Mariners kick season off with a bang, defeat Kettleers 13-2

The Harwich Mariners started their season off with a bang Saturday evening at Lowell Park, as they dismantled the Cotuit Kettleers by way of a seven-inning mercy rule, winning 13-2. An eight-run second inning set the tone for Opening Day as the Mariners improved to 1-0 on the campaign.

Harwich sent 13 batters to the plate in the second inning, putting the game out of reach for the Kettleers before fans even had a chance to settle in. After a couple of walks to start the inning, the M’s dialed in at the plate and did what head coach Steve Englert has preached to start the season: get balls in play.

Harwich had only four hits in the inning but produced runs by drawing walks and keeping its swings simple. A sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice contributed to the run parade, but several base knocks weren’t hard hit, they were just perfectly placed.

“You don’t see that too often down here,” Englert said of his team’s eight-run inning. “We just kept paper cutting them to death and getting our base knocks. Guys were putting it on the barrel, putting it in play, which we’re trying to preach, and it paid off. So, it’s good to see that.”

“I like the way we came out, aggressive on the bases. We had some great at-bats; usually you don’t see that for a while, but we did a great job controlling at-bats, using the whole field today. [We] weren’t trying to do too much, take what we were given and went with it.”

Through all the chaos, Michael Anderson (Rhode Island) stood out in his Cape Cod Baseball League debut, going 4-for-5 at the plate and driving in five runs.

After striking out in his first at-bat, Anderson singled three times in a row, spraying balls to left, center and right field, respectively, and then capped his debut with a 374-foot bomb to the opposite field in the seventh inning to drive in the final three runs of the game.

Although overshadowed by the bats, the Mariners’ pitching staff was dealing Saturday evening. Griffin Kirn (West Virginia) and Peter Haas (Stonehill) combined for five strikeouts and allowed just two hits each to keep the Kettleers offense dormant.

“I was really happy with our pitching performance, pounding the strike zone,” Englert said. "[Kirn] was as efficient as you can get. [Haas] came in, pitched with a lead and went right after these guys.”

Harwich will look to roll its momentum into its home opener tomorrow night at Whitehouse Field, where it will take on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks at 5:30 p.m.

“Good to get that first one under the belt and just keep building,” Englert said.