By Katie Vieth
July 9, 2004
LOWELL PARK — It was thought that the Kettleers’ roster was to stay somewhat stable.
But with the loss of Tony Sipp a few games back (signed with Cleveland Indians) and the broken hand of Justin Maxwell, one must wonder… Why are the top Kettleer players leaving? Or, more importantly, What will this do to the Kettleers?
Then again, why wonder when Lowell Park is again lively with the game of baseball?
The Kettleers began their game against the Harwich Mariners in the first-place slot of the Western Division with 21 points; Harwich, in the Eastern Division, was somewhat comparable with 20 points. (Of both divisions, Brewster’s 24 points is the largest amount held by any team, with Cotuit second behind them.) It was inferred, then, that it would be a close game. In fact, each team would have eight strikeouts, and only five walks would be given the entire game. (Well, Cotuit only gave up one walk, and it was an intentional walk to set up a force out in the ninth.) The game also went to ten innings.
Cotuit had its first hit in the first inning with a two-out double by left-fielder Brad Boyer. Boyer would steal third, but would be stranded when Bryan Harris struck out swinging.
Harwich first struck in the third when Josh Bell had his only hit of the game, a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Erick Eymann, and he was on second — in scoring position — with only one out. John Aughey then managed a double to left-center, scoring Bell . Aughey would advance, on a passed ball, to third, but would not score as both Drew Davidson and Ben Copeland would strike out swinging.
Cotuit’s next scoring opportunity would be in the fourth when a walk would put Nathan Southard on first. He would steal second after Boyer struck out swinging. Bryan Harris then stepped up to the plate. After his huge game the day before, fans roared for a hit, and, on an 0-2 count, he hit a single to left field. Southard jogged to third and was then wildly waved home by third-base coach Mike Roberts. But Southard’s running showed signs of second-guessing, and he was thrown out at the plate. Harris would advance to second on the throw, but nothing else would come of the somewhat rickety rally.
The pitching was superb by all involved (Cody Evans, Saunders Ramsey, and Jordan Faircloth for the Kettleers and Zach Ward, Kevin Lynch, and Ryan LaMotta for Harwich). Only eleven hits total would occur in the game, and, as previously mentioned, sixteen strikeouts (inclusive of both teams) would be issued.
Eventually, though, pitcher Ward would have to leave the game after eight complete innings, giving up only three hits and striking out eight. And so, in the top of the ninth, with Kevin Lynch stepping up to the mound and a pinch-hitting Dennis Diaz at the plate, what could barely qualify for a rally began. Diaz would ground out 1-4-3 and Brad Boyer would ground out to first base (unassisted). Then Bryan Harris stepped up. Already 1-3 with a single, Harris, on a 0-1 count, hit a double to left field. Chase Headley then entered the box and made Lynch throw five pitches and, with a count of 2-2, hit a single to center, scoring a sprinting Harris. Headley would be left at first when Jason Donald would ground out 6-3, but the ramshackle rally was done… as was the damage. And on to extra innings!!
With Jordan Faircloth now pitching, Cotuit managed to get a 1-2-3 top of the tenth. (A digression: Josh Bell would ground out, but not before his bat would get stuck in the fence and break. It took a photographer, a batboy, and a fan to get the bat out, much to the amusement of the audience.) The bottom of the tenth would yield much excitement for the Kettleers. Ben Ingold and Bobby Felmy would fly out to center before the Kettleers would manage to get a man on base. A batting substitution would place Mike DeCarlo in the nine-spot. DeCarlo would produce a single to left-center on a 2-1 count. Geoff Strickland would see six pitches and a full count before being walked. Yet another pitching change would put Ryan LaMotta on the rubber; he would then walk Diaz after working the count full. With the bases loaded and two outs, Brad Boyer, the left-fielder from Arizona , put his bat on his shoulder and walked to the box, and on a one and one count, swung.. and hit a single to right field.
A walk-off single.