By Katie Vieth
June 20, 2004
ORLEANS — The Kettleers were looking to forget a less-than-perfect start. The Orleans Cardinals were looking to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Division. So we gathered at Eldredge Park to watch what would later be called a good night of baseball.
It was, yet again, a pitcher’s game. Orleans’s Ryan Self would last six innings and only allow two walks, three hits, and one run, while Cotuit’s Sean Miller’s outing of the same six innings would result in five strikeouts, three hits, no walks, and no runs. Patrick Hakey would then enter the game for Orleans and pitch a near-perfect three innings, allowing only one hit. Saunders Ramsey would pitch two innings for Cotuit (he would only allow one hit and one walk) with Tony Sipp, the designated hitter for the game, throwing three straight strikeouts to end the game.
Cotuit’s one run came in the third inning in the form of Dennis Diaz. With a double up the left-field line, Diaz scampered to second after Ben Crabtree was put out at first. Geoff Strickland, after taking a strike, was dealt four straight balls, and then took up residence on first base (Diaz stole third on Strickland’s 1-3 count).
Then came Tony Sipp.
The 6′ Clemson DH, outfielder, and pitcher stepped up to the plate. Self threw to first, and Crabtree got back easily. Then, after looking at catcher Sean Richardson, Self threw to home. With a tap of the bat, Sipp bunted the ball up the first base line and sprinted to first, running hard all the way. Diaz sprinted home, while Crabtree ran to second. The Kettleers fans in attendance held their breath.
And Sipp was safe.
An example of the Coach Mike Roberts running ethic, Sipp ran through first as first-baseman Gordie Gronkowski bobbled the ball. Run scores, with a man on second and first (later to become second and third after more Roberts-inspired base stealing). Bryan Harris would be called out on a bunted foul after two strikes, and Ben Ingold would ground out to first, but the damage was done. 1-0 Cotuit.
Cotuit would only get one other hit in the game, a Ben Crabtree single in the eighth, but Orleans would try to rally in the seventh. After a pitching change, Saunders Ramsey was to face Colin Curtis. After working the count full, Ramsey lost him to a walk. Gordie Gronkowski, the Cardinal first-baseman, singled to left, advancing Curtis. James Dayne would then be named as Gronkowski’s pinch runner as Matt Anderson stepped to the plate. Ramsey threw the first pitch right by him for a called strike. Anderson then fouled the next two pitches off before hitting one into… a 4-6-3 double play. The team of Geoff Strickland (second base), Ben Ingold (short stop) and Bryan Harris (first base) turned a beautiful two, and the Cotuit crowd roared for more. So, happy to oblige, Strickland made a leaping catch to end the seventh and leave a Cardinal on third.
Tony Sipp’s spectacular pitching expedition, beautiful bunt, and great demonstration of base-running skills made him the highlight of the game. On the Orleans side, Patrick Hakey’s previously mentioned three innings with only one hit made him a very notable player.
Also of note: in a questionable move, the president of the Cotuit Athletic Association managed to position herself in front of the Assistant General Manager in order to get a tee-shirt during the Cuffy’s tee-shirt toss in the fifth inning, though both were laughing at the end of the game.