By Katie Vieth
July 23, 2004
COTUIT — Cotuit seems to be attracted, by some other-worldly force, to close games. Many fans — especially “long-timers” — have realized this fact already. But just because it’s true, and is proven again and again (and again!) that we can’t be surprised by the antics of Kettleers baseball.
Brewster, a team who had played Cotuit–and lost–a few days earlier, was already quite acquainted with the Kettleers’ style of winning (or, unfortunately, losing). So when a three-run homer–followed by another run–in the second put the Whitecaps up on the board, the lead felt tentative. Gaby Sanchez, the third-baseman, got on with a walk and advanced to second on an Andy Hunter single. Michael Hunter then hit a sac bunt to advance the runners, but the out was unnecessary ad Ryan Roberson would hit a home run over the left-field fence. Mark Wagner, the catcher, would follow with a stand-up double, and score from second on a Will Rymes single. Ryan Patterson would strike out to end the inning…
Brewster had batted through the entire lineup.
Cotuit, actually, had scored first, in the bottom of the first. A two-out Bobby Felmy stand-up double to left began a very brief rally. Steve Pearce then made it to first after being hit in the elbow (he would later be substituted by Geoff Strickland); during his at-bat, Pearce would steal third, a very rare occurrence in the Cape League , but with a coach very much in favor of stealing, somewhat common in Cotuit. All-Star Bryan Harris, on the first pitch he saw of Adam Gold, hit a single to left, scoring Felmy.
So in the top of the third, the score was 4-1. Yet again, Gaby Sanchez led off the inning, doing so with a single. Andy Hunter, who had already hit a single, hit a stand-up double on a 2-1 count, scoring Hunter. Pitcher Kyle Marlatt, who had been previously seen as reliable with seven innings pitched with a 3.48 ERA, was pulled from the game and Ken Egleton, who had hit a home run in the last game against Brewster, was put into the pitching position. (Of note: Egleton was still the designated hitter at this point. Also of note: Egleton’s home run was on the front page of the Cape Cod Times as a promotion for the documentary Touching the Game .) Egleton would then finish out the inning and pitch two more complete innings, allowing no runs and only two hits.
Meanwhile, Cotuit had some catching up to do. In the top of the fourth, Bryan Harris would lead off the bottom part of the inning and would get to first when he was hit by Adam Gold. Harris would be the only Kettleer to be hit and not leave the game; Bobby Felmy was hit in the hip in the bottom of the third, allowing Diaz to enter the game in left, and Brad Boyer to shift over from left field to right field. Harris would be hit again in a pickoff. After Ken Egleton struck out (he would go 0-4 with four strike-outs), Jason Donald drew a walk, and Nathan Southard reached first base on a fielder’s choice. Mike DeCarlo, the catcher, would then hit a single to left, scoring Harris and Southard (Donald was out due to the fielder’s choice). Brad Boyer would end the inning with a 6-4 fielder’s choice, a great play turned by Steve Tolleson and Will Rymes.
Cotuit would score again in the bottom of the fifth with a lead-off first-pitch home run by Chase Headley. Dennis Diaz would reach second on a throwing error by second-baseman Rymes; Diaz’s speed again showed itself as a valuable asset to the Kettleers, as some runners would have not reached second on the overthrow. Geoff Strickland followed with a grounder to the second-baseman and engaged in an extremely close play. Rymes decided to hold on to the ball and try to out run Strickland, but eventually conceded with a dive towards first. Strickland then dove for the base, and amidst the dust the two players had raised, was called out. A quite passionate Strickland argued with first-base umpire Tom Apprille, but then sulked over to the bench… where he was tossed out of the game by plate umpire Mark Furtado. While Cotuit’s head coach Mike Roberts discussed the ejection with Furtado, the Whitecaps held a meeting on the mound. But eventually Strickland jammed his cap on his he! ad and stalked off the field, and the game resumed. Harris was up to bat again, and on a 1-2 count hit the ball up the line, but reached first on a fielding error by first-baseman Hunter. The error would score Diaz. Cotuit would eventually end the inning, after a pitching change, with a pop out to first, and Cotuit would strand two runners.
But a five-five tie was beginning to look pretty nice. Especially after being down by three in the third.
Phillip Davidson, the new Brewster pitcher, would only allow one base-runner in his two innings of work; he struck out two. Jason Determann, who would follow, kept Cotuit from a win–or a tie–by having a one-two-three eighth inning.
But before the bottom of the eighth, came the top of the eighth.
Jordan Faircloth would begin the inning, replacing Ryan Cahalan. Mark Wagner would fly out to right on a nice play by Brad Boyer. James Boone would be walked, but would be caught stealing with a gorgeous tag (and block… and general handling of the ball) by Nathan Emrick. So two outs, and skies darkening, Steve Tolleson stepped up to the plate and hit a single to right. He was then assigned Marco Albeno as a pinch runner. Rymes then hit a single to right, followed by another single–this one by Ryan Patterson–to right. The score was tied, bases loaded, Gaby Sanchez up to the plate… and he gets hit by Faircloth. The next batter, Andy Hunter, is also hit by Faircloth. By now, the clouds were overtaking Lowell Park , and it was clear that the only way to escape a loss was to not finish the inning, as the score would then revert back to the tie. But Michael Campbell would hit into a fielder’s choice, Cotuit would have its previously mentioned one-two-three inning, and the! game would end due to darkness.
Cotuit fans are again in a quandary. How can five runs be scored in one game, with one or two the next?