11 July 2009
Harwich Steps Back Into Season
HARWICH, Mass.—Saying that the Harwich Mariners had a difficult start to their season would be an understatement, they started off with six losses in their first eight games, but their season seems to be turning around now with six wins in their last nine games.
“I don’t know if we hit our stride,” said field manager Steve Englert, “I just think we got our horses in here and we’re pitching really well and we’re starting to get some chemistry going on the team, which I’m a big believer in, and we just get the quality hits when we need it.”
Also contributing to the upswing in the season is the arrival of Levi Michael (UNC), Phil Gosselin (UVA) and Daniel Grovatt (UVA), who, along with the solidifying of the rosters across the league, brought some stability to the team’s lineup.
“It’s kind of hard when guys are kind of nervous on whether they’re going to be here tomorrow or the next day,” said Englert, “and it’s kind of hard to run a team when some guys know that they’re not going to stay for the summer. It’s a difficult situation, but now everyone’s here, no one else is going home, and this is our team for the summer.”
Englert continued, “This is a good team, I like these guys so far, and winning does a lot of things. We started off really slow but now that we’ve gotten back in the race, winning is fun and I think these guys are starting to gel together and the chemistry is starting to get going a little bit.”
Grovatt has batted .387 in nine appearances, putting 12 hits on the board. Gosselin is right behind his college and Cape League teammate, Grovatt, with a .267 average and eight hits, with two RBI. But they aren’t the only guys in the team stepping up to the plate to bring the team out of their beginning season slump.
“I think our lineup is pretty solid one through nine,” said Englert. “Obviously Trent Mummey is going to set the tone for us hitting in the top, and the two Virginia kids. Connor Powers is a big part of IT, hitting in the four hole for us, and you know even our bottom hitter guys—Keenan Wiley, Joe Loftus—are starting to swing the bat a little better for us.”
And then, of course, there’s the mound. Harwich put up 33 scoreless innings during their winning streak, giving the guys a little extra boost.
“We’ve gotten into some jams where we’ve had guys on base and we’ve been able to pitch out of it,” said pitching coach Ryan Parker. “And I think it’s really just comes from the simplicity of what we’re preaching, just throw strikes and compete. I think although we dropped some games, guys saw there were glimpses of how it was going to work for them. Their confidence in the team has grown.”
By Ashley Crosby, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick