By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
July 22, 2012
The Kettleers hit the ball at the right times Saturday in a 7-1 win against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Cotuit trailed early, but a two-run homer by Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) and a strong offensive fifth inning put the Kettleers on top. Cotuit combined for nine hits on the night as they were crowned the 2012 Barnstable Patriot Cup champions.
Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) showed some sneaky power in the fourth with Cotuit trailing 1-0. Jacob Valdez (San Jose State) got things started with a two-out walk before Kemp hit a two run homer over the right field fence to put Cotuit on top 3-1. “Luckily I just got a fastball, and put a good swing on it,” Kemp said.
The shot was Kemp’s first of the season and gave the Kettleers their first lead of the game. With the lead, starter Kyle Finnegan (Texas State) was able to throw with a bit more confidence. “Kyle is learning to become a pitcher versus a thrower,” head coach Mike Roberts said. “Today’s the first day he really used his changeup a lot. It was his best outing and I thought he threw a really, really good five innings.”
Finnegan’s one mistake came in the second when he gave up a solo shot to Harbor Hawk’s center fielder Dominic Jose (Stanford) to put Hyannis on the board. “I probably shouldn’t have come back with another fastball,” Finnegan said. “It was a decent pitch, low and away, but he was just ready for it.” Finnegan allowed just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and no walks on the night.
The Kettleers offense broke out against Hyannis beginning with third baseman Adam Nelubowich (Washington State). He got the Kettleers on the board with a one run single in the third before Kemp’s homer put them on top for good. Nelubowich batted one run in, and scored once going 3-4 on the day.
But it was a five run fifth inning that showed just how dangerous Cotuit can be at the plate. “We have a very solid lineup one through nine,” Nelubowich said. “We expect every night to come out and get 10 to 12 hits.” Cape League All Star Patrick Biondi (Michigan) got things started in a five run fifth inning for Cotuit when he beat out a hard grounder to second base. He scored on an error by Hyannis’ first baseman. Later, James Roberts (USC) and Tim Kiene (Maryland) were both hit by pitches with one out to load the bases. Valdez hit a sac fly to score Ford, and Aramis Garcia brought the score to 7-1 after a single of his own.
The solid pitching continued with Jordan Ramsey (UNC Wilmington) in the sixth. He was supposed to start in Monday’s rainout against Y-D, but threw the last four innings to notch his first save of the season. He scattered just three hits while striking out one and walking none.
Biondi flashed the leather in center field on two line drives to the gap. He missed the first by an inch in the eighth, but made the grab in the ninth for the first out of the inning. “If you give him two opportunities he’s going to catch it,” Kemp said. “Out of ten times, I’m pretty sure that nine out of ten times he’s going to catch it.”
The win against division rival Hyannis makes Cotuit the 2012 Barnstable Patriot Cup champions. “The biggest thing, it’s just nice to beat a team four out of, hopefully five out of six times a team that’s in our division,” Nelubowich said. “Wins against teams in your division are best for the standings.”
The Kettleers (17-12) remain in first place in the Western Division and are now six points ahead of second place Falmouth. Cotuit is back in action Sunday against Harwich (20-11) in a matchup of division leaders. The game begins at 5:30 at Whitehouse Field. For more post game interviews visit the Official Kettleers YouTube Page.