SOUTH YARMOUTH ---- The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox clinched the East Division one day before the final regular season game with a doubleheader sweep of the Cotuit Kettleers.
The sweep of the team that sent the Red Sox limping home from the 2009 playoffs gave them a chance to rest players before their opening round series against the Harwich Mariners.
“I was in need of a day off,” said Jordan Ribera (Fresno State), who was in the running to lead the league in home runs and RBI. “So it really worked in my favor.”
Even with the off day, Ribera finished tied for the league lead with seven homers and 26 RBI. When asked if he would have liked to play to try and claim both titles, he said “The day off worked in my favor.”
Ribera wasn’t the only starter happy to have the day off.
“The season is a real grind,” Caleb Ramsey (Houston) said. “You really cherish a day off.”
Ramsey didn’t get many free days this summer, playing in 42 games and hitting .311 from the leadoff spot. He was also named East MVP at the All-Star game.
The season has been good to many Red Sox players. But they aren’t ready to look back on it just yet. They swept Harwich in the opening round to advance to the East finals against the Orleans Firebirds.
“We got our first goal with getting the division and the overall record,” said Joe Panik (St. John’s). “Now we just have to take it into the playoffs.”
“We’re doing pretty well. We won the Eastern Division,” said Tyler Hanover (LSU), who was part of the 2009 East champs. “Obviously, a lot of goals were set on the playoffs, so that’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“We clinched first, so that was really big for us to have home field throughout the playoffs,” Ribera said. “We’re playing really well right now one through nine and our pitching staff has been great. I think if we go out and play the way we have been, we will win some games.”
Field manager Scott Pickler is happy with Y-D’s season.
“I don’t think we have any superstars; we just have real good balance,” he said.
Every team has a defining moment that brings them closer together. The Red Sox were no different.
“The game against Wareham, when we scored the six runs in the ninth brought us together,” Pickler said.