By Jessica Isner, Staff Writer
June 13 , 2007
COTUIT, MA – On an unseasonably cold afternoon at Lowell Park, the fans weren’t the only ones seemingly affected by the winter-like weather: the Cotuit Kettleers dropped an exhibition match, 5-2, against the Columbus All-Americans.
The Kettleers sent Shippensburg’s Matt Wright out to the mound to start the game. He pitched just two innings and finished with two strikeouts, three hits, one walk, and two earned runs. Quinn Hasselhorst of Dayton started for the Columbus All Americans and went two scoreless innings with no walks and one hit.
Cotuit’s third pitcher of the game, utilityman JB Shuck of Ohio State, proved to be an offensive and defensive force, as he pitched a scoreless fourth inning and fanned three before subbing in to play right field.
Infielder Josh Harrison had a Julio Lugo-esque afternoon with two infield hits, two stolen bases, and an RBI. Tony Delmonico, a second-year Kettleer, also finished the afternoon two-for-three. Cotuit’s other RBI came courtesy of Tennessee’s Yan Gomes.
After cruising through an easy first inning, Wright ran into trouble in the second when he issued a leadoff walk to Columbus’s Matthew Davis. He then allowed a single down the first baseline to Erich Diedrich, and both runners moved up a base on a throwing error by Aaron Baker. Jeff Davis hit a sacrifice fly to left-center to bring Davis home. Wright settled down to get the second out of the inning with a three-pitch strikeout, but then allowed a single to Michael Sims, which scored Diedrich. Sims got caught in a rundown to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Cotuit managed its first hit off of Haselhorst when Tennessee’s Tony Delmonico tapped a two-out infield single out to the pitcher, then reached second on a fielding error. He was stranded when Robert Stock grounded out to second base for the third out.
In the bottom of the third, the Kettleers touched Columbus reliever Aaron Hammons for a run when he allowed a one-out double to Aaron Baker. Cincinnati’s Josh Harrison drove him in on an infield single to bring Cotuit within a run.
The Kettleers threatened again in the bottom of the fourth when they sent six men to the plate, but were unable to score. Reliever Aaron Hammons issued a leadoff walk to Yan Gomes, then induced designated hitter Ryne White into a groundout, allowing Gomes to move up to second. He reached third on a wild pitch. After Tony Delmonico grounded out to the pitcher for the second out of the inning, Stock was hit by a pitch, and right fielder Brian Wilson walked to load the bases. All three were stranded when Baker grounded out to first to end the inning.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Cotuit manufactured a run when Harrison hit an infield single. He stole second, stole third, then came home on another infield single by Yan Gomes to tie the game at two. Unfortunately, in the top of the sixth, Harrison was injured tagging a man out at third and was taken out of the game.
Cotuit’s sixth pitcher of the game, Jordan Meaker of Dallas Baptist, was responsible for Columbus’ go-ahead run. He started off the seventh inning with a strikeout, but then hit Erich Diedrich and walked pinch hitter Jared Bartholemew. Alex Schmid then struck out but Cotuit’s Aaron Baker, now catching, was unable to get a handle on the ball. It sailed to the backstop and Diedrich was able to score.
The All-Americans managed to get another run in the top of the ninth with Garrett Richards on the mound. Ryan Dew led things off with a walk, and Matthew Davis followed suit. After Erich Diedrich grounded out to short and Jared Bartholomew struck out, Alex Schmid managed a two-out single, and Michael Sims brought Dew and Davis home with another single.
Despite the loss, Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts has a positive outlook on what is yet to come for this group of Kettleers.