The Harwich Mariners returned to the Cape Cod League championship series for the first time in 11 years in dramatic fashion. Harwich needed 18 innings to pull out a 1-0 win over Orleans on Sunday, clinching a trip to the finals against the winner of tonight’s decisive third game between Falmouth and Cotuit.
Harwich outfielder Brian Kemp (St. John’s) scored the winning run on a dropped fly ball by Angelo Songco (Loyola Marymount) in the bottom of the 18th. That ended a marathon that featured a combined 470 pitches and 20 runners left on base. Harwich got nine innings of five-hit ball from starter Billy Bullock (Florida), before Steve Kalush (Santa Clara) followed with 5 2/3 innings of stellar work. Orleans got its own heroic pitching efforts in defeat, as starter Matt Thomson (San Diego) struck out eight while allowing just three hits over 7 2/3, Adam Wilk (Long Beach State) followed with 3 2/3 strong innings of relief, and Alex Hassan (Duke) worked the final 6 2/3 after playing the first 11 innings in center field.
If Falmouth wins tonight, Harwich will host the first game of the best-of-three finals on Tuesday. If Cotuit wins, the Kettleers will host. Falmouth forced a decisive third game against Cotuit with a 6-3 win Sunday behind 5 2/3 innings of one-hit work from starter Chris Gloor (Quinnipiac).
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