There was a bit of irony at the Atlantic Baseball Club’s Memorial Day Tournament in Duxbury the weekend of May 23 to 25.
The Super Divison team, the Tri-Town Thunder, were ecstatic to see that the Cape Cod Clippers had knocked off their rivals, the Ocean State Outlaws, in the tournament semifinals. The Thunder thought Cape Cod had done them a favor, and the title was theirs for the taking.
Cape Cod hadn’t advanced all the way to the finals just to make an appearance, though. Coach Paul Gonsalves’s team had thrice advanced that far, but never brought home the title.
The fourth time proved to be the charm, as Cape Cod not only made another appearance in the final, but gained a victory, overcoming a slow start and pouring it on in the second half of the game to blow out the Thunder, 15-3.
That capped a superb showing by the local boys, who opened the tourney with a 6-0 win over the ABC Lacy Seawolves, then defeated ABC Morrissey 11-4. Game three, against the Outlaws, didn’t go well for Cape Cod. The team took an 8-4 lead into the final inning, but a shrinking strike zone killed the Clippers. Ocean State rallied to score five runs without a hit and win, 9-8.
Cape Cod shook off that loss quickly in the playoffs.
In their first game, fate intervened and put the same team in front of them. This time around there was no doubt, as the Clippers dominated Ocean State, winning 9-3.
In the finals, Tri-Town of Wyoming, Rhode Island, took an early 3-1 lead, but the Clippers turned up the intensity in the fourth inning, plating six runs. Danny Messerli started it with a walk, then Zach Rogers, Kyle Connolly and Gavin Engstrom all singled in succession. After a fly out, TJ Borning drove in a pair with a single and Kyle Puchols followed with a hit to right-center. With two down, Nils Idman capped the rally with a single to right-center to make it a 7-3 ballgame.
Cape Cod added eight more in the sixth to blow it wide open. Chris Perito started things with a single. With one down, Puchols, Darren Katziff and Idman all singled back-to-back-to-back. Alex Fratantoni forced in a run with a base on balls, and Collin Mastriano followed suit. Filiaut then drove one in with a single, and Messerli and Rogers followed with RBI hits as well to finish it off.