COTUIT – Sometimes there is nothing a team can do about it. If they go up against an opponent that’s clicking on all cylinders, then their chances are about as good as a squirrel attempting to cross I-95 during rush hour.
Today Cotuit was that squirrel.
Harwich scored early and often, also benefiting from a masterful performance on the mound by Chris Stratton (Mississippi State). Stratton threw eight complete innings while only giving up a meager four hits. He struck out three Kettleers while walking nobody. Stratton’s day coupled with outfielder Austin Wilson (Stanford) going 4-5 with a homerun and three RBI’s propelled Harwich to a 10-0 trouncing of Cotuit.
It was a rough initial frame for Cotuit starter RJ Fondon (FIU). Harwich went up 2-0 via RBI’s from John Wooten (East Carolina) and Austin Nola (LSU). Nola’s RBI was a unearned run because the hard grounder wasn’t handled cleanly by Cotuit third basemen Logan Vick (Baylor), allowing Jabari Henry (FIU) to come home from third safely.
Harwich fed Cotuit a steady dose of offensive production throughout the day, putting up two runs in the fourth inning, and three runs in both the fifth and sixth. The fifth inning was highlighted by Austin Wilson blasting a two-run no doubter over the fence in left center field. Any fan at Lowell Park could have had their eyes closed and been positive that the ball was leaving the yard. The homer was his first on the Cape.
“Fondon usually goes off speed with me,” recounted Wilson. “So I took a fastball and just waited on my off speed and got a good pitch to hit. I struck it pretty well.”
Jabari Henry and Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) were the only two starters for Harwich that didn’t have at least one RBI. They finished the day with thirteen hits total and played errorless baseball.
Chris Stratton was the real star of the game for Harwich. He got special recognition and a round of applause from his teammates in the post-game huddle. Coach Steve Englert stated that the long outing from Stratton was essential for the pitching staff as a whole.
“That was one of the best outings we’ve had all summer. We really needed that because our bullpen is getting kind of tired and we’ve been going to those guys a lot. But man, he pitched a gem today.”
Stratton wanted to be sure that everyone who had a hand in his masterpiece got their due.
“I felt pretty good. I’ve got to credit my catcher. Alex Swim (Elon) did a great job. He called most of the game and really helped me maneuver through the line up. We were just mixing in and out all day. Making sure they weren’t sitting on a particular pitch.”
With Falmouth losing, Cotuit remains only five points out of the last spot playoff spot in the West. Although, time is of the essence for the Kettleers. They only have six more games remaining while Falmouth has seven. Coach Mike Roberts says it comes down to one word for his team moving forward.
“Discipline. Just discipline on the field. Discipline at the plate. Discipline with our defense. In all areas we just need to be a much more disciplined team, and that’s my responsibility, and I haven’t done a very good job of that in the 2011 season.”
Cotuit (13-22-3) will get another crack at it tomorrow as Orleans travels to Lowell Park for a 5 o’clock start.