Red Raiders Take Baseball Season-Opener
Barnstable High received five shutout innings from senior Willie Nastasi and staked the lanky righty eight runs before Falmouth made things look interesting, as always, in the top of the seventh with three runs but Dan Holzman closed it for the 8-4 win.
As far as high school baseball games go, this one seemed about as average as they come.
But for the first five innings, senior righty Willie Nastasi looked anything but average as he threw 70 pitches, allowed no runs, no hits, walked three and struck out three. In the top of the sixth, the UConn-bound tri-captain gave up a basehit to Falmouth High’s Zach Zaino, followed by a double from Wyatt Hamilton and another basehit.
The difference was that Barnstable had staked Nastasi a 6-0 lead until that one earned run crossed the plate for Falmouth in the top of the sixth and it was a lead the Red Raiders (1-0) would not relinquish as the hosts closed out the season-opener with an 8-4 victory.
Hard-throwing junior closer Dan Holzman, all 6’2, 230 lbs. of him, came in relief of lefty reliever James Burke in the top of the seventh and threw two pitches to Falmouth’s Matt Kinchla for the final out of the game, giving Holzman the easiest save of his still young career.
All totalled, Nastasi went six innings, threw 86 pitches, allowed one earned run, struck out four batters, walked three and allowed three hits. He now stands at 1-0 on the year with a 0.86 ERA.
Barnstable got on the scoreboard in the Bottom of the first inning when Everett Walsh beat out a slow roller to no-man’s land on the infield grass, driving in Ty Adams who had reached base with Barnstable’s first basehit of the game and season. D.J. Crook made it 2-0 when he walked with the bases still juiced.
Catcher Denny Beynor led off the second inning with a basehit, then stole second base and then advanced to third when Dylan Morris reached on an error. Morris then got the nod for the delayed steal and Beynor came scampering home, uncontested, to make it 3-0. Danny Walsh then drove in Morris with an RBI-double. After two innings, the Red & White led Falmouth, 4-0. Barnstable made it 5-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Crook led off with a single and scored on a Sam Holway RBI-double.
Holway scored in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it 6-0 when he walked, advanced on an infield ground out, then came home on a Luke Besse RBI-single.
On the heels of Nastasi’s seven-pitch fifth inning, Falmouth’s heart of the order plated one run on three hits to make it 6-1. Barnstable made it 8-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Adams walked, stole second, Dan Walsh walked and Mark Brodd laced an RBI-single. Holway had an RBI-walk to make it 8-1, scoring Dan Walsh, but was caught napping at first by Falmouth’s apt backstop to end what could have been a deluge of runs.
Never ones to give in or give up, the Clippers took a pair of free passes to lead off the top of the seventh, followed by a base-knock from Jameson Orr to make it 8-2, and then Zaino drove in another run to make it 8-3. A bases-loaded walk made it 8-4, then Holzman came in with two outs to shut the door.
Adams went 1-3, Ev Walsh went 1-4 (RBI), Crook went 1-2 (RBI) with two walks, Dan Walsh went 1-3 (RBI, 2B), Holway went 1-2 (2 RBI, 2B), Brodd went 2-3 (RBI), Beynor went 1-3 and Besse went 1-3 (RBI).
Barnstable faces New Bedford on Thursday on the road, always a tough-to-beat opponent.