, he just doesn’t care.”
The win for Hyannis sets up a decisive game three Thursday night. Hyannis and Falmouth will meet at 7 p.m. at Guv Fuller Field. --T.J. Lasita; CCBL Intern; TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
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Bruce hack, League Historian