Brewhas, Highlanders win semifinal openers

'Canes' second baseman Joe Rebello awaits as Gary Kovack of the Brewhas slides into the bag face-first. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Softball League best of three semifinals began Monday night at Veterans Park with four familiar teams, the top-seeded Highlanders and three of the league’s oldest members, the Brewhas, Wildcats, and two-time defending champion Hurricanes.

The evening began with the fifth-seeded Brewhas thumping the second-seeded ‘Canes 25-13. The teams were neck and neck through four innings, with the Hurricanes up 12-11. Sean Reed hit a solo homer in the second inning and Matt Gebo a stroked a two-run shot in the fourth for the Brewhas. Bobby Sprague drilled a three-run homer for the ‘Canes in the bottom of the fourth.

The final three innings belonged to the Brewhas, however, who outscored the ‘Canes 14-1 down the stretch. Gary Kovack led off the fifth with a home run and pitcher John Van Putten cleared the bases with a grand slam to make it 17-12. The Brewhas batted around in the seventh, scoring eight runs to put the game out of reach.

The nightcap was over quickly. The Highlanders connected early and often, putting the game beyond doubt with 10 runs in the third, en route to a 17-1 mercy shortened 4.5 inning win over the toothless Wildcats. Matt Kurth hit a three-run round-tripper for the Highlanders in the third inning.

The playoffs continued Wednesday night with the Brewhas and Hurricanes meeting in game two. Should the ‘Canes even the series, a third and deciding game will be played Thursday night with the time as yet undetermined. The Highlanders and Wildcats are back in action for game two on Monday night.