By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
July 27, 2012
WAREHAM – The Kettleers continued to roll as they beat Wareham 16-3 Thursday. The Gatemen were able to come within striking distance of the Kettleers early, but it wasn’t soon enough. Cotuit never let up, and a two-out triple in the sixth by Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) broke the game open. The Kettleers saw three more long balls from Daniel Aldrich (College of Charleston) and Aramis Garcia (Florida International).
Cotuit played some small ball in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. The team added two more in the fourth on multiple Wareham miscues. Patrick Biondi (Michigan) reached on a walk, and later scored on a hit by Jacob Valdez (San Jose State).
Valdez hit a soft grounder to third, but Wareham’s third baseman overthrew first base, and Valdez was safe. Biondi scored all the way from first on the error, and Valdez also scored when the first baseman threw the ball out of play. The errors brought the score to 3-0 Kettleers through four.
Southpaw Adam McCreery (ASU) got the start for Cotuit going four solid innings before the bullpen came in in relief. McCreery gave up four hits with two walks and one strikeout. Five other Kettleers saw relief appearances, but Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) notched the win for Cotuit. Connolly leads the club with six wins on the season.
Aramis Garcia (Florida International) kept things going in the fifth. He hit his first homerun of the season, a solo shot, just over the fence in left field to extend the Kettleers lead to four. Wareham bounced back in the fifth with two runs, cutting the Kettleers lead to two. But the runs weren’t enough as Cotuit broke the score open in the seventh and never looked back.
With a 6-2 lead, Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) helped the Kettleers add to their lead. He brought the score to 9-2 with a bases clearing triple with two outs. Kemp leads the team with 24 runs batted in.
But the Kettleers would add more as Valdez followed up with a double to left field. One batter later, Aldrich hit his second two-run homer of the game to right field to put the score at 12-2. “We were clicking on all cylinders tonight,” Aldrich said. His first homerun came in the sixth, also with Valdez on base. “He is a really sound baseball player,” coach Mike Roberts said of Valdez.
Aldrich has been explosive in the last few games, with three homeruns in two days. “The two balls he got in the air, he has huge power for an amateur baseball player,” Roberts said. Aldrich and Valdez both went 2-4 on the night combining for seven runs batted in.
If the eight run lead wasn’t enough, Cotuit added four more in the eighth. The Kettleers batted through the order in both the seventh and eighth innings bringing their final lead to 16-3. “We have a unique team,” Roberts said. “We’re able to stay pretty focused, pretty level headed all the way through.”
The Kettleers (21-12) have now won 13 of their last 15 games, and sit comfortably atop the Western Division. They are 12 points ahead of second place Wareham (15-18), have won six in a row, and are the only team in the Western Division above .500. Cotuit has no more off days. After the All-Star game, the club will play ten straight days to finish the season. “It’ll be a long stretch but we’re gonna be ready for it,” Aldrich said.
Cotuit is away again Friday against Hyannis (14-20) looking to take five out of six games against the division rival. Kyle Finnegan will take the mound for the Kettleers in their last game before the All-Star break. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.