By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
July 7, 2012
WAREHAM – A brilliant pitching performance by Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) led the Kettleers to a huge 5-2 win against the Wareham Gatemen Saturday. Ziomek moved quickly through the Gatemen lineup before getting himself into, and out of a bases loaded, no out jam for the Kettleers in the seventh.
Ziomek has pitched well all season, but seems to get better with every start. He easily pitched to Wareham’s lineup scattering just four hits with one walk and six strikeouts. “He has all the confidence in every single one of his pitches,” Cotuit hitting coach Scott Gurss said. “His changeup was unbelievable tonight. He kind of pitched off that and pounded the zone.”
He threw just 56 pitches through five innings, but a 25 pitch seventh inning forced him to get out of a jam he created for himself. Ziomek walked the lead off man and hit the next batter putting two on and two away for Daniel Palka and Mott Hyde (both Georgia Tech). Hyde bunted, and would have been out, but Derek Smith’s (U. Pitt Bradford) foot wasn’t on the bag, loading the bases for Wareham with no outs. “I took a few batters off mentally, which you can’t do here,” Ziomek said.
But being the big game pitcher Coach Roberts has said he is, Ziomek kept calm getting a strikeout, lineout to right, and ground out to end the inning and Wareham’s threat preserving Cotuit’s 3-0 lead. “It’s easy to play behind,” Kettleers shortstop James Roberts (USC) said. “When he comes out there and puts up quick innings the pace is nice, it’s fun to play behind and it’s easy to make plays behind him.”
Leaving runners on base has been a problem for the Kettleers all season, and that pattern continued Saturday. The two teams kept a scoreless tie through three as Cotuit stranded four of five base runners in scoring position. But Cotuit drew blood first in the fourth inning after Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) was hit by a pitch with one away.
Kemp was back in the lineup after nursing a sore elbow and being hit by three pitches in two games. He showed the hit to his ankle was no cause for concern by stealing second. Kemp scored after a single to right field by Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) putting the Kettleers on top 1-0.
Wareham’s pitching staff was less dominating than their previous matchup Saturday as the Kettleers racked up 17 hits against the club. Cotuit pieced together a few more runs in each of the last four innings including a solo shot to right-center field by Daniel Aldrich (College of Charleston) to put the Kettleers on top 4-0 through 8 ½ innings. Aldrich has hit three homeruns in four days since playing with Cotuit.
Other Kettleers have turned their hitting up a notch as well. James Roberts (USC) went 4-5 on the night and made two great ranging plays at shortstop, and Jacob May went 3-5 extending his hitting streak to 13 games. “They’re a lot more aggressive at the plate,” Gurss said. “They’re swinging a lot earlier in the count. Their swings are getting shorter, and I think they’re just making the adjustments to the Cape league pitching and getting more comfortable in the box.”
The Gatemen threatened in the bottom of the eighth when Cameron Griffin (Stetson) came in to relieve Ziomek. Griffin struck out the first two batters before giving up a walk, double, and back-to-back singles to Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) and Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) cutting the Kettleers lead to two. Jacob Stone (Weatherford College) got the save for the Kettleers, throwing 1 1/3 innings giving up two hits and striking out two.
The win puts Cotuit at 10-10 on the season and back to .500. They are now tied with Wareham (10-10) for second place in the Western Division, just four points behind the leading Falmouth Commodores. “It’s hard work paying off,” Roberts said. “We’re all trying to make adjustments, and it’s starting to show up in games.”
The Kettleers are back at home on Sunday against Hyannis (6-14) at 5 p.m. Cotuit looks to bounce back from a 14-3 loss against the Harbor Hawks in their last matchup. For more postgame interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.