Some of the country's best college baseball players gathered at Fenway Park on Friday evening to play in the annual Cape Cod League All-Star Game. But even college superstars with big-league futures can get taken aback when playing in such a history laden venue.
"In twenty years, none of us are going to remember who won this game," West reliever Konnor Wade said post-game. "You're going to remember how you felt playing it."
Fenway provides a venue many times larger than the idyllic fields the Cape League players spend their summers on, and the opportunity to play on the same field as some of their idols isn't lost on them.
"I always think we should hold this All-Star Game on the Cape, to give our regular fans a chance to see this game," East coach Scott Pickler of Yarmouth-Dennis bluntly remarked. "But then those fans point out to me, 'This is the only time I can get my family of four into Fenway for only $40!'
"Then I ask the players every year, 'Where would you rather play this All-Star Game, on the Cape or Fenway?' and there is no question. They all say Fenway."
Fenway also provides the Cape leaguers some tools they don't get to see during the summer. "Everyone has fun watching the radar gun," smiled East and Harwich starting pitcher Taylor Rogers. "We don't get that all summer, so we were all watching that while we were in the dugout."
The venue and its extras proved to be somewhat of a distraction for some of this year's All-Stars, as errors and uncontrolled pitches played a role in all but one run in the game. Travis Jankowski got the West on the board in the first inning off an East first basemen error. The East got their revenge quickly, as Steven Piscotty and Mason Katz were able to score after a wild pitch by West pitcher Scott Firth and a miss by catcher Patrick Cantwell. The East took the 2-1 lead in the second. Wild pitches also led to the East's third run of the game, when Ryan Jones advancing to second base, leading to a run, after an awry Josh Conway pitch in the third inning.
In the fifth inning, James Ramsey of Yarmouth-Dennis hit a beautiful home run that arched perfectly into the left bullpen to give his East team their final 4-1 lead. Ramsey's shot was one that video montages are made of, and he chalked it up to Fenway's aura.
"You walk out here and it feels like you're walking above ground, on air." he explained afterwards.