for immediate release: 7 August, 2003
Sauls blanks Bourne for 8-0 playoff win
BOURNE--Mets starter Mark Sauls hurled a two-hit shutout against the Bourne Braves to lead Hyannis to an 8-0 win in the first game of the West Division Playoffs on Thursday afternoon at Coady Field. Though the Mets had just four hits themselves, they capitalized on Bourne miscues to pile up a high run total while riding Sauls and his arm to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Sauls registered his sharpest outing of the season for the Mets, throwing only 95 pitches in his complete-game effort. He struck out four and walked five, allowing only an infield single by Sean Dobson in the first inning and a base hit to left field by Michael Butia in the fifth inning. He benefited from solid defensive play by catcher Donny Lucy, who threw out the only would-be basestealer of the game, and from a 1-6-3 double play that ended the fifth.
The Mets took the lead in the game with a six-run, twelve-batter fifth inning. Though they had only three hits and took advantage of two Bourne errors in that inning, Hyannis managed to score four earned runs on starter Kyle Schmidt, who left the game after 4 2/3 innings and 92 pitches. After Matt Sauls led off with a single to center, the Braves recorded two outs on the Mets before the scoring started. Schmidt hit three batters in the fifth inning, including a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch that put the first Mets run on the board. A Brian Hall double to left field scored Sam Fuld and Mike Athas, and an infield hit by Donny Lucy coupled with a throwing error by third baseman Andrew Toussaint accounted for two more runs.
Schmidt took the loss in the game for the Braves, allowing three of the Mets' four hits and six runs (four earned). Schmidt fanned three, walked two, and hit a CCBL playoff-record four batters. He was relieved in the fifth inning by Andrew Slorp, who gave up a hit and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Chris Shaver set down the Mets in order in the seventh and eighth innings, but he allowed two unearned Hyannis runs in the ninth inning.
Athas (1-for-4 in the game) reached to lead off the ninth on a fielding error, moving to third as walks to Fuld and Jonathan Tucker loaded the bases. Hall grounded into a fielder's choice that allowed Athas to come home, and Lucy hit a sacrifice fly on which Fuld scored after a spectacular diving catch by center fielder Justin Maxwell.
Stats of note...according to league historian Bruce Hack, the last CCBL playoff shutout was spun against the Braves in 2001 by the Wareham Gatemen; Hack also notes that the last Hyannis playoff shutout was Richard King's no-hitter in the championship season of 1991...the most pitches Mark Sauls threw in a single frame was 19 in the seventh inning, in which a pair of walks gave Bourne its only runner in scoring position...in the regular season, the Mets scored no runs on Schmidt, who was 1-0 in two starts and 15 innings pitched against Hyannis.
Will Bussiere, Hyannis Mets