Hawks Win Opener, 3-0

The Hyannis Harbor Hawks opened their season today at home, McKeon Park, against West Division rival, the Wareham Gatemen. The first pitch was thrown just after 6:00pm, with umpire Tom Carey behind the plate, umpire Mike Griffin at first, and umpire Mike Rabideau in the field. The Hawks celebrated Flag Day at the ballpark, with American flags proudly flown throughout the stadium. It was a beautiful night for baseball and the Hawks certainly made the best of it.

Ryan Weiss, the sophomore right-hander out of Wright State got the nod as the Hawks’ opening day starting pitcher. Weiss brought with him some staggering numbers from his freshman campaign at Wright State. An 8-1 record paired with a 2.13 era in 88 2/3 innings pitched, allowing only 21 earned runs and a .237 opponent batting average. Weiss earned Horizon League All-Freshman Team honors, as well as Horizon League Freshman of the Year, and First Team All-Horizon League in his first active roster season with the Wright State Raiders.

Weiss’ stellar resume has set the bar high for his Hyannis Harbor Hawk campaign and in his first start he did not disappoint. Despite running into a barrage of deep counts early on, Weiss went 4 complete innings, surrendering just 2 hits and a walk, while picking up a strikeout against a stout Gatemen offense. His key to success in tonight’s action was his ability to throw first-pitch strikes. In the 14 batters Weiss faced, he was able to get ahead throwing a first-pitch strike to 11 of those 14 hitters. He looked sharp and was able to throw his breaking ball for strikes in any count, keeping the Gatemen off-balance and guessing.

Weiss walked the first batter he faced, but after a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play courtesy of his own work on the bump as well as the right arm of his catcher, Christian Proctor (Duke), the 6’4” righty began the settle in.

The Hawks offense looked impressive early. After threatening to score in the first but unable to do so stranding 2 base runners, the Hawks tagged the Gatemen starter, Mason Feole (UConn), for 3 runs in the 2nd inning.

Robert Neustrom, out of the University of Iowa, got things rolling for the Hawks in the Home half of the second inning with a leadoff base knock to left field.  Following a strikeout, Brandt Stallings, from Georgia Tech drew a 1-out walk. Christian Proctor then delivered with a base hit of his own, loading the bases for Reece Hampton (University of North Carolina Charlotte) who got a solid piece, but was unable to plate a run on a fly out to right field. Ford Proctor (Rice University) picked up the Hawk’s first RBI of the season after drawing a full-count walk with the bases loaded, setting the table for the biggest hit of the night. Tyler Frank, out of Florida Atlantic University, ripped a 2 RBI double down the third base line, putting the Hawks up 3-0 over the Gatemen.

That score would end up holding out for the rest of the game. As pitchers, Michael Brettell(Central Michigan University), Ethan Larrison (Indiana State University) and Christian Tripp (University of New Mexico) were able to come in in relief to bridge and close the game for the Hawks, hurling a combined shutout.

The winning pitcher was Michal Brettell.  Brettell threw 2 innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 1. Christian Tripp got the 2-inning save for the Hawks, striking out 2 while giving up 1 hit.

The Harbor Hawks next game is Thursday, June 15th, as they take on the Brewster Whitecaps at McKeon Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm. Come out; enjoy some baseball and cheer on your undefeated 2017 Hyannis Harbor Hawks!

-Matthew Alberghini (Intern, Hyannis Harbor Hawks)