By: Sean Bailey, Writing Intern, Providence College
June 24, 2013
COTUIT – Sometimes a team can be its own worst enemy. And for the Cotuit Kettleers this could not be more accurate. The Kettleers played well , knocking 13 hits. However, they left nine on base, seven of which were stranded in scoring position. Cotuit defensively was also shaky, booting the ball on the way to four errors, three passed balls, and two wild pitches. All of this prolonged innings, and allowed the Chatham Anglers to claw out a win at Lowell Park 6-4.
“The effort is fine, the play is poor,” said Manager Mike Roberts following the game. “When a team makes four errors, it is difficult to win. Defense is definitely an Achilles heel, and we have to cure it.”
Cotuit’s lack of clutch hitting was evident early. Steven Duggar (Clemson) smacked a single through the middle to lead off the inning. Max Schrock (South Carolina) hit a line drive single over shortstop, moving Duggar to third. Schrock then swiped second perching runners in scoring position. However, Andrew McGee (Monmouth) settled in striking out Mike Ford (Princeton) on a big curve, and Yale Rosen (Washington State) on a slider in the dirt. A groundout to short would eliminate the Kettleers’ threat.
The second inning was a similar story. Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) slammed a ground rule double that fell over the right fielder’s head. Wiseman advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw, but that was as far as he would get, with the McGee recording a strikeout and a fly out to center to end the inning.
Scoring opened up in the fourth inning for both squads. Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) hit a flare single just out of Connor Castellano’s (Santa Fe) reach at second base. A passed ball snuck through the catcher’s legs, moving Pickens to second and then a wild pitch moved him to third. A high chopper to third charging in was enough to score Pickens, giving Chatham an early 1-0 lead.
Cotuit had an answer, utilizing some small ball. Yale Rosen (Washington State) punched a single through the hole at first and second. He then stole second, setting up Remillard’s sac bunt down the third base line to send Rosen to third. Castellano followed it with a great bunt on a suicide squeeze, rolling the ball down the first base line scoring Rosen and tying the game at one.
The Anglers would recapture the lead in the sixth. Pickens led off the inning with a bomb deep over the right field fence. Brandon Sedell (Nova Southeastern) hit a line drive single over third. A passed ball moved the runner to second, and another moved Sedell to third. After a groundout to first, and a five-pitch walk, Dante Flores (USC) drove a single up the middle to bring home Chatham’s third run. Chatham would cushion their lead in the seventh with a solo homerun by Connor Joe (University of San Diego) to swell the Anglers lead to 4-1.
Cotuit would trim the deficit in the eighth. Schrock singled to center to lead off the inning. Rosen struck a one out single through the hole at first and second. Danny Diekroeger (Stanford) pinch-hit with a single through the hole at first and second driving home Schrock. A high chopping ground ball to first by Castellano scored Rosen from third, narrowing the Chatham lead 4-3.
Chatham would capitalize on sloppy play by the Kettleers in the ninth. A lead off walk looked to be eliminated with a groundball back to the mound. However, the throw sailed into the outfield, putting runners at first and third. A defensive indifference quickly moved that runner to second, with no outs. A one out single by Josh Eldridge (Old Dominion) knocked in both runners, extending Chatham’s lead to 6-3.
The Kettleers almost came back again in the ninth. Tim Kiene (Maryland) led off with a walk, followed by a Kevin Bradley (Clemson) single into left field. Duggar came up and smacked another single, this one to load the bases with no outs in the ninth. Schrock, the go ahead run, came to the plate. He took the offering and put a charge into a ball, launching a long fly ball to right. However, he got a little under it, and instead of a homerun or a bases clearing hit, it was merely a long sacrifice fly.
“I tried to put a good swing on it, to give the team a chance,” said Schrock about the hit after the game, “I just missed it.”
Cotuit couldn’t inch any closer after that. The next two batters were retired without ever putting the ball in play, leaving runners on the corners to end the game.
The Kettleers will look to rebound Tuesday at Wareham. Game time is 7 p.m.