Cape 11-12 SB All Stars 2016 run sunsets, falling short to Scarborough, 7-6
Written by: League Directors
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Playing the Scarborough All-Stars for the 3rd time in 5 nights, the Cape 11-12 SB All Stars brought everything they had and left it on Pine Street field in South Portland tonight, dropping a seesaw 7-6 decision before a large crowd. With the SoPo half of District 6 on the line, the Capers rebounded from an 11-4 defeat on Tuesday and looked more like the team that beat Scarborough 6-2 in the first of the triad of heavyweight matches.
Cape played all its cards tonight, ditching the Gold jerseys, donning the classic Maroon uniforms, and reviving the "I-believe-we-will-win" cheer that was a trademark of past all star glory.
Several times the Scarborough nine threatened to break this game open but the Capers continually battled. Cape opened the scoring with an RBI single by Anna that plated Abbey, and Scarborough answered with two in the bottom of the first frame. The Capers sent 8 batters to the dish in the top of the second and took a 3-2 lead on a two-run single by Esme. A questionable umpire call at first base abruptly ended the inning however when Anna hit a ball down to first with the bases loaded and then a misplay by the first baseman led to a photo finish on the base. Cape fans were left lamenting the lack of instant replay in Little League baseball as two runners had already circled in to home for naught.
Scarborough went down quietly in the second but came back with two runs in the third to regain the lead. The Capers answered the bell again when Kathryne, Esme, and Dana all executed bunt singles to tie the game in the top half of the fourth. Scarborough knocked home three runs on consecutive two-out base hits in the bottom half. Down 7-4, the Capers were not done.
In the top of the fifth, walks to Kat and Analise chased the Scarborough starting pitcher and set the stage for Clara to break out of her hitting doldrums by lacing a triple to center. The Capers left that half trailing only by a run. The Maroon held firm in the bottom of the inning as Anna closed the door with her seventh K of the night, setting the stage for one final act.
Adhering to the "small ball" which had been effective for significant stretches against Scarborough during the week, Cape attempted two more bunts to get runners on base, but good execution by the Scarborough defense and a concluding groundout clinched the victory for the team from the marshes and left the Capers thinking about a number of "What If's?"
Nonetheless, the Capers finished another tourney run to be proud of. Living up to their motto, "All together, we are strong," the team practiced intensely and bonded over a four-week stretch that resulted in three victories and two losses and earned the admiration of numerous non-partisan observers. Many South Portlanders and others were at the games and commented on the strength and commitment of this team. And the Capers threw a mighty scare into a Scarborough team composed primarily of experienced travel ball players.
Anna, Haley, and Abbey provided senior leadership, energy, and poise for the group in their final Little League adventure, much as they had done for the 2014 state championship team. Grace injected a fresh dose of "youth" into the "veteran" group. And Esme, Dana, Hannah, Katharine, Katherine, Kathryne, Clara, Analise, and Abigail united once again for their 3rd consecutive all-star tour, totaling 24 games over three seasons. The wild ride has included a district and state championship, and appearances in three district or local bracket finals. Indeed, they have been altogether, strong.
On behalf of Manager Jeff Schwartz, Coach Sarah Fisher, Coach Jim Cornell, and myself, your humble reporter Coach Mark Parker, we extend special thanks, as always, to the parents of all the players for outstanding support, Kelly Gordon for team administration, and Aaron Scifres for generous coaching assistance at practices as well as careful documentation of team statistics at game time. And once again, we thank our young talented athletes for their grace and dedication in representing our community so proudly. Have a fantastic summer, Capers!
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