08/07/2023 9:00 PM
Article By: Daniel Curren
As the Bourne Braves take batting practice at McKeon Park two hours before first pitch in game 1 of the West Division Finals, Head Coaches Scott Landers of Bourne and Eric Beattie of Hyannis stand by the batting cage and talk about the upcoming series. Friday was the beginning of something they are already familiar with; facing each other in the second round.
As second-year coaches in the Cape Cod Baseball League, Landers and Beattie have had the West Finals locked down for their entire head-coaching tenures. In 2022, Bourne and Hyannis faced off in the West Finals with Bourne prevailing.
Landers picked the team up right where they had left off, as he helped the Braves reach the championship round for the second straight year, eventually leading them to a championship in his first season. Beattie turned the franchise around after an 8-win season in 2021 and turned the team into a championship contender in his debut year. In a league full of veteran coaches, Landers and Beattie have made immediate impacts on their respective teams.
“When you take a coaching job, you always want to win. It's the name of the game,” Landers said. “Going day by day and seeing the growth of these individuals and you know, just happened to be later in the playoffs, it's a bonus.”
“I'm just coming out here every day trying to play good baseball and impact these guys,” Beattie continued. “I think they've done a good job of responding and playing hard all summer.”
Aside from their coaching jobs on the Cape, the two of them also have coaching jobs in the spring. Landers is the head coach of SUNY Oswego, a Division III school in New York, and Beattie at Strawberry Crest High School in Tampa, Florida. The experience they have coaching in the Cape, especially in the playoffs, is synonymous with their other gigs.
“Every day is a new competition, a lot of people place more importance from one game to the other,” Beattie said of coaching in the CCBL playoffs. “But I think with consistency in winning, the competition comes with consistency in a mindset. I wake up tomorrow 0-0 regardless of what happens tonight, and trying to put these guys in a good environment to go out and perform at their best is what I'm trying to do every day.”
“In the spring I'm in the same situation as these guys,” Landers said. “It's ‘how do you keep them motivated throughout the summer?’”
At this stage of the season, many of the players have already played 44 games in 55 days after already playing a 50 game college season, with playoffs still to come. This is a schedule no player at this age level has experience yet, and fighting that fatigue is something coaches need to overcome to have success in August.
Landers and Beattie have gotten their players to buy in during the final push for a championship.
“These guys are all here. They're all tired. They're all ready to get home and see their families but they're all so committed and really want to win.” Beattie said. Landers continued, “I think now it's more about trying to get these guys to understand when the lights go on that they have to step up and win in big situations.”
Landers and the Bourne Braves are looking to repeat as champions, while Beattie and the Harbor Hawks are looking for their first Cape League title since 1991. While they are eager to be competing against each other at the highest possible level again, they both want the upper hand this time around.
“I respect Eric and everybody else,” Landers said. “But I want to see him lose as much as I want to see myself win.”
“I think as much respect as Scott and I have for each other,” Beattie said, “we still want to beat each other in this series.”