June 11 , 2007
By Jessica Isner
COTUIT, MA – The Cotuit Kettleers kicked off the 2007 season on Monday afternoon with a 2-2 exhibition tie versus the Columbus All Americans, and in the process gave new meaning to the concept of small ball. With frequent, and mostly successful, stolen base attempts and a few singles here and there, Cotuit steadily put runs on the board without relying on big bats.
Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts gave most of his roster a little taste of life in the Cape League with frequent pitching changes and pinch hitters. Collectively, six Kettleers pitchers surrendered two runs, five hits and one walk over nine innings.
The Kettleers started off with pitcher Brad Brach of Monmouth University on the mound; his counterpart for Columbus was Kevin Mementowski of Ohio State. Brach pitched just two innings, surrendering one hit and fanning two.
Both teams got their first hits in the second inning. Columbus’ Jared Bartholemew lined a two-out single to right field but was stranded when Chris Klimko grounded out to second. In the bottom of the inning, designated hitter Robert Stock of USC blooped a one-out single to left-center, but was doubled off of first when catcher Yan Gomes popped out to end the inning.
The Kettleers finally broke the 0-0 deadlock in the sixth inning. Columbus’ Quinn Hasselhorst administered a leadoff walk to Stock, who moved up to second when Gomes singled to right field. After Stock was thrown out trying to steal third, second baseman Tony Delmonico and right fielder JB Shuck followed with two consecutive singles to right, scoring Gomes. The Kettleers manufactured their second run on a unique play: with Curtis Dupart at bat, Shuck attempted to steal second base. While he was caught in a lengthy rundown, Delmonico snuck around from third and scored, and Shuck reached second safely. Dupart grounded out to second and pinch-hitter Mike Biannucci flied out to right field to end the inning.
Columbus got a run back in the top of the eighth, with second-year Kettleer Christian Staehely on the mound. After registering two quick 1-2-3 innings, Staehely got the first two outs of the inning but then ran into trouble when shortstop Jeff Ussery got a bad handle on a grounder by Michael Sims and sent an errant throw to first into the dugout. Sims took second on the error and then scored on a double to the gap in left-center by shortstop Dean Anna. Staehely induced Jeff Davis into a pop-out to end the inning.
The All Americans mounted another threat in the top of the ninth, when Robert Stock took the mound and allowed three consecutive singles- only one of which left the infield- to load the bases with nobody out. He induced Jared Bartholemew into a double play, but Ryan Dew came around to score from third and tie the game at two. Alex Schmid struck out to end the inning.