By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
August 2, 2012
COTUIT – After a slow start, the Kettleers bounced back Wednesday to beat Brewster 10-9. It looked like the Whitecaps might stay on top for good, but James Roberts (USC) put Cotuit back in the game with one swing of the bat.
His grand slam in the bottom of the fourth gave the Kettleers new life and helped Cotuit win its tenth straight. “It’s amazing in this game sometimes how one swing can rejuvenate a team,” coach Mike Roberts said.
Just when it looked like Cotuit may not come back, Roberts brought the team within one run. The Kettleers were down 7-2 heading to the bottom of the fourth. However, Cotuit strung some hits together starting with Cael Brockmeyer (CSU Bakersfield) who led off the inning with a double. Jacob May (Coastal Carolina) was then hit by a pitch, and Mike Ford (Princeton) followed up with a walk to load the bases.
With one out, Roberts came to the plate. He was out of the lineup for a couple days before returning Tuesday going 0-4. “I was late on a lot of fastballs,” the shortstop said. “Roberts told me to just pull one down the line that time. I got a hold of it, it just took off.”
Roberts connected on the first pitch for his first homerun of the season, a grand slam, to put the score at 7-6 and give the Kettleers a chance. “It was a sigh of relief,” Roberts said. “I know I gave up three runs on defense. That was the perfect opportunity to pick myself up, pick the team up.” Roberts had two errors in the field providing for one unearned run before making up for it with his bit hit. “It shows you how mentally tough he is,” teammate Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) said.
The Kettleers looked a bit lethargic as they took the field Wednesday. Jordan Ramsey made the start for Cotuit and faced some early trouble. Derek Campbell (California) got things started for Brewster in the first. He was down 0-2 to start his at bat but battled back to a 3-2 count before hitting a solo shot to left field.
Brewster wasn’t done as Ramsey gave up a double to the next batter, putting a runner on for Whitecaps cleanup hitter, Aaron Judge (Fresno State). Judge hit the first pitch he saw over the left field fence putting the Whitecaps on top 3-0. “He just really struggled letting the ball come out on the side of his hand,” coach Roberts said. “Everything was up, and he got hit. This is a very good hitting ball club, so I just felt like we needed to make a move early.”
In the third, Brewster hit its third homer of the game when Trevor Mitsui (Washington) launched a solo shot of his own deep over the centerfield fence. Ramsey lasted just two full innings giving up four runs on four hits with one strikeout.
Tim Mayza (Millersville U. of PA) came in to relieve Ramsey, but he didn’t fair much better. He also gave up four runs in his two innings of work. He walked two and struck out one. Jacob Stone (Weatherford JC), Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) and Dan Slania (Notre Dame) also saw time on the mound.
Both teams added a few more runs, but Cotuit still trailed 9-7 after five innings. However, the Kettleers were on a roll scoring two runs in the third, four in the fourth, and one in the fifth to battle back. “I think everyone’s just so loose that we know that even if we get down by a big deficit that we can come back and win,” Kemp said.
Ford led off the sixth inning with a walk, and one batter later Roberts singled to put two runners on with no outs. His hit was followed up by a clutch single by Patrick Biondi (Michigan) to score Ford and bring the Kettleers within a run. Biondi moved to second on an error putting two runners in scoring position for Kemp.
With an 0-1 count, Kemp hit a two run single to center field to put the Kettleers on top 10-9 giving the team their first lead of the game. “Lefty came in, with a first pitch fastball and I missed it,” Kemp said. “Then he threw me a curveball and luckily I was able to get the barrel on the ball.”
Kemp and Biondi both had two runs batted in on the night, and Brockmeyer also had one of his own. The one run lead was all Cotuit needed as the game was eventually called because of darkness in the bottom of the eighth. “It’s one of those games where you just kind of say thank you, and we won ugly, and you move on,” coach Roberts said. “Obviously we’re thankful to win the baseball game, but tomorrow I’d certainly like to play a little better.”
August continues with Cotuit (25-12) playing its final seven games in six days. The Kettleers have now won ten straight and 15 of their last 17. “This team has a lot of resiliency, a lot of confidence,” Kemp said. “I think we’re going to continue to win games as long as we believe in ourselves and our confidence level stays high.”
The club is back in action Thursday at Lowell Park. Cotuit faces the Harwich Mariners (23-14) who it beat 6-1 in their last matchup. Brewster falls to 14-22 on the season and remains in last place in the Eastern Division.
Home games begin at 4:30 p.m. throughout the rest of the season. Monday’s rainout has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 4th, at 11 a.m. in Orleans. The Kettleers will then return to Lowell Park for a scheduled home game at 4:30 p.m. against Bourne. Cotuit has already clinched a playoff spot, and needs just one more win to secure home field advantage throughout. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.