04/07/2020 9:11 AM
Cape League Magazine 2006
Article By: CCBL Public Relations Office
This article was originally posted in the Cape League Magazine’s 2006 Media Guide
By Kevin Wolfe, CCBL Intern
Pitching and defense were the key words for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, as they won their second Cape Cod Baseball League Championship in three years by beating the Wareham Gatemen 5-1 in the third and deciding game of the CCBL Finals. The Red Sox took the field in front of 8,272 fans and would not disappoint the massive home crowd at Red Wilson Field.
The Red Sox jumped out to a quick lead in the first, getting to Jeremy Bleich (Stanford) of Wareham for one run. Though he struck out two batters in the inning, Bleich loaded the bases on a single by Evan McArthur (Cal State Fullerton), who advanced to second on a fielder’s choice that also allowed Brad Amaus (Tulane) to reach first. With Steven Strausbaugh (Western Carolina) drawing a walk, the bases were loaded for the big DH Michael Taylor (Stanford). Taylor was patient at the plate against his college teammate and eventually drew a walk to drive in McArthur.
The game moved along quickly with neither team scoring again until the fourth inning, when Buster Posey (Florida State) reached on an error by the third baseman and moved up to third after a single by Taylor and a ground ball to the short-stop. Luck Sommer (San Francisco) popped up a squeeze bunt that ended up falling harmlessly behind the pitcher’s mound, allowing Posey to score on what went into the books as an RBI single. Jordan Pacheco (New Mexico) stepped up to bat and delivered a successful squeeze of his own to bring Taylor home for a 3-0 Sox lead.
After going four perfect innings and striking out six of the first 12 batters he faced, Terry Doyle (Boston College) was finally touched by Wareham in the fifth inning. Bradley Suttle (Texas) was the first batter of the inning, putting Wareham on the board by blasting a solo home run over the right field fence. Two more men would reach in the inning, but Doyle would strike out Staffan Wilson (Harvard) and Beamer Weems (Baylor) consecutively to end the inning without and further damage.
It looked like the home run and tough inning might have shaken up Doyle as he stepped back on the mound in the sixth inning, and Wareham might have had a chance to stage a comeback if it were not for excellent back-to-back defensive plays by Posey and Emaus. Posey robbed Ryan Gotcher (Arkansas-Little Rock) of a hit at shortstop by ranging to his left, snagging a ground ball behind second base, and then throwing out Gotcher at first.
Emaus followed up that play with a great diving stop at second base on a ball hit sharply on the ground to his right by Diallo Fon (Vanderbilt). Emaus gathered himself and threw to Pacheco at first to get the second out of the inning. Doyle finished the inning and then watched the rest of the game from the dugout after throwing 86 pitches in the game. He struck out nine Gatemen, walked only one batter, and gave up just one run. His coach, Scott Picker, put it pretty much the only way he could put it, “Terry was very, very good,” Pickler said of his ace after the game and celebrations were over.
With a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh, the Red Sox continued to pile on the runs as Pacheco reached first on a walk by pitcher Martin Beno and took second on an error by Weems while trying to steal second base. Tyler Henley then singled to drive in Pacheco and moved to second on the throw to the plate. Henley stole third and came around to score when Emaus hit a ball to the second baseman that should have been the third out of the inning. An error on the throw, however, allowed Henley to score with the fourth unearned run of the game and the fifth overall for the Red Sox.
Though the scoring was over for both sides, the excitement wasn't. David Robertson (Alabama) came into the game in the seventh inning to replace Doyle for the Red Sox. He pitched three perfect innings to get the save and close out the championship series for the Red Sox.
Robertson’s perfect innings included seven strikeouts, with six in a row to end the game. His stellar performance was a big reason he won the SportsTicker Boston Playoff MVP award, which he was presented with by league commissioner Paul Galop at the end the the game.
Winning the championship was no fluke for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, as they had the best record in the league during the regular season at 28-6. After starting off the season right around .500, the Red Sox won nine straight and never looked back. Pickler pointed to that winning streak as a turning point in the season.
“I had a great group of guys… We won nine times in a row and they started believing in themselves,” said Pickler.
As the saying goes, if you believe in yourself, anything is possible. That includes winning a championship in the premier summer league in the entire nation, which, as Y-D general Jim Martin pointed out, isn’t easy.
“The parity in the league is so close, it’s very difficult to win a Cape League championship. At one point the club went 29 years without a championship,” said Martin.
Despite starting down one game in both series of the postseason, the Y-D Red Sox refused to give up and were richly rewarded for their determination.