BOURNE – A game that started as a fast-paced good old fashioned baseball game, ended as an extra inning bloodbath.The drama all started in the top of the 8th with the Kettleers trailing 5-3. Victor Roache (Georgia Southern) started things off with a first pitch single. Deven Marrero (Arizona State) then grounded out to short, but Roache was able to move to second. Ryon Healy (Oregon) was the next batter, and he drew a 5 pitch walk. With runners on first and second Mike Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt) singled to load the bases for Torston Boss (Michigan State). Boss hit a high fly ball to deep left field that was caught for the sacrifice fly, scoring Roache. With runners on first and second Stefan Sabol (Oregon) lined one to right that dropped for a single. With two outs the runners were going on contact, as Healy reached third Roberts sent him home. Healy slid in, but was called out. No one wearing maroon agreed with the call.
“Let’s just say I saw something different than he saw,” said Roberts while shaking his head.
The Healy run would have tied the game at 5. The Kettleers responded in the top half of the 9th by tying the game. Logan Vick (Baylor) hit a lead-off triple to center. Micah Johnson (Indiana) then walked. With runners on the corners Roache walked to the plate. Roache worked an 8 pitch at bat and then sent one for a ride to right that scored Vick to tie the game. Roache’s game-tying RBI was his 22nd on the year, the most in the Cape League. Roache also now leads in average, hitting .387. Roache’s top competitor for average was Taylor Davis (Morehead State) of the Brewster Whitecaps. Davis signed with the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon, making him ineligible for the rest of the season. Roache trails Firebird’s Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville) by just one home run. The buzz of a Victor Roache triple crown was floating around the Cotuit bleachers last night.
The action continued with a sly Mike Roberts move in the home half of the ninth, with Bobby Wahl (Mississippi) on the mound. With 2 outs the count stood at 2-2 and Roberts called for an intentional walk against left handed hitter Colin Moran, (North Carolina) claiming he wanted to face the righty Kyle Farmer (Georgia) who stood on deck. Kevin Roundtree (Southern California) stood up and extended his arm out to the left, the universal call for intentional ball. As Wahl got set to through Roundtree sank back into his crouch and the pitch was over the plate but ruled too low. Both sides of the field hated the play. Cotuit and Roberts wanted called strike three, and the end of the inning. Moran, coach Harvey Shapiro and the rest of the Braves seemed to think Roberts’ trick play was classless. Roberts called for the strike while Moran turned and yelled at Roberts. On the next pitch Wahl walked Moran, as Moran trotted down to first he shot Roberts a glare.
Wahl ended the bottom of the 9th by striking out Farmer. The game remained tied at 5 and for the second time in 3 games the Kettleers would play extra innings.
Yastrzemski led off the 10th inning, but as Roberts trotted to his post at third there was some chatter between Roberts and the Braves dugout. Words flew between the two managers but as baseball began again Mason Melotakis (Northwest State) sat Yastrzemski, Sabol, and Patrick Biondi (Michigan) down in order.
Wahl returned to action in the bottom of the 10th. Before last night’s game Wahl had pitched 14 innings in relief for the Kettleers allowing just 5 hits, and had yet to let up a run. As the old saying goes, ‘all good things come to an end’. Wahl didn’t look like Bobby Wahl from his warm-up pitches to the wild pitch that ended the game. Wahl gave up 3 hits through his 1 ⅓ innings pitched.
Wahl’s first earned run as in the Cape League came just 4 batters into the inning. The first batter was D.J. Hicks (UCF) who blooped a single to right field. Wahl then hit catcher Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) in the shoulder. The next batter was Garrett Cannizaro (Tulane). The first pitch was a wild one from Wahl that advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Cannizaro then hit a routine grounder to Alex Yarbrough (Mississippi) at second who threw to Healy for the first out of the inning. That brought up Johnny Bladel (James Madison) with the game resting on his shoulders. Bladel watched the first pitch sail by Roundtree, far enough for Hicks to score the 6th run from third to end the game.
The 6-5 win for the Braves was their fourth in a row. The loss was the Kettleers’ first in 6 games. With the loss the Kettleers fall back to the basement of the western division with 22 points and a 10-14-2 record. The Kettleers have the day off Tuesday and face the Wareham Gatemen Wednesday evening at 5:00 in Cotuit. The Gatemen (12-14-0) are just 2 points ahead of the Kettleers in the standings. A win for the Kettleers would knot the two up at 3rd place.