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60-Year Anniversary of the Highest Scoring Game in CCBL History

08/11/2023 10:06 AM

Article By: Mike Richard

The 95 total runs scored on the evening of July 28 had historians and statistic buffs running for the record books to see if such an offensive explosion had ever occurred in the Cape Cod Baseball League previously.

The short answer is, probably – no.

While there have been some high scoring games in the past, it’s doubtful that so many ever occurred on the same day.

For the record, the scores from July 28, 2023 were as follows:
Falmouth 27 – Cotuit 2
Harwich 21 – Brewster 5
Yarmouth-Dennis 14 – Bourne 0
Hyannis 9 – Wareham 8
Chatham 5 – Orleans 4.

The next question asked was whether the 27 runs scored by Falmouth was also a single-game record. Once again, the short answer is – no…. not even close.

We are coming up on the 60th anniversary of the biggest onslaught in Cape League history, which occurred on Aug. 11, 1963 when Bourne topped the Otis Air Force Base team by a score of 45-1.

Keep in mind, this was the first year of the so-called Modern Era of Cape Cod Baseball and many of the squads were dominated for the first time by college players.

On that Sunday afternoon at 2:00, the 18-10 Bourne squad traveled to face the Otis AFB team that was coming into the fray with a 12-15 record. However, Otis had already served as a veritable punching bag earlier that season to Chatham when on June 22, the Airmen lost to the Red Sox by a score of 33-3.

Otis was led by player-manager Sgt. Clarence Merritt who was the team catcher and utility man, often hitting third in the lineup. He was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant. He later would serve as an umpire in the Cape League and lived in Buzzard’s Bay.

The Otis team would return to the league in 1964 for one more season, compiling a 3-28 record before disbanding altogether.The game started out rather uneventful with Bourne grabbing a 2-0 lead after one and upping the lead to 5-0 after two innings.
Then the roof caved in.

Bourne plated 13 runs in the third, followed it up with six runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Then, after Otis cut the lead to 30-1 with a run in the top of the sixth, the Braves exploded for 15 more in the seventh before the game mercifully came to an end.
Otis pitcher George Baker became a sacrificial lamb for his squad when he was tagged for 27 runs in his three-inning stint. Meanwhile, Bourne’s Wayne Upton set a record for runs batted in for one game with eight; it was later eclipsed by Brewster’s Wade Wass (9 RBI) in 2014.

The first five batters in the Bourne order scored five runs each. Also, the 15 runs scored by Bourne in the seventh were one less than the 16 scored by Chatham in the third inning of that 33-3 game on June 22, 1963.