Story by Steve McCarthy
July 4, 2009
COTUIT- The 2009 July 4 adult public Hitting Contest at Cotuit’s Lowell Park was full of competition from local contestants to weekend visitors.
A tie-breaker round was required to decide the winner, Jeff Auger of Centerville,MA. Auger and Zack McCarthy of Barnstable, MA, both hit opening round 366-foot drives to outdistance 47 other competitors. No home runs have ever been recorded in the annual contest.
The women’s division was won by Turner Skenderian of Weston,MA, who entered the contest as an unknown, but was able to top defending champion Susan Blanchette in Blanchette’s hometown.
Auger and Skenderian were awarded with customized bats donated by the Barnstable Bat Company in Centerville.
Cotuit Kettleers manager Mike Roberts pitched to the competitors. Each contestant was allowed five fair hits with wooden bats provided by the Kettleers. Team interns were then allowed to compete for bragging rights before Roberts had to board the bus to Cotuit’s evening game in Falmouth.
Several spectators filtered into the bleachers at Lowell Park to support the contestants after lining Main Street for a parade. Throngs in town took advantage of the finally pleasant weather while Kettleers players boarded a flatbed truck and trailer armed with squirt guns and water balloons to battle young fans along the parade route.
With each contestant paying a $15 entry fee, $735 dollars was raised by the Hitting Contest.