The Martha’s Vineyard boys varsity baseball team hosted Eastern Athletic Conference rival Coyle and Cassidy of Taunton on a windy and brisk Tuesday afternoon at Vineyard Baseball Park. The team played hard from the first pitch until the last out but ultimately could not generate any offense against a formidable opponent and lost, 10-0. The Warriors starting pitcher, David Capobianco, a tall southpaw with a commanding fastball and deceptive change-up, pitched a four-hit complete game shutout.
The Vineyarders countered with Henry Gallagher, a scrappy southpaw as well. Gallagher pitched a decent first inning, surrendering only one run but was responsible for two runs in the second. In the bottom of the second inning with the Warriors in front, 3-0, the Vineyard bats started to come alive. Tucker McNeely led off with a deep drive to center that was caught by the streaking Coyle centerfielder. Jacob Cardoza then singled to right and stole second. With a man on first, and Capobianco operating from the stretch, the Coyle pitcher fired to first base on a pickoff attempt after which the entire Vineyard bench called for a balk. Vineyard skipper Gary Simmons, coaching at third base, asked for a conference with the umpires to determine whether or not the pitcher did in fact balk. The two umpires met briefly behind home plate, ultimately ruling that Capobianco had not and play soon resumed. Unfortunately for the Vineyard, the rally was short-lived. Capobianco struck out Henry Gallagher and Emerson Mahoney flared a pop-out to the first baseman.
Henry Gallagher took the mound again for the third inning. On his first pitch, the Coyle batter laced a liner back to the mound, striking the lefty hard in the right leg. Gallagher, unfazed, stuck with the play, tracked down the loose ball and fired a strike to first base for the out, much to the delight of his teammates and fans. Gallagher then retired the next batter on a pop-up to the mound.
Coyle then singled twice and walked to load the bases, but Gallagher induced the Warriors to fly out to left field, ending the threat.
After a quiet home half of the third, Gallagher took the mound to start the fourth, recording one out on a popup to Tim Roberts at first. The next three Warriors all reached base through an error and two singles. With runners on second and third and Coyle up, 4-0, Aksel Cooperrider came on in relief of Gallagher. The Warriors added a two-run single before Cooperrider closed out the inning on a strikeout swinging and a strikeout looking.
Despite trailing early into the contest, the Vineyard team remained focused, trying to scrape and crawl its way back into the game, but Capobianco proved to be too much to handle on this chilly day at the ballpark.
The team will have a chance for revenge Friday when they travel to Taunton for a rematch. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 pm.