By Mike Walsh
June 23, 2012
COTUIT – This heat does not appear to be dissipating anytime soon and neither do the Kettleers’ hot bats. The fans were no doubt hoping for a break in this first major heat wave of the Cape Cod summer. However, by night’s end they were sure glad to see the offense of their beloved Kettleers remained scalding hot for another evening.
On Friday night, Cotuit used a seven-run sixth inning to propel themselves past the Brewster Whitecaps, 10-5 and even up their record at 4-4.
Though the final score may not look it, this was a victory of the come-from-behind nature for Cotuit. Starter Adam McCreery (Arizona State) was roughed up for four runs, only two earned, through three innings. Head coach Mike Roberts pulled his starter with with two men on and nobody out in the fourth.
That shrewd move by Roberts, with his team trailing 4-2, wound up being the turning point of the game. Reliever Jordan Ramsey jogged in from the bullpen, and within an hour all Kettleer worries were absolved.
Ramsey handily retired the next three hitters to get out of the jam. The UNC-Wilmington product would not stop there, treating the Lowell Park faithful to three straight 1-2-3 innings.
With Ramsey on the mound and the sky constantly darkening, the Kettleer bats came alive with the impending weather.
Ohio native, Jacob May (Coastal Carolina) wasted no time putting his mark on the game. He took the first pitch of the fifth inning and drove it over the left field wall for a solo homerun, inching Cotuit within one, 4-3.
“I just saw one fastball, really,” said May who struck out in his first at bat. “He blew it by me the first time, so I knew he was going to try again. I was going to sit fastball and try to get the bat head out.”
That inning would be the end of Whitecaps starter Sam Moll (Memphis), who produced a dominant nine strikeout performance through five innings, surrendering three runs.
The floodgates opened upon Brewster’s move to the bullpen. Reliever Chase McDowell started the sixth inning for the visiting team, but he would not finish it. The Rice star broke a cardinal rule and walked the leadoff man, Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt), and never got the inning under control after that.
Kemp stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. From there he was sacrificed in as the tying run by Adam Nelubowich (Washington State).
With the score 4-4, Cotuit’s bats sensed the urgency to finish off McDowell. Aramis Garcia (Florida Int’l), who was 0-for-2 against Moll, drove a McDowell pitch over the left field fence for a two-run shot, scoring pinch-hitter Derek Smith (walk).
The scoring parade continued as Cotuit loaded the bases before Raph Rhymes (LSU), already with a two-run homer, was walked forcing home May (single) and making the score 7-4. Rhymes’ bomb was a laser over the left field fence in the third inning.
That was the end of McDowell, but not the end of the Cotuit rampage. Jake McCasland (New Mexico) attempted to stop the bleeding, but allowed a two-run double to Tony Kemp. That scored Patrick Biondi (walk) and Angel Rosa (single), and ballooned the lead to five runs before the the Kettleers were finally stopped.
Garcia didn’t attribute his team’s recent wave of power to anything but dedication and hard work. “We fought hard all game, just working hard to see the ball and hit it,” said the catcher. “The whole coaching staff is out here throwing early batting practice to us every day. We are all working hard to perfect our swings.”
Ramsey eventually ran into some trouble in the seventh and was pulled, in favor of Ryan Connelly, with two men on and two outs. The Coastal Carolina pitcher continued the strong relief effort by striking out Jason Monda (Washington State) to end the threat.
Connelly would surrender one run in the final frame of the dark-shortened game, but that was rendered moot by Garcia’s seventh-inning insurance RBI single which scored Smith (single).
The three homers were each player’s first on the season. May and Ramsey were named co-MVPs on the night. May finished 2-for-3 with one RBI. He reached base three times, scoring twice. Ramsey held the fort for Cotuit while the offense staged their comeback. He tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out three.
Visiting Brewster fell to 2-6 on the young season. The Kettleers play their third straight home game Saturday evening at Lowell Park against Harwich.