WAREHAM – Any young baseball fan in attendance at last night’s game had the opportunity to see a hitting clinic as the Kettleers and Gatemen combined for a total of 25 hits.It has been a week of little offense for the Cotuit Kettleers, but the bats finally came and eight runs crossed the plate.
An Alex Yarbrough (Mississippi) sac fly in the top of the 7th proved to be the winning run for the Kettleers. The inning started with a Patrick Biondi (Michigan) walk. Victor Roache (Georgia Southern) was the second batter of the inning and he reached as well with a single to left. Micah Johnson (Indiana) hit a deep fly ball to left that was caught near the wall and was just enough to move the runners over. With first base open Deven Marrero (Arizona State) was intentionally walked to load the bases for Yarbrough. The fly ball to right field was enough to score Biondi, for the eventual win.
The runs also came early for the Kettleers as seven of Cotuit’s runs came in the first three innings. Run number one came in the first frame of the game. Biondi led off the game by flying to center. Roache hit a double with the second at bat of the game. Marrero was the next batter, and he hit a liner to center that was enough to score Roache for the Kettleers.
The fire the Kettleers maintained during their short winning streak seemed to be rekindled.
“Well it’s better, its better. What I asked them tonight is, let’s see if we can repeat it. Not the win as much, we’d certainly like another win tomorrow in Chatham, but I want to see if we can repeat the effort,” said Roberts
The early Kettleers lead wouldn’t be enough to deflate the Gatemen. Wareham had a bottom of the third to remember. The Gatemen started the inning trailing by seven runs, the lead would be quickly erased. Michael Clevinger (Seminole State) struck out the first two batters he faced for a quick two outs. Then the two out rally began for the Gatemen. LJ Mazzilli (UCONN) was the next batter for the Gatemen and he singled up the middle. CT Bradford (Mississippi State) followed with a single of his own on a hit and run that ended with Mazzilli at third. Rob Refsnyder (Arizona) shot one on the ground to right to score Mazilli for the RBI single. Krey Bratsen (Texas A&M) couldn’t handle the grounder in right and Bradford followed Mazilli to the plate to make it 7-2 Kettleers. Refsnyder reached second on the error. Max Muncy (Baylor) lined one up the middle that fell for a single. Refsnyder trotted easily over to third.
It isn’t often that one swing of the bat can take a team that is more than out of a game, right back into it. John Field (Arizona) did exactly that for the Gatemen in the next at bat. With a 1-0 count Field launched one over the fence in right and all of a sudden it was a two run game.
“It was a fastball away and I just kind of barreled it up and it got up and fortunately it had enough to get out,” said Field of the 3rd inning home run.
The Gatemen would score another run in the third when Jeff Reynolds (Harvard) laced a double to center with Brandon Thomas (Georgia Tech) standing on first. Thomas came all the way around to make the score 7-6. Tyler Ross (LSU) grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Gatemen would tie the game in the 5th on a Max Muncy (Baylor) sacrifice fly. The comeback was complete and the game was new again.
“They’ve fought all year long and they’re not going to quit. The big thing is we just have to keep battling. 13 games left and we got to keep going. Mike’s club came out an jumped out 7-0 but I thought our guys came and battled back. We scored 6 runs with two outs in one inning. We just have to do a better job,” said Wareham manager Cooper Farris of his team’s comeback.
A guy Kettleers fans usually see jogging in from the bullpen, Michael Clevinger started for Cotuit. Clevinger pitched well until Wareham’s big comeback in the 3rd. Clevinger went 2 ⅔ innings and gave up five earned on six hits and struck out four. The Field home run ended Clevinger’s night. The reliever threw 56 pitches, one less than his season high.
“He hasn’t really pitched a lot and I think he was kind of maxing on his pitch count and started leaving pitches up and that’s my fault for not getting him out earlier. I don’t think that’s Michael’s fault,” said Roberts of his starter’s performance.
Although the Kettleers committed another three errors last night, their defense looked better than ever in the start of the game. In the first the Clevinger didn’t allow a hit, primarily because of the middle infielders behind him. Johnson made a play while falling backwards and fired on to Yarbrough at first. Then Marrero made a major league caliber play on a sure hit up the middle before firing to Yarbrough for out number two. Johnson got more action on the next batter when he made a diving play towards second on a hard ground ball, threw to Yarbrough and the inning was over.
Roache’s bat carried the team as he went three for four with two doubles and two runs scored. Roache’s night puts him back on top of the league in average. Roache was also named week five player of the week prior to yesterday’s game. This is the second time the Kettleer’s slugger has earned the honor.
The win for the Kettleers gave them the opportunity to gain in the standings; however in Falmouth the Commodores put on a clinic of their own, routing the Harwich Mariners 11-2. The win silenced any hope for a gain in the standings. The Commodores lead the Kettleers by two games in the Western Division.
The Kettleers face the Anglers of Chatham tonight in Chatham at a 7:00 rain make-up game. Both teams are in last plave in their respective divisions. The Anglers record stands at 10-20-1. The Kettleers’ is currently 11-18-2. No matter how you swing it, the Kettleers won’t be moving up in their division standings, but there are some much needed points on the line tonight in Chatham.