By: Nick Solari, Writing Intern, Quinnipiac University
July 13, 2013
COTUIT, MA – Mike Ford dug in for his first at-bat Saturday night with a runner on first base and a .390 batting average, the best in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The third-baseman from Princeton rested the bat on his right leg, adjusted the Velcro that pieces together his batting gloves, put his left hand up to signal for time, and began taking a series of fluid practice swings in the left-handed batters box. The routine has become a familiar sight at Lowell Park throughout the past two seasons.
After taking strike one, Ford worked the count back to 2-1. He glared out at Hyannis starting pitcher Patrick Andrews, focusing in for the next pitch. He adjusted his batting gloves, called for time with his left hand, and took his practice cuts as always. The next pitch was a fastball out over the plate, which Ford promptly belted into the trees over the right field fence, giving the Kettleers a 2-0 lead.
Cotuit would never look back, as they defeated the Harbor Hawks by the final score of 5-0 behind Ford’s 4-for-4 effort.
“Today was one of those days that you don’t often see in a player, and Mike Ford had one without a doubt,” Kettleers coach Mike Roberts said. “It’s definitely a day he is going to remember.”
Ford drove in all 5 runs Cotuit scored on the night. He homered in the first, drove in Nolan Clark with a single in the second, and hit a two-run homer again in the seventh. He is now 9 for his last 12, and raised his batting average to .420.
“Just relax up there and look for your pitch, that’s been the key for me all year,” Ford said. “I’m having a great time up here with all the guys, and I’m happy with how I’ve played.”
Ford’s two home runs put him at five on the season, tied for the most in the Cape League. He has played in 25 games for the Kettleers, the most of any position player this season.
“Mike’s just improved over the last year,” coach Roberts said. “He’s more focused, and more interested in improving in every facet of the game. Its really fun for a coach to see a young man improve that much.”
Cotuit’s pitching was dominant once again tonight. Christian Cecilio (San Francisco) went the first 6.0 innings, gave up six hits, and no runs. Joel Seddon (South Carolina) went the next 2.0 innings, and Brian Miller (Vanderbilt) the final 2.0 innings to preserve the shutout.
“Christian [Cecilio] is really a focused young man, and he threw the ball well today,” Roberts said. “Joel Seddon came in behind him and did an excellent job and [Brian] Miller finished them off nicely.”
Hunter Cole (Georgia) and Nolan Clark (Concordia) were the only other Cotuit players with multiple hits, each with two.
Hyannis’ largest threat came in the top of the first. With one out in the inning and Tyler Spoon (Arkansas) on second base, Austin Slater (Stanford) singled to right field. Jake Fincher picked up the ball and threw out Spoon at home by a mile, preserving the shutout early.
With the win the Kettleers have taken three of the first four in the Barnstable Patriot’s Cup. Cotuit is now 16-10 on the season.
Next game is Sunday, July 14, at Wareham’s Spillane Field beginning at 6:00.