COTUIT – Baseball is strange. Two teams can play twice in one day, and the games can sometimes barely resemble each other.
In the first bout, Cotuit took advantage of four Y-D errors, while overcoming two of their own, en route to a 7-2 victory.
Perhaps it was the slick grass, maybe it was the thought of playing a doubleheader, but whatever it was, it wasn’t pretty.
The ball didn’t bounce the way Cotuit starter Chris Beck (Georgia Southern) wanted it to in the first two innings. After striking out the first batter of the opening frame, Red Sox second basemen Matt Wessinger (St. Johns) hit a lazy foul ball to right field, and all of those who were scoring the game took their eyes off the ball and scribbled F7 next to the frame. Little did they know that the ball bounced out of Patrick Biondi’s (Michigan) glove like a Pop-Tart. The scorers had to change their F’s to E’s.
In the next at bat Cotuit catcher Luke Maile (Kentucky) tried to throw out Y-D’s Jordan Smith (St. Cloud State) at first. His attempt turned out to be a clumsy throw that fell right at his own feet that was worthy of Sportscenter’s “Not Top Ten.” Wessinger had his head up and ran for the Ketteleer-less home plate giving the Y-D Red Sox the early 1-0 lead.
Isaac Ballou (Marshall) made the lead 2-0 by laying down a perfect suicide squeeze in the second.
It was now Y-D’s turn to catch the error virus.
In the bottom half of the inning, Stefan Sabol (Oregon) reached base by way of a double. Then slick grass conditions decelerated a routine ground ball by Maile just enough to cause a bobble from Y-D shortstop Bo Cuthberton (Southern Utah) allowing Maile to safely reach first. Y-D catcher Bennett Pickar’s (Oral Roberts) attempt to gun down the stealing Maile sailed into the outfield allowing Sabol to score. He then let Y-D starter Joe Rodger’s (0-1) (Central Florida) pitch get by him giving Maile a chance to hustle home and knot the game at two.
In the 3rd, Micah Johnson (Indiana) hit Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) home by slapping a double to left. The Red Sox defense continued to be inept. Johnson swiped third and Pickar’s throw again flew into left field, letting Micah hurry home putting the score at 4-2. Johnson added another RBI in the 5th.
Chris Beck (1-0) ended up tossing a complete 7 inning game while giving up 2 runs, 1 earned, 6 hits, 1 walk, while striking out 5.
Beck attested his strong performance to his ability to keep Y-D off-balance.
“Everything was working out there today, so it was really easy. We worked a lot off the change up today. Luke called a great game back there.”
Manager Mike Roberts agreed. “Beck is a mature veteran pitcher, and I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch the next time.”
The second game was the defensive antithesis of the first. It was full of web gems, cleanly played groundballs, powerful bullets thrown across the infield that all added up to a good ole’ fashion pitchers duel. In the end Y-D got their revenge with a 1-0 win.
Cotuit starter Kyle Zimmer (0-1) (San Fransico) looked untouchable through 4 innings. He carried a no hitter into the 5th, but then he became mortal. After giving up his first hit to Michael O’Neill (Michigan) he proceeded to load the bases. He then threw a pitch that seemingly got by Cotuit catcher Kevin Roundtree (USC) allowing two runs to come to the plate.
Or so we thought.
After an umpire conference, it was determined that the pitch nicked the wrist of Red Sox left fielder John Adornetto’s (Stony Brook). This let Bo Cuthbertson cross the plate. Zimmer got out of the rest of the inning unscathed.
“I got into way too many three ball counts, fell behind too many guys,” said Zimmer concerning his performance. “I had a pretty good feel for it, unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get us a win.”
Red Sox starter Matt Rush (1-0) (Oral Roberts) chucked five scoreless innings giving up three hits, and only walking one. He did a fine job of working inside to the Cotuit hitters making them feel crowded and uneasy. He also kept the ball low, inducing seven groundball outs.
Rush also enjoyed pristine defensive play. Kevin Roundtree tried to lay down a suicide squeeze in the 2nd, but first baseman Mason Katz (LSU) made a sparkling diving catch. He turned it into a double play by gunning down the untagged Victor Roache (Georgia Southern) at third.
The relief pitchers also left their mark. Righty Matt Carasiti (St. John’s) of Y-D tossed the final two scoreless frames giving him a two inning save. Bobby Wahl (Ole Miss) of Cotuit also unleashed a 93 mph fastball to strike out Mason Katz that made everyone in the press row ears perk up and say, “Whoa, how fast was that?!”
Tomorrow the Kettleers will hold practice. Coach Roberts gave a telling answer when asked what specifically he was going to address.
“Everything; I mean we have a system, and we have a philosophy, and if one person is out of sync, then the system doesn’t work.”
Cotuit will try and get everyone in sync for their next game on Tuesday against the Wareham Gatemen. The game starts at 5 PM and will be played at Lowell Park.