By Katie Vieth
June 28, 2004
BOURNE — Digging up the painful memory of a 14-1 first-game loss, the Kettleers returned to Bourne. Amidst murmurs of “I hope they do better this time,” “Well, they can’t do much worse,” and “Payback!”, the maroon pinstripes took the field.
And it was better from the beginning.
Geoff Strickland led off with a walk, advanced to second on a Dennis Diaz bunt, advanced to third on a Nathan Southard fly out to right field, and touched home on a Bryan Harris single. Pitcher Kyle Marlatt would have a relatively smooth outing, giving up only four hits … and more importantly, no runs. Both Michael Koehler and Ryan Cahalan, who would follow Marlatt, would also not allow a Brave to touch the plate.
Cotuit scored their second run after Tony Sipp was walked, and an (unofficial) throwing error on the pitcher allowed him to reach third. A ground out by Chase Headley would get him home.
Bourne would try to rally in the fourth, loading the bases, but some good ol’ Kettleer defense squashed the Braves’ hopes (only four Bourne players would touch third base in the entire game, two of those would in the fourth).
The Kettleers would go on to score twice in the fifth and twice in the sixth. In the fifth, Diaz singled to left, advanced to third on a Southard double, and reached home on a Bryan Harris fly out to center (Southard would move to third).
Justin Maxwell stepped up to the plate, swung, and missed for an 0-1 count. And here’s where more controversy comes in. Southard was running up and down the third base line, trying to break pitcher Dan Donaldson’s attention. First base umpire Bob Panza called a balk, waving his arms wildly. Southard trotted down to home and tapped home before the Bourne coach stalked out to the mound. The umpires, the Bourne coach, and a very vocal Coach Mike Roberts held a conversation on the mound. Fans whispered wildly. What had happened? I thought it was a balk, didn’t you? Yes, but what part of the balk rule are they calling? I thought his foot took a step and his hands separated. Did you? I don’t know, it happened so fast! After several nerve-wracking minutes, the group motioned for Southard to go back to third. Roberts’s displeasure was heard by all, including the Cotuit fans across the field. But the game would go on, and Southard would score on a Justin Maxwell single, and! … fans would shout at the umpires. Hey! Was that a balk, too? We’ll score one way or another! Hey! Hey ump!
Cotuit’s final two runs would occur in the sixth. Tony Sipp would get aboard with a single (he would go 2-3 with a walk) and would make it to second on Chase Headley’s first hit of the night. Headley and Sipp advanced to second and third, respectively, by using the new Kettleer mantra: “Steal as much as possible.” Both Sipp and Headley would score off a Nate Emrick (2-3 with a hit-by-pitch in the ninth) double to center.
The Kettleers would only have two hits in the last three innings, but really, be honest. Does it really matter?
Isn’t winning 6-0 over a team that beat you, in the first game of the season, 14-1 great enough?