2009 Hyannis Mets year-in-review
By Chris Blake, Hyannis Mets Radio
The 2009 season looked eerily similar to the 2008 for the Hyannis Mets. Both years started with high hopes and solid starts, and both concluded with losing streaks and injuries.
The 2009 edition of the team was never above .500 after winning on Opening Day, but stayed in contention until late July thanks to the expanded six-team playoff format that debuted this summer. All hopes of crashing the playoff party came to an abrupt end when, from July 17-26, Hyannis lost seven straight games to fall to 12-21 on its way to finishing up at 16-26-1.
As is the usual on Cape Cod though, the Mets had their bright spots. South Carolina’s Jackie Bradley Jr. hit .306 with four triples and 12 RBIs once the calendar flipped to July, Johnny Ruettiger of Arizona State had a .381 on-base percentage and stole 14 bases, and Virginia’s Tyler Wilson reeled off a streak of four starts of seven innings or more.
Fittingly enough for Hyannis, Ruettiger and Bradley are both freshmen whom the team would like to see back in a Mets uniform come 2010.
The Mets also featured arguably the feel-good story of the season in Delaware first baseman Ryan Cuneo. Cuneo was picked up by Hyannis at the tryout camp in Wareham the weekend before the season’s first game as a fill-in corner infielder. It did not take him long to turn into much more than that.
Cuneo settled into the third hole in the Hyannis batting order and proved to be the team’s best and only power threat. He hit .270 with five home runs and 29 RBIs, and ranked in the league’s top five in most power categories.
The Western Division All-Star starter at first base was just one of what could have been a lethal combination in the middle of the batting order. Tennessee infielder Cody Hawn provided a brief power surge for Hyannis and completely changed the dynamics of the lineup with his powerful bat.
Hawn hit .375 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in just 15 games for the Mets while compiling a remarkable 1.172 OPS.
Other Hyannis players hit by the injury bug at some point in the season included All-Star second baseman Nick Crawford (UAB), third baseman Dustin Harrington (East Carolina), outfielder Eddie Rohan (Winthrop), pitcher Cole Johnson (Notre Dame), and actually just about every other Hyannis Met to don a uniform except Cuneo and Bradley.
The best moment of the season came on the last batter of the last game the Mets played. With two outs and the bases loaded in a tie game against Falmouth that meant nothing for either team, temporary player and Barnstable native Tim Norton of Bryant stepped to the plate with a chance to win it for Hyannis.
Though he didn’t do quite that, he fouled off numerous two-strike offerings from Commodores pitcher Cecil Tanner before Tanner finally tossed a wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score. Norton was then mobbed by his teammates and left with a Cape League memory for the ages.
The 2009 Hyannis Mets (Photo by Emily Greeke/Hyannis Mets)