By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
August 12, 2012
BOURNE – After a marathon game one, the Kettleers beat the Braves Saturday in a close 4-2 matchup. Cotuit fell into an early 2-0 hole, but persevered behind some strong pitching. A clutch triple by James Roberts (USC) and an insurance run in the ninth inning by Jacob Valdez (San Jose State) helped the Kettleers battle back and hold on to the lead.
A wild play in the sixth helped to put the Kettleers on top for good. After fighting back to tie the score at two, James Roberts (USC) hit a liner to right-center field with one out. Roberts tripled on the play and eventually scored on an errant throw by Bourne’s shortstop Jack Reinheimer (Eastern Carolina). Reinheimer’s throw went out of play and scored Roberts to give Cotuit a 3-2 lead. “That’s how it is from here on out,” closer Dan Slania (Notre Dame) said. “Gotta keep going, gotta keep winning.”
Valdez helped add an insurance run in the top of the ninth to give the Kettleers some breathing room. Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) singled to lead off the inning before Jacob May (Coastal Carolina) doubled to put runners at first and second. Kemp was called out at the plate on an unlucky bounce by a pass ball. The ball hit off the backstop and landed right back at home plate. May however, was able to advance to third on the play, and he scored on Valdez’s one-out single to give Cotuit a 4-2, two-run advantage. The DH went 3-4 on the night with one run batted in. May, Kemp and Roberts all went 2-4.
Bourne scored early to put Cotuit in some early trouble. Jordan Patterson (Alabama) led off the inning for the Braves with a double to right field and advanced to third on a sac fly. Patterson scored on a slow chopper up the middle by Connor David (UCONN) to give Bourne a 1-0 lead. The Braves would add another in the third on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. They led 2-0 heading to the fourth inning.
Kyle Finnegan started for the Kettleers Saturday. The righty threw 3 2/3 innings and gave up the only two runs Bourne would score. “He’s been rolling his last couple of outings, been throwing all of his pitches for strikes,” Jordan Ramsey (UNC Wilmington) said. Finnegan gave up five hits while striking out two and walking two before Ramsey came in to relieve him. “I wanted to come in and throw strikes and give us a chance,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey was stellar in relief throwing 3 1/3 innings. He was on from the beginning giving up just three hits. He didn’t allow any free passes and struck out four. “I thought Jordan Ramsey had his best outing of the summer,” Coach Roberts said. “So pitching gave us a chance.”
The performance helped Ramsey record the win for Cotuit, and he threw just long enough to get to closer Dan Slania (Notre Dame) who recorded the six out save. “He was the guy we had counted on all year,” Roberts said of his closer. “We were going to win it or lose it with him.” Slania struck out one of Bourne’s best hitters in LJ Mazzilli (UCONN) to end the ball game.
First baseman Mike Ford (Princeton) helped Cotuit get in the board. He cut Bourne’s lead in half in the fourth on a solo shot to left field. The Kettleers tied the game at two a piece in the fifth as the bottom of the order came to bat.
May and Valdez led off the inning with back-to-back singles to put two runners on. Aramis Garcia (Florida International) sac bunted to advance them, and Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) hit a sac fly to left field to tie the score.
Before Saturday’s game, Kemp came up with the catch phrase Operation In It To Win It. “We’re just trying to play our hearts out and just see what happens,” Valdez said of the motto. “It’s do-or-die.” The team will look towards the saying Sunday as Cotuit plays at 4 p.m. at Lowell Park in a decisive game three.
Dusty Isaacs (Georgia Tech) will take the mound for the Kettleers, and Chad Green (Louisville) will make the start for Bourne. Isaacs is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA while Green is 4-0 for the Braves this summer and has a 3.00 ERA. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.