By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
August 5, 2012
ORLEANS – Cotuit didn’t mind an early morning start Saturday as they beat Orleans 6-1. The Kettleers began at 11 a.m. playing their first game of a doubleheader.
Known for his outstanding defensive plays on the field, shortstop Galli Cribbs (San Jacinto) helped the Kettleers in game one with his offense. “Today I saw the ball really well for the first time probably the whole season. He threw me an outside fastball, and I just went with it.”
Cribbs hit two-run double to center field with one out in the fourth to break the 1-1 tie and give Cotuit a 3-1 lead. He also made a ranging play to his left early in the game. He lied out to make the stop towards the middle, get up, and throw the runner out at first. “It’s just kind of instinct,” he said. “I’ve never made this many good plays in my life. I’m just trying to react the best I can.”
Cribbs also made a great play in game two of the doubleheader when he picked a ball barehanded off a hop and made the throw to first for the out.
The shortstop wasn’t the only one making good plays as Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) played the hot corner well. “Our defense has really turned it up,” pitcher Jacob Stone (Weatherford JC) said. “Going out there and pitching with a great defense makes it a lot easier on us.”
A two run lead combined with solid defense was all Kettleers’ starter Kyle Finnegan (Texas State) would need as he pounded the strike zone consistently all day. “I felt that I was able to mix up the changeups and fastballs really well today, better than I ever have all season,” Finnegan said. He through six solid innings giving up just one run on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. “He was very aggressive and really went after it,” coach Mike Roberts said.
After Finnegan had thrown six innings, lefty Stone came in to throw three shut out innings in relief. “The ball was coming out of his hand really well,” Finnegan said of Stone. “He was just able to pound the zone and throw strikes.”
Stone gave up two hits, no walks and struck out three batters. “Stone had his best outing of the summer in those three innings,” Roberts said. Austin Kubitza (Rice) took the loss for Orleans throwing seven innings and giving up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and six walks.
Derek Smith (Pitt Bradford), Patrick Biondi (Michigan) and Mike Ford each helped Cotuit in game one with one run batted in to lead the team to a 6-1 victory. The win was the first in four tries against the Firebirds this season. “It’s good to know heading into the playoffs that you can beat every team in the league,” Finnegan said. “That’ll definitely give us confidence.”
The win put the Kettleers at 27-13 on the season. “We’ve been cruising so far,” Stone said. “We’ve just got to keep the intensity up and just keep playing Cotuit baseball.” Orleans fell to 22-18, but also played a double header facing off against Brewster (16-24) at 7 p.m. The Firebirds lost 6-5 in game two falling to 22-19. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.