By: Nick Solari, Writing Intern, Quinnipiac University
July 31, 2013
WAREHAM – Baseball is a game dominated by pitching, especially in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The Wareham Gateman brought Sean Newcomb (Hartford) to the hill on Wednesday night at Spillane Filed, a pitcher plenty capable of dominating a game. He is what most scouts believe to be the second best pitching prospect that has thrown on the Cape all summer.
The 6’5 240 lbs. southpaw struck out 91 batters in 71 innings during the spring, and touched 97 miles-per-hour on the radar gun for scouts at school.
It was for this exact reason that the Kettleers knew they had their work cut out for them on Wednesday night.
Mike Roberts’ offense generated just enough runs off of the future first-rounder, however, and starter Christian Cecilio out-dualed Newcomb on way to a 6-3 Kettleers victory.
The Kettleers loaded the bases in the top of the first inning but couldn’t score. Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) ripped a one-out triple of off the center field wall, then Logan Ratledge (NC State) and Austin Byler (Nevada) walked to load the bases with two outs. Newcomb then struck out Drew Jackson (Stanford) swinging to end the inning, He struck out five of the first six outs he recorded.
Zimmer got things started in the second for the Kettleers though. With one out and the bases loaded, the right fielder drove a 2-2 fastball from Newcomb the other way down the left field line for a two-run double, driving in Danny Diekroeger (Stanford) and Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt).
“I was just looking for something out over the plate, trying not to chase,” Zimmer said. “I got a couple pitches to drive and had some success tonight.”
Zimmer was 3-for-5 on the day with a single, double, triple, and those two big RBIs.
“I feel like I’m coming back, I’m right where I left off,” he said of arriving back in Cotuit after traveling with Team USA. “Good to be back with the guys and just help them and this team try and win.”
Diekroeger was the only other Cotuit hitter with three base hits on the night. He went 3-for-5, just like Zimmer, only he had one RBI and a double.
Newcomb was pulled after just 3.0 innings. He gave up four hits, walked four, and was charged with the two earned runs. Seven of the nine outs he recorded were by way of the strikeout.
The Kettleers blew the game wide open in the fourth plating three more runs. Hunter Cole (Georgia) put down a sacrifice bunt to score Jake Fincher (NC State), Byler hit an RBI single to drive in Zimmer, and Drew Jackson (Stanford) put down another sac bunt to drive in Cole. Cotuit extended the lead to 5-0 after the outburst.
“They gave us a chance early with some walks, and we decided to squeeze a little tonight,” Roberts said. “You have to make contact with runners on base and tonight that was the best way for us to make contact.”
The Kettleers used five total pitchers on the night. Christian Cecilio (San Francisco) went the first 4.2 innings, giving up only two hits, one earned run, and striking out four.
Joel Seddon then pitched the next 1.1 innings, getting the win. Newcomers Michael Roberts and Wesley Cox then combined to pitch an inning, before closer Brian Miller was summoned in the eighth.
Miller earned his fifth save of the Cape League season, working the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.
“It didn’t surprise me that we used a lot of guys out of the pen,” Roberts said. “Cecilio pitched great tonight. You just don’t want pitch counts to get too high this time of year heading into the playoffs. You want everyone to get some work so that the staff is ready.”
With the win Cotuit moved to 23-16-1. The Kettleers are back in action for their final meeting with the Bourne Braves tomorrow at 6 p.m. on the road.