By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
August 3, 2012
COTUIT – The Kettleers win streak ended Thursday as they lost to Harwich 11-5. In another matchup of the division leaders, the Mariners combined for six runs in the top of the third to take a commanding lead. But they didn’t stop there, adding five more on the night to deal the Kettleers their first loss in eleven games.
Cotuit held a slim 2-1 lead heading to the third inning before Harwich broke the game open. Some small ball, soft singles, an error and a bad hop helped Harwich take the lead. The first two batters reached on infield singles before Cotuit starter Adam McCreery (Arizona State) overthrew first allowing two runs score. The error tied the game at three runs apiece. McCreery later threw wild pitch to plate another, and gave up a sac fly and three more singles to the Harwich hitters.
The Mariners combined for 6 total runs in the inning to go up 7-3. “It kind of steamrolled on him a little bit, lost his composure a little bit,” coach Mike Roberts said. “It wasn’t really the way he threw at the plate, it was more what went on in the infield.”
McCreery left the game in the top of the fourth but was still credited with two runs in the inning. He gave up nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks on the night.
Unlike the two teams’ most recent matchup, the offense was booming from the beginning. The Mariners took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first off a solo homerun by Brian Ragira (Stanford).
Harwich’s lead didn’t last long as Mike Ford (Princeton) put Cotuit on top in its half of the first. Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) singled to lead off the inning, and with an 0-1 count, Ford connected for a two run shot to center field. Daniel Aldrich (College of Charleston) hit a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the second to put the Kettleers on top 3-1 before the Mariners came back. Aldrich went 3-4 on the night.
After taking the commanding 7-3 lead after three, Harwich continued to plate runs. The team scored three more runs in the fourth another the seventh bringing their run total to 11. Brian Ragira (Stanford) was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth before Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame) walked. Brett Austin (NC State) came to the plate with no outs and hit a two-run double that lined off of the third base bag into left field.
Austin also scored on a single to put the Mariners’ lead at 10-4. “We had some games like this earlier in the season,” coach Mike Roberts said of the loss. “You just tell them how much you appreciate their effort, kind of wipe it out and go on and play because that’s baseball we play every day it’s not once a week.”
Harwich’s runs were dispersed throughout the lineup as six different batters had runs batted in. The eight and nine hitters combined for seven of the team’s 14 hits. Cotuit would score two more runs on the night, even one in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to come out on top.
Mike Gomez (Florida International) made his Kettleers debut in relief throwing two innings. “I saw a real competitor, which I liked,” Roberts said. “He changes speeds well. The one area he’s got to do that and be effective in to help us is to throw strikes.” Gomez gave up one run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Dusty Isaacs (Georgia Tech) and Mike Ford also threw in relief.
Coach Roberts made many offensive and defensive changes with his team down in the game. Billy Bereszniewicz (Binghamton), Angel Rosa (Alcorn State) Derek Smith (Pitt Bradford), and Galli Cribbs Jr. (San Jacinto State) all saw playing time after the fifth inning. “They came here to play, and they need to be in ball games,” Roberts said. “Every day we’re trying to work with each player and get them ready in case something happens that they do need to be playing every day the rest of the season.”
Ford also moved from first base to the pitcher’s mound throwing for the first time in over one month. He threw the last three innings giving up one run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. “With him playing almost every day we still have him on the board,” Roberts said. “If we run into a situation where we need some innings picked up, Mike is willing to do that, he’s a great competitor.”
The Kettleers fall to 25-13 on the season, but are still first in the Western Division. Harwich also remains atop the East climbing to 24-14. Cotuit is 12 points above second place Falmouth (19-19) with six games left in the season. The Kettleers are on the road Friday as they face off against Wareham (17-21) at 6 p.m. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.