CAPE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS: Harbor Hawks Collect 17 Hits, Down Cotuit in Playoff Opener (SLIDESHOW)

HYANNIS — The Hyannis Harbor Hawks (24-18-1) came ready for anything in the opening game of the 2015 Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs.

Facing Cotuit junkballing southpaw Jon Woodcock (Virginia Tech) for the first 4 2/3 innings Monday night in the opening round of the Cape League playoffs at McKeon Park, the host Harbor Hawks rapped out seven hits and plated eight runs (five earned) before unloading for another 10 hits in the game’s latter half.

Florida Gulf Coast's Jake Noll puts the hammer on one in the third inning to stake the Hyannis Harbor Hawks to a 6-0 lead. Hyannis defeated Cotuit, 10-3 in the opening round of the Cape League playoffs Monday night at McKeon Park. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Florida Gulf Coast’s Jake Noll puts the hammer on one in the third inning to stake the Hyannis Harbor Hawks to a 6-0 lead. Hyannis defeated Cotuit, 10-3 in the opening round of the Cape League playoffs Monday night at McKeon Park.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Jake Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) and Ryne Birk (Texas A&M) both homered for the ‘Hawks, with Noll going 2-4 on the night with four RBI and Birk going 4-4 with one RBI. Back in the Hyannis lineup just 48 hours ago, UConn and Centerville’s Bobby Melley turned in another rock-solid performance from the DH spot with three hits. Melley has gone 7-8 in just two games for Hyannis since he returned to the roster.

Four other Hyannis batsmen collected multiple hits on the night, including Austin Hays (Jacksonville), Colby Bortles (Ole Miss) and catcher Jake Rogers (Tulane) who went 2-4 with 2 RBI, as did Bortles.

Things just did not start well for Woodcock and the Kettleers (15-27-1) as Hays doubled with one out in the first inning and then came scrambling home on a pair of errors after Matt Thaiss’s (Virginia) grounder caromed off the glove of Cotuit first baseman Tim Susnara (Oregon) and then scooted past rightfielder Branden Berry (Cal-State Northridge) for a quick 1-0 lead. Thaiss scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 2-0 and then Bortles singled home Noll who had reached on the fielder’s choice.

Hyannis continued to add on the runs with one run in the second on Birk’s deep blast to right centerfield and then two more in the third inning on Noll’s two-run shot to left.

UConn's Bobby Melley heads for third on Colby Bortles' double in the fifth inning. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

UConn’s Bobby Melley heads for third on Colby Bortles’ double in the fifth inning.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

With a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Hyannis plated two more runs when Melley was called in to pinch hit for third baseman Blake Tiberi (Louisville) who tweaked a hamstring in an earlier at-bat. With two outs, Melley laced a singled to right and then advanced to third on an opposite-field double from Bortles. Bortles’ hit sent Woodcock to the showers, and Penn State righty submariner Jack Anderson came in only to give p a two-run single to Rogers for an 8-0 lead.

Cotuit bounced back with two runs in the sixth but Hyannis added one more for 9-2 lead. The Kettleers added one more in the seventh inning but Hyannis again countered that with one run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Noll singled in Hays for the 10-3 lead.

Hyannis righty Dakota Hudson – who served as a reliever most of the season – got the win with five strikeouts in six innings of work. He walked five and allowed two runs on four hits. Zach Girrens (St. Louis) turned in three innings of relief for the ‘Hawks.

Facing postseason elimination, Cotuit will try and bounce back Tuesday aternoon at Elizabeth Lowell Park when the Harbor Hawks come across town for a 4:00 pm playoff match-up.

— Story and Photos by Sean Walsh, sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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