Bt Lezli Rowell
Lower Cape was the heavy favorite in the Cape Cod Senior Babe Ruth Championship game on paper, with a season record of 14-2 and the #1 seed entering the final games at Veterans Field on July 22. The new play-off format this season would mean LC would have to play without their all-star shortstop, Guy Davidson, and starting catcher, Trevor Thomas. This allowed players to rise to the occasion. Ben Rome, a shortstop from Nauset stepped up and caught like he had been doing it his whole life, and Richie Budion from Cape Cod Tech filled in to play SS, who had been at the top of LC's pitching rotation all season.
Lou Clark, Barnstable's head coach, always has his teams ready. They play their best baseball at the end of the season when it counts the most. Barnstable would strike first in game one scoring 2 in the first and 3 in the second innings. Then LC's Mike Mahar of Harwich entered the game in relief. Mahar pitched 6 stong innings allowing only 1 run and forcing 12 ground-ball outs. LC scored 1 in the first on some heads-up base running by Peter Hennigan, who drew a walk and scored, after stealing 2 bases without and a hit. LC scored 6 in the second capped by Harwich's Dan Cook with a 3 run triple. Nick Taber, Nauset, was 2-2 and scored twice, as well. LC was able to secure a 9-6 victory.
Game two was a battle. George Bent, Barnstable, was his magical self, pitching on 2 days rest, did everything he could to keep Barnstable in the game. Bent went the distance with 8K's and 2 walks, but LC's line-up prevailed with a 5-3 victory. LC scored 3 in the second led by Peter Sheppard's 2 run single. Nick Lombardi, Nantucket, scored the final run in the game in the top of the 7th in his last game with LCSBR. Billy Olsen, Chatham, started the night cap and went 4 innings allowing 3 runs. Keenan Yakola finished the game with 3 innings of scoreless relief, stiking out 5. This night was a total team win.
It was how the Lower Cape A division team played all season. When one player didn't have their best another stepped in and filled the role!
Barnstable's Stephen Holzman and Kelvin Rodriguez played outstanding for Barnstable in the loss. This is the second consecutive year that both Lower Cape division teams have taken the league titles, under the leadership of Ken Leandre's program management.