Hyannis starter Dylan Floro (Cal State Fullerton) was put to work in his four innings. Cotuit made Floro throw a lot of pitches and put a mass of runners on base. Floro was able to get two key double plays, the first of which came off the bat of Torsten Boss (Michigan State) in the first while the bases were loaded, ending the initial Cotuit threat. Kevin Mager (Rollins) led the fourth inning off with a lead off walk. Unfortunately the next batter Kevin Roundtree (USC) grounded into a good ole’ fashion 6-4-3 twin killing.Cotuit actually started off the scoring in the third inning behind the always dangerous bat of right fielder Victor Roache (Georgia Southern). Roache hit a solo shot, his third homerun of the year, off a hanging pitch left in the zone.
“He hung a slider. It was a little in and low, but I was able to barrel it up and got it out of here.”
In the next inning, Hyannis answered with a home run of their own. After Joey DeMichele (Arizona State) got on first via fielder’s choice, Adam Walker (Jacksonville) came to the dish after a Mike Robert’s meeting on the mound with Cotuit starter Paul Schwendel (Emory). Whatever Roberts said, apparently didn’t do the trick. Walker saw Roache’s solo blast, and raised him a two run shot. There are bombs, and then there are towering majestic cannons. Walker’s hit was the ladder. The ball fell midway through the lofty trees that are scattered in the left field of Lowell Park.
“I went in there, just tried to get a pitch that I can handle,” explained the Milwaukee native. “I got it, was glad I got a hold of it, and it turned out to be a pretty good shot.”
Hyannis coach Chad Gassman was really impressed by the promise that Walker is beginning to show.
“What’s nice is, Adam is starting to really figure it out up here, and he is capable of being a very special player. He’s working really hard with our hitting coach, and he’s not missing fastballs. He hit a couple balls really hard last night, and didn’t have anything to show for it. Tonight it was nice to see that he did.”
Cal Towey (Baylor) came up after Walker. He worked a walk, stole second, and then scored on a Jeremy Dowdy (Appalachian State) frozen rope line drive to right field.
Once Hyannis took the 3-1 lead, they never looked back.
The Kettleers were frisky in their half of the fourth. After reaching on an infield hit, Patrick Biondi (Michigan) stole his 10th bag of the year, and then was driven home by a Kyle Wren grounder that split the infield. Wren was caught stealing to end the inning.
The bullpens cruised through the rest of the game until the Harbor Hawks tacked on a run in the 8th to make it 4-2, but the game was really put out of reach in the 9th when Hyannis manufactured three runs to extend there lead to five. Richie Pedroza (Cal State Fullerton) started the inning by reaching on a Luke Maile (Kentucky) error. Joey Rickard (Arizona) then beamed a picturesque double into the right field gap, getting Pedroza to third. Dan Gulbransen (Jacksonville) then hit a deep but playable fly ball to center field allowing Pedroza to score comfortably. After a Joey DeMichele walk, Kevin Plawecki (Purdue) hit a sharp single to right that got Gulbransen home.
With DeMichele on third, and Plawecki at first, the Cotuit defense cracked. Plawecki took off from second before Michael Clevinger (Seminole JC) threw his pitch. Clevinger successfully threw to covering Micah Johson (Indiana), forcing Plawecki into a run down. With Cotuit’s focus on Plawecki, DeMichele keenly took off for home, forcing a surprised and rushed Micah Johnson to make a deficient throw home. The ball skipped past Luke Maile, allowing Plawecki to score and DeMichele to advance to third. Clevinger stopped the bleeding by getting Adam Walker to strike out swinging.
Mike Roberts reflected on the missed opportunities and the insufficient defense.
“We hurt ourselves. In the first and second innings we left five runners on base, and again, we have done that a lot, and that’s part of our struggles right now. Our defense again showed up with some mistakes.”
The adjustments that the club needs to make are quite obvious to Coach Roberts.
“Clutch hitting and defense is where we need to improve. Our pitching has been fine and will continue to get better.”
Cotuit was really held at bay from the 5th inning on. Hyannis relievers Nick Wittgren (Purdue) and Dietrich Enns (Central Michigan) retired fifteen of the sixteen batters they faced.
The rubber match of the three game set will be tomorrow, June 29th, at 7:00. The game will be played at Hyannis in McKeon Park.