COTUIT – Trailing by 4 with two outs Patrick Biondi’s (Michigan) at-bat felt almost useless. Biondi, however, had other plans. He forced Harwich closer Blake Houser (Virginia Commonwealth University) to throw 9 pitches, and after fouling off four of them, Biondi drew the walk, and put the game on the bats of the heart of the lineup. The next batter was Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech). Wren, who is hitting .333, took the first pitch he saw and slapped it down towards third and reached for a single. It was then time for power hitter, Victor Roache (Georgia Southern). Just two pitches after Roache slapped the plate with his bat, he hit a blooper to left field that dropped to load the bases. The energy at Lowell field was building as the prospect of a 9th rally came forth. It was then former Cape Cod Baseball League playoff MVP Jordan Leyland (UC Irvine) at the dish with the game resting on his shoulders. Leyland, who already had a double in the game went down swinging to end the game and hand the Kettleers their 6th loss in a row, this one by a score of 7-4 to the Harwich Mariners.“Well we’re just, you know, we’re not very good. When you look at our defense, our defense is our real Achilles heel, it has been for a week or ten days and until we can learn to field routine ground balls, it’s gonna be tough for our pitching to be good and get better,” said Coach Mike Roberts.The Mariners seemed to have no problem hitting the ball all night. Harwich hitting started early and it came often, knocking the ball around the park for 13 hits, including one big fly ball from Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) in the 9th.“I just went up there and relaxed. Fortunately enough, he hung a change-up for me right down the middle and I just took a nice smooth swing, tried to stay through it and I got good barrel on it,” said Jake Davies of his home run.
Davies’ two run shot was good for the 6th and 7th Harwich runs, and was a backbreaker for the Kettleers.
Harwich starting pitcher Joe Mantiply (Virginia Tech) looked as though he would have a dominate performance, sitting down the first six Kettleers batters in order. Mantiply was pulled after 3, and gave up 2 earned on just 2 hits and struck out 4.
The runs came off the bats of Stefan Sabol (Oregon) and Torston Boss (Michigan State) who were both part of back-to-back-to-back extra base hits to start the third. It all started with Luke Maile (Kentucky) who launched a double down the left field line. In the next at bat Sabol placed it in almost the exact same spot for a double of his own that scored Maile. Then Boss sent a pitch for a ride to deep left field that he legged out for a triple. With Boss on third and no outs the top of the line up went three up three down and failed to drive in the run.
The 4th inning started the same way the third did. Leyland hit one to right center for a double. He was then hit in on an Alex Yarborough (Mississippi) double. Yarborough was moved to third on a sac bunt by Logan Vick (Baylor) but was left there and the score remained 4-3.
Vick also had himself a triple in the sixth.
“I was looking for a fastball or anything I could drive and I got it. I got my foot down and I was able to turn on it and it was left right there for me and I took advantage of it.” explained Vick.
It should also be noted that at the start of the game when Cotuit starter Alex Keudell was fixing his sleeves, Vick stepped to the mound for some warm-up pitches. Vick threw the ball extremely hard and touched 93 on the gun.
The Kettleers now face Hyannis three days in a row. Tonight they travel for a 7:00 game, but are back at Lowell Park on Tuesday.