COTUIT – What started off as a dogfight turned into a laugher as the Orleans Firebirds (20-16-3) orchestrated an 8 run fourth inning en route to a 12-4 shellacking of the Cotuit Kettleers (13-23-3).
The game initially looked like it was going to be a back and forth matchup. In the first inning Firebird Matt Duffy (Long Beach State) drilled a double perfectly into the gap in right field scoring Reed Gragnani (Virginia). Orleans made it a 2-0 game in the second when starter Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) threw a ball high out and of the reach of catcher Stefan Sabol (Oregon) allowing Matt Koch (Loyola Marymount) to sprint home safely. Sabol bailed his pitcher out in the bottom half of the frame with behemoth two run homer to left field.
“They were up by a couple of runs, so I figured I was going to get a fastball in that count,” explained Sabol. “So I just waited on my pitch, looked for something middle in, got it, and the result was nice.”
RBI’s from Alex Yarbrough (Ole Miss) and Logan Vick (Baylor) gave the Kettleers a 4-2 lead in the third inning, but the joy was short lived as Orleans lit the lamp eight times in the fourth.
Matt Duffy continued his monster day (4-6, 3 RBI’s) by plating two more runs with a double to knot the score at 4. After a Gragnani walk, Terran Senay (NC State) roped one down the line for a two-RBI double of his own. After Matt Koch walked and Maxx Tessenbaum (Stony Brook) singled, Orleans designated hitter Jayce Boyd (Florida State) had a golden opportunity to put a dagger in the hearts of the Kettleers. Jayce did his best Dexter impression and basically finished off Cotuit with a grand slam that Cotuit left fielder Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) simply gazed at as it flew over the field.
“Pitching coach told me right before the at bat that if I got my timing down I’m going to put across four here,” Boyd said about his slam. “So it was pretty ironic. Luckily I got a good pitch to hit. I got it high enough to get out and hit it pretty solid.”
Orleans starter Tyler Johnson (Stony Brook) worked for five innings and was able to keep Cotuit at bay after the third. Tyler Gebler (Rutgers) came in after Johnson and struck out four Kettleers as he closed out the final four innings.
Logan Vick came in for Cotuit and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. No, that is not a typo. The starting third basemen went 3 for 4 on the day with an RBI, but more importantly he got Reed Gragnani to strike out swinging and threw up a zero. The Baylor Bear’s ERA for the season is flawless 0.00.
That and the Sabol homerun were about the only positives that Cotuit could take away from the day. Luckily, Wareham and Falmouth kept Cotuit’s playoff aspirations alive by dropping their games on Tuesday. Tomorrow Cotuit will travel to Wareham for a decisive game. First pitch is set for 7 o clock. If Wareham wins they will clinch the third playoff spot in the West. If Cotuit wins and Falmouth loses, that will put the Kettleers three points behind the Commodores with four games left after the All-Star break.