‘Caps and ‘Canes win on men’s softball opening night

Jeff Charles of the Wildcats uncoils for a hit. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Summer sports at Veterans Park officially got underway Monday night with a Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Softball League doubleheader.

For the first time in three decades, the league opened play without the familiar forest green shirted Treds who disbanded over the winter. In their place, with some familiar faces, are the Whitecaps.

Due to scheduling with travel soccer, during the first two weeks of the season, men’s league games will start at 7 pm, with two seven-inning games per night in a one-pitch per batter format to speed up play.

The ‘Caps started off opening night with a 27-14 win over the Wildcats. Billy Johnson wasted little time putting the league newbies on top by crushing the game’s third pitch for a two-run homer. The Whitecaps led 4-1 after one and 6-3 after four but put the game out of reach by exploding for five, nine, and seven runs over the final three innings.

Mike Luongo drilled two grand slams, one in the fifth and another in the sixth. Also in the sixth, Asa Vought hit a two-run single and Luke Bettencourt followed with a two-run double. Alex Bettencourt keyed the ‘Caps seventh with a grand slam of his own.

Not to be outdone, Anthony Piland blasted a grand slam in the bottom half of the seventh as the ‘Cats finished up strong by scoring eight runs.

In the nightcap, the Hurricanes scored early and often in a 27-3 win over Gustav.

James Holenko led off the game with a home run and slugged a second round-tripper in the second inning. Bobby Sprague homered in the first and launched a three-run triple deep to left in the second. Harrison Holmes also tripled in the second, scoring three, as the camouflaged ‘Canes built a 13-0 lead. Joel Rebello hit a two RBI double to key a six-run third.

Alec Tattersall and Ryan Welty had RBI singles in the bottom half of the second for Gustav.