09/09/2008 2:36 PM
Harwich Mariners 2008 Season Review
Harwich Mariners Came to Win
… and They Did, Capturing First
Cape League Title in 21 Years
HARWICH, Mass. -- The 2008 Harwich Mariners came to do one thing: win. And win they did, in a style all their own.
Despite a near-disastrous six-game losing streak late in the season, Harwich held on to win the playoffs in a quick four games.
The 24-20 regular-season Mariners shut down pitching powerhouse Orleans in the East Division playoffs with a dramatic 1-0, 18-inning, walk-off victory before sweeping Cotuit in the finals to capture the Cape Cod Baseball League championship.
Late-game heroics by co-playoff MVP Mark Fleury (North Carolina) won Harwich its first league title in 21 years. Fleury’s two-run, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth erased a 1-0 Cotuit lead and delivered a walkoff victory that ignited a wild celebration among the overflow crowd of 6,133 at Whitehouse Field.
Jason Stidham (Florida State) clinched co-MVP honors as he went 3-for-3 and drove in seven runs in the Mariners’ 11-2 romp at Cotuit in the first game of the finals.
Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) hit .352 to finish among the league leaders, with teammates Joseph Sanders (Auburn), Shaver Hansen (Baylor), Brian Kemp (St. John’s) and D.J. LaMahieu (Louisiana State) not far behind.
Pitcher Chris Manno (Duke) earned a spot on the East Division All-Stars, as did Fleury, who got the game-winning run. Billy Bullock (Florida), Josh Eidell (Villanova), Willie Kempf (Baylor) and Brian Dupra (Notre Dame) all put up impressive figures on the mound as well.
Southpaw Ryan Quigley (Northeastern) received the league’s John J. Claffey Award as the Outstanding New England Player. And catcher Andrew Giobbi (Vanderbilt), who missed playing time due to injury, inspired teammates with his comeback and earned the league’s Manny Robello 10th Player Award.
Giobbi was hit just under the left eye by a Chris Hicks (Georgia Tech) fastball in a June 25 game against Wareham. It appeared he was finished for the season and was sent home, but when doctors determined that no reconstructive surgery would be necessary, Giobbi quickly rejoined his teammates. “I was just so thankful because this is my last chance to play summer ball,” he said.
The only concessions to his injury were a mouth guard and a face guard that extended from the ear flap of his helmet to his chin when at bat. And as a precaution, he was no longer permitted to go behind the plate as a catcher, finishing the season primarily as the Mariners’ left fielder.
Ashley Crosby, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen