Every team in the Cape and Islands League has been trying to solve the riddle that is the undefeated Nauset High School Warriors. The Sandwich Blue Knights came as close as anyone, but were another victim of the league’s only perfect baseball team for the spring, as Nauset won in Sandwich, 4-1, on Wednesday, June 9.
Both teams played very well as they rode quality starting pitching performances. Junior Alex Marancik was on top of his game and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but was stuck with the loss as Nauset was able to scratch enough runs across to make good on a great showing from its starter, Kurt Thomas. Marancik went 5.1 innings and allowed just five hits with a strikeout and three earned runs against him. Thomas was just a little better as he fanned eight Blue Knights, gave up just one unearned run and set down the last eight batters in a row for SHS.
Nauset scored an unearned run in the second, thanks to an error, a couple of passed balls and a sacrifice fly. In the fifth it rallied to get two more as it strung together three hits in that inning. Nauset added another in the sixth for its only other run.
Sandwich had chances in the second, third and fifth innings, but plated just one unearned run in the fifth. Mitchell and Colin Norkevicius led off the first with a single and a double, respectively, to give the Knights two men in scoring position, but then Thomas buckled down. He got a comebacker to the mound and then struck out the last two batters of the inning to keep the slate clean. In the third Joe Morrison reached on an error with two down and Owen Beaton singled, but Thomas escaped unscathed.
Finally, in the fifth Sandwich got on the board and cut Nauset’s lead to 3-1. Vining reached via an error, and then Ramsey walked and Morrison singled to load the bases. Beaton’s fly ball plated a run, but that was it for SHS in the frame.
Nauset added another in its half of the sixth and then rode two perfect innings from Thomas to leave with the win.
Sandwich 14, Monomoy 6
It wasn’t a great day to be a pitcher at Monomoy High School on Monday, June 7. On a warm day in Harwich, Sandwich and Monomoy combined to make the scoreboard look more like a football output than a baseball game.
In the end, the Knights were able to find the end zone more often as they pounded out a 14-6 victory over the Sharks.
Sandwich came out of the gates and threw down the gauntlet by scoring a touchdown’s worth of runs in the top of the first inning. The Knights sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, scoring seven runs to take a lead that they’d never surrender, scoring enough in that frame to ultimately win the game outright.
SHS strung together five hits, earned three walks and had a man reach on an error in the pivotal top of the first. Morrison led the way, singling twice with a run scored and an RBI in the frame. Brayden Ramsey also reached twice in the first with a single and an error by the Sharks. He scored a run as well.
Ramsey and Morrison started the game with back-to-back singles and then Owen Beaton walked to load the bases. After a pop out, Jeremy Angeles singled home a pair for a 2-0 lead. Alex Marancik then walked to reload the bases before a bases-clearing triple from Matt Prete put the Knights ahead, 5-0. Another run scored when Ramsey reached on an error by the first baseman, and Morrison singled home the seventh run of the inning for the Knights.
To its credit, Monomoy answered with big bottom of the first to shave the Sandwich lead. MHS got a leadoff walk, four bases on balls, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball to make it 7-3 after one.
In the second inning the Sandwich bats remained active and hot as they once again batted around the order. The Knights sent nine men to the plate and added four more runs to go up 11-3, all but sewing things up right there. Colin Norkevicius started the rally with a single before Angeles was hit by a pitch, Marancik bunted them over and then a single from Prete drove home two. Later in the inning back-to-back-to-back hits from the top of the order, Ramsey, Morrison and Beaton, helped SHS up its lead to eight runs.
Monomoy did get two back in the bottom of the inning, but then things settled down for the Knights. Freshman Connor Finn came out of the bullpen for the visitors and pitched four strong relief innings. Finn allowed four hits and one walk with five strikeouts, and gave up just one unearned run. C.J. Aycock worked a perfect ninth inning, striking out two, to finish things off for the winners.