By: Sean Bailey, Writing Intern, Providence College
July 14, 2013
WAREHAM – Success has come down to a precise formula the past couple of games for the Cotuit Kettleers. Score early runs, then rely on great pitching and defense to bring home the win. And this formula has proven successful yet again, as the Kettleers won their third straight game, beating the Wareham Gatemen 5-3.
“It seems like our leadoff hitters been getting on, and Mike’s (Ford) been getting a base hit behind them,” said Manager Mike Roberts following the game. “And it kind of has been rolling from that the past couple of days in a row. It is hard to think you can do that everyday but we will take it. When you get up, pitchers throw better and you play better defense.”
But no matter the formula, or style of game it seems that the Cotuit Kettleers have owned the Wareham Gatemen this season. The first four times these division rivals have met, the Kettleers have won all four, outscoring the Gatemen 22 to 8 on the season series.
And the Kettleers wasted little time displaying their dominance of the Gatemen Sunday. The first inning provided all the runs the Kettleers needed, and it happened all in the first five batters.
“Guys went out the first inning and they were throwing a lot of fastballs early,” said Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt). “We had five consecutive hits, and we were fortunate enough to score four runs off of that.”
It started with a single to left by Danny Diekroeger (Stanford). Mike Ford (Princeton) continued his hot hitting with a line drive single into left field. Yale Rosen (Washington State) then singled to right scoring Diekroeger, and moving Ford to third. Wiseman had the big hit of the inning, a triple that fell down the right field line, which scored Ford and Rosen, giving Cotuit a quick 3-0 cushion. Wiseman would score on Drew Jackson’s (Stanford) single up the middle, and before fans had time to settle into their seats, the Kettleers had sprinted to a 4-0 lead.
From there the pitching proved dominant, with Ben Smith (Coastal Carolina) and Patrick Corbett (Coastal Carolina) setting the table as the duo normally does. Smith went 2 2/3 scoreless innings, with four strikeouts before leaving the game with an apparent injury. And despite being rushed into the game, and facing inherited runners on first and second Corbett controlled the situation, striking out the first batter he faced for the last out. He then cruised for three 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run, while strikeout out four, earning the victory.
Wareham cut into the lead in the sixth. It started with a one out single through the hole between first and second. Then a passed ball moved the runner to second. Then a groundout to short moved him to third. And the third out looked to be in the bag, but an errant throw from short scored the runner.
“We made a couple mistakes that I thought were mental mistakes,” said Roberts, “Our objective is to play the game as well as we can every pitch of the ballgame.”
Cotuit got the run back the next frame. Nolan Clark (Concordia) led off with a walk. A single into left by Diekroeger moved Clark to second. After a fly out to left, Rosen knocked what appeared to be a double play ball to short. However, the throw was in the dirt and scooted by the first basemen scoring Clark on the play, and giving Cotuit a secure 5-1 lead.
The Gatemen comeback fell short in the eighth inning. After a rain delay, the Gatemen scored a one out single, followed by a walk to perch runners at first and second. Then a bloop single to right proved trouble scoring one. But then the throw came into Clark behind the plate, who then threw the ball wildly to third, scoring one more and moving the hitter to third. All of a sudden it was 5-3 with a runner on third and two out in the inning. But side-arming Brian Miller (Vanderbilt) sidestepped the damage, as he has done most of the season, setting down the next Gatemen. This preserved Cotuit’s 5-3 lead, which would be the final score.
Cotuit looks to add to their three game winning streak, Monday at Harwich at 7 p.m.