By Katie Vieth
June 18, 2004
The game began with a bit of trepidation, as one might expect. It was the Kettleer’s home opener. A sizeable crowd of a few over 700 appeared to cheer on the players. Then the battle began.
It raged back and forth. It truly was a great game of baseball, with no one touching third base until the fourth inning. The maximum number of batters would be five in the Kettleer’s half the seventh. In the ninth, Dennis Diaz reached first base for what would be the only time that game and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out by Calvin Beamon and Geoff Strickland, respectively. The crowd hoped that when Justin Maxwell came to the plate, he could advance Diaz from third, and score the first run of the game. But Hyannis pitcher Drew Fiorenza had other ideas, and Maxwell went down looking on three straight strikes.
The mist, which had been held at bay for the beginning of the game, began to slink onto the field as the skies began to darken. As Lowell Park does not have lights, the fans were pretty sure the game would be called should it reach the thirteenth.
The Kettleers pitchers put up a good fight, allowing only four hits the entire game and walking only one. But the Hyannis pitching staff was also pitching brilliantly, as they permitted only four hits and struck out ten.
So it became the bottom of the twelfth after only two hits since the ninth inning, one for each team. Bryan Harris, in his fifth at-bat of the game drew three straight balls before he hit a single. Nathan Southard, in his first appearance of the game, was then assigned to pinch-run for Harris.
Southard was then advanced to second on a passed ball, while Ben Ingold got aboard on a walk, his third of the game. And then Brett Hayes, the famed catcher from Nevada Reno, stepped up to the plate. He had gone 0-4 in the game with two strikeouts and two fly-outs. Hayes fouled the first pitch off, and Mike Constantino, the Hyannis pitcher, threw the second pitch by him for a called strike.
An 0-2 count. The first home game of the year. The bottom of the twelfth. Man on third and first.
And then Hayes hit a sacrifice, and Southard sprinted to third … and then home … as the Mets watched in horror as their catcher, Josh Stinson (in his first inning of the game as catcher), threw the ball, and the win, away.