By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
July 24, 2012
YARMOUTH – The Kettleers hit three long balls Monday in an 8-4 win over Y-D. Cotuit trailed early, but the wind carried their hits to put them in the lead over another Eastern Division leader. Strong relief pitching by Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) kept the Kettleers on top in a shortened eight-inning game.
Cael Brockmeyer (CSU Bakersfield) hit a two run shot in the second to tie the score at two a piece to get the Kettleers back in the game. “Coming up after giving up that two spot, you want to give the team a chance to get right back in it,” Brockmeyer said. “Fortunately I was able to get a good pitch kind of up in the zone in the middle that I could put a good swing on.” The Kettleers added another run in the inning on a single and error to score Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) and put the score at 3-2.
Cotuit came back out in the fourth looking for more. Tim Kiene (Maryland) led off for the Kettleers and hit a first pitch fastball up and over the center field fence. “I was actually talking to coach Roberts right before that at bat,” Kiene said. “He was saying that I should rotate a bit more on my back leg. I just took that in, and the first pitch I saw it and it went out.” The solo shot was Kiene’s first of the season.
Later in the fourth Biondi singled to center before the speedy Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) got under one for his second home run on the season. “The speed he has, just that alone deflates a team,” Connolly said. “And he obviously has power too so that’s nice.”
His homer to right center field put the Kettleers on top 6-2. Kemp went 3-4 on the night with three runs batted in.
Kettleers starter Brandon Bixler (Florida Gulf Coast) pitched just two innings before being replaced by Cameron Griffin (Stetson) who threw only 1 1/3. “Brandon has outstanding pitches,” coach Mike Roberts said. “Sometimes when umpires are a little tight it makes it difficult.”
Bixler allowed two runs on one hit with three strikeouts. However it was the six walks on the night that hurt him. Griffin also gave up two runs while striking out one and walking three before Submariner Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) took the mound. “I think they did a good job keeping us in the game and struggling through it and battling through it,” catcher Brockmeyer said.
Just as he’s been called on before, Connolly helped Cotuit in a big way Monday as he came in to finish the game. “The blessing that they give a team is one, they throw strikes, and two they give you innings,” Roberts said. “For Ryan to give us the number of innings he gave us tonight is totally unexpected.”
Connolly shut down the Red Sox in 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit in the bottom of the eighth while walking none and striking out five. “He mixed his pitches up real well tonight,” Brockmeyer said. “He was low in the zone, working the corners, and just keeping them off-balance the whole time.”
The Kettleers (19-12) have now won 11 of their last 13 games and they sit atop the Western Division. They are ten points above both the Wareham Gatemen (14-17) and Falmouth Commodores (14-18).
Cotuit continues an eight game stretch Tuesday as they play the Brewster Whitecaps (13-18) at 5 p.m. at Lowell Park. “It’s kind of a long stretch for us,” Roberts said. “But I’m most concerned about whether or not we can get through with the pitching staff.” For more post game interviews visit, Official Kettleers on YouTube.