2019 Harwich Mariners - Alex Weiner Photo
By: Ben Fischer
The Harwich Mariners entered the 2019 Cape League playoffs as the fourth seed in the East Division, with a regular season record of 21-21-2. Despite ending the season with the second lowest team batting average, the Mariners were carried into the postseason by their exceptional pitching staff, which finished with the league’s second best ERA.
Harwich started the playoffs against the top-seeded Chatham Anglers, and made history in their very first postseason game. The offense produced just one run, but that proved to be enough as the Mariner’s threw a combined no-hitter. Pitchers Chris McCullough and Joe Boyle combined to hold the Anglers hitless, punching out eleven and allowing just five baserunners.
In game two against Chatham, the pitching was not quite as good, but they held the Anglers to just two runs. The offense provided the spark in this contest, as they struck for four runs in the second inning, propelling the Mariners to the second round to face the Y-D Red Sox.
The East Division Finals provided two games that were both closer than their identical 5-1 scorelines. In the first game, Y-D took an early 1-0 lead which held until the fifth, when Harwich manufactured two runs with a squeeze and a sacrifice fly. The Mariners scored three more in the seventh inning, moving themselves to within a win of the championship series.
Game two was close as well, with the teams deadlocked at 1 until the seventh inning, where Harwich struck for four runs to break the game open. Reliever Nick Stewart slammed the door on the Red Sox to punch the Mariners’ first ticket to the championship series for the ninth time in franchise history.
The Mariners now advance to face Cotuit, with the first team to win two games taking home the championship. The Mariners will look to ride their stellar pitching and opportunistic offense to their fifth franchise championship