In a perfect world, Sam Turcotte’s pitching performance last Thursday would have come with the Ocean State Waves still in playoff contention, perhaps providing a signature moment in a clinching win.
That wasn’t the case. The Waves had been eliminated from the postseason chase the day before.
But Turcotte will have a prominent place in the record books all the same.
The Stony Brook University right-hander struck out 18 batters in seven innings as the Waves beat Danbury 5-1 at Rogers Park in Connecticut.
The 18 strikeouts are the most in Waves history and the second-most in the 26-year history of the NECBL. Newport’s Chase Reid, who struck 19 versus Torrington in 2008, still holds the top spot.
Turcotte came into the game with a 9.61 ERA and just 15 strikeouts in the entire season. When he struck out the side in each of the first two innings, it became clear something was different.
He fanned the side again in the fourth. After Danbury touched him up for a run in the fifth, he recorded seven consecutive outs via the strikeout. In his seven innings, only three outs came on something other than a strikeout.
By that time, the Waves had rallied to take the lead, making a winner out of Turcotte. Monty Horn pitched the final two innings, striking out three of his own, to finish off the win.
The Waves finished 19-25. Their late push that included a six-game win streak fell short of the postseason. Three straight losses last week, combined with Mystic playing well down the stretch, secured their fate.
Mystic lost to Newport in the first round of the playoffs. Top seed Martha’s Vineyard then beat Newport for a spot in the league championship, where it will face the Keene Swamp Bats.
Lovelady at Fenway
Former Wave Richard Lovelady pitched for the Kansas City Royals against the Red Sox Tuesday night at Fenway Park, allowing one run in two innings.
Lovelady is in his first season in the majors. He played for the Waves in in 2015.