by Katie Vieth
July 30, 2004
MCKEON FIELD — Some one needs to figure out what has made the Kettleers so susceptible to injuries.
Cotuit looked good in the first inning at McKeon Park with two Kyle Marlatt strikeouts. But in the bottom of the second, Hyannis struck with a seemingly endless rally.
Joe Holland led off with a right-field single. Pat Reilly made it to second on a fielding error by first-baseman Bryan Harris. Mike Constantino would draw a walk, and the bases were loaded for Chris Robinson, who promptly hit a single to right, scoring Holland . Chandler Rose would strike out swinging, but Kyle Keen would keep the rally alive by hitting a single to third that was stopped in a nice play by Chase Headley, but Pat Reilly would still score. Mike Baxter would give Hyannis yet another run by hitting a first-pitch sac fly to right, scoring Constantino from third. Jay Miller would end the inning with a ground out to third (scored 5u). Hyannis had scored three in the second, but more importantly, Cotuit’s defense was becoming what one “would see at a Little League game,” as one fan noted.
The next rally would occur in the fourth inning, when Constantino would reach first on a fielding error by second-baseman Geoff Strickland, though no backup help would push Constantino to second (Dennis Diaz had to run in from center to field the ball). Robinson would follow with a stand-up double, scoring Constantino. Rose would hit a sharp line drive to first, where a great catch by Bryan Harris would keep Robinson from scoring. (A note: after his error in the second, Harris began to play the way Cotuit fans had expected him to–very well–with the previously mentioned great catch in the fourth, two singles, and a nice effort in running through first base in the third, clearly the product of Mike Roberts’s coaching and Harris’s efforts to play the game well.) Keen would come to the plate and hit the second part of back-to-back stand-up rbi doubles. Mike Baxter would reach second on a fielding error on shortstop Jason Donald; Keen would score on the play. Miller would then hit a sac fly to center and score Baxter from second. Costanzo would end the inning for Hyannis with a 1-0 fly out to left. Four runs for Hyannis.
But the Kettleers, even down by seven and playing definitely not their best game of baseball, would not give up. Harris would lead off with a single to short. Brad Boyer (who also showed the Roberts Running Ethic in the first) hit what should have been a first-pitch sacrifice bunt, but managed to get to third on a throwing error on pitcher Mike Wlodarczyk and running. All the way through. In the now-famous Kettleer fashion. (The error scored Harris from first.) Chase Headley would ground out 4-3, but Boyer would score. Geoff Strickland would strike out for the second time in the game and Steve Pearce would, after working the count full, draw a walk, but that would be the end of the rally. It was now 7-2 Hyannis.
Cotuit would rally again in the top of the seventh. Jason Donald would lead off with a stand-up double on a 1-2 count. Dennis Diaz would connect and hit a single to left, advancing Donald to third. Then Mike DeCarlo stepped up to the plate. After a check-swing strike and watching a ball, fans watched in horror as the pitch curved in and a sickening crack echoed through the park. Fans gasped as DeCarlo bent over the plate as coaches, umpires, players, and the Hyannis trainers gathered around the catcher. Blood poured out of his face. As Cotuit Athletic Association President Martha Johnston said, “He broke his face.” DeCarlo was led off the field with a towel covering his face as an ambulance pulled up to take him to the nearby hospital. The area then had to be cleaned up, as blood is considered as a biohazard; the total delay lasted, according to scorer Will Bussiere, thirteen minutes. But the game must go on, and Bryan Harris lifted Cotuit’s hopes a bit with a single to left, scoring Donald. But Chase Headley would ground into a 5-3 double play, and the game would be called on account of darkness and fog in the field (this called game was undisputed; some Kettleers fans even thought that the game should have been called earlier).
A 7-3 loss wouldn’t be so hard to take if it wouldn’t have had taken our one “true” catcher with it. DeCarlo, who has a broken nose, seems like just another Kettleer casualty (… think Ingold, Maxwell, Felmy, Donald). So the question becomes…
Since when has baseball had casualties?