by Sean Bailey
Writing Intern, Providence College
June 12, 2013
COTUIT – You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. And opening day of the Cape Cod Baseball League season presents players with a chance to make a first impression in their towns. For the faithful fans of the Cotuit Kettleers, this first impression was undoubtedly solid, as the Kettleers fought for a tough 4-2 win against the Orleans Firebirds.
Coach Mike Roberts was impressed by the effort saying, “What I enjoyed the most about the win was that we played maturely. Jared Walsh pitched well and gave us a chance to win, defense made key plays, Kevin Bradley made an outstanding play to save a couple of runs. Defense and pitching always wins games.” (Pre-game interviews with Jared Walsh HERE and Coach Roberts HERE.)
The Kettleers mixed in five different pitches combining to ground the Firebirds, allowing two runs and scattering eight hits over the game. Cotuit also benefited from some Web Gem worthy defense, led by third basemen Kevin Bradley whose diving plays saved multiple runs. Bradley said after the game, “You got to be ready for everything, I just focus on getting the ball, then getting it to first. I try to keep it simple.”
Even though the Kettleers first impression from the game was good, the beginning looked shaky for the home team. The Firebirds jumped ahead 1-0 in the third, after the Kettleers left runners on second and third with only one out.
However, Cotuit rebounded quickly pumping in two runs in the fourth inning. Tim Kiene led the inning off by taking a pitch in the arm, then Patrick Mazeika knocked a single perching runners on first and second. Then Connor Castellano laid down a beautiful bunt down the third baseline moving both runners into scoring position with nobody out. This time the Kettleers would take advantage. Hunter Cole came up and promptly smacked a hard grounder towards second base that Will Fulmer ranged into right field to nab. But his throw was errant allowing Mazeika and Kiene to score, giving the Kettleers a 2-1 lead.
“Castellano put the ball down well, it took maturity getting the ball to the right place,” said Roberts.
Cotuit tallied another in the fifth with smart base running. With runners on the corners Castellano took off drawing a throw from the pitcher, which allowed Rosen to score while Castellano swiped second.
The Firebirds fired back in the eighth. It started with a hard single by Austin Davidson. After a strikeout, Chris Marconcini and Riley Moore reached loading the bases. Garrett Cole came up and drew a walk, driving in a run in the process and slicing the Kettleers lead to 3-2. Liam Rafferty was called in to attempt to steer Cotuit out of further trouble. He succeeded, forcing a ground ball, which Galli Cribbs Jr. made a terrific stop behind second base, scampering to touch second and firing the ball to first to turn the double play and eliminate the late inning threat by Orleans.
Cotuit rode the momentum tacking on another run in the eighth off another Cole RBI single, and Derrick Capiak came in the ninth to finish off the Firebirds.
Eric Karch collected the win for Cotuit, with Capiak notching the save. Cole had two RBIs. The Kettleers next game is June 13 at Brewster at 5 p.m.
Get text scores from Capecodonline.com HERE