By: Sean Bailey, Writing Intern, Providence College
July 19, 2013
HYANNIS – Baseball is a nine-inning game. This is obvious, and basic but sometimes as fans we must remind ourselves of this. And that moment occurred for the Cotuit Kettleers Friday night in Hyannis, as the Kettleers relinquished the lead late, losing 6-3 to the Harbor Hawks.
“We lost opportunities throughout the ball game. We just didn’t get base hits,” said Manager Mike Roberts. “They made some outstanding defensive plays, taking a couple of base hits away from us. We really have to credit them this particular game.”
The Kettleers looked like they were destined to their 19th win early on. They got their customary early runs, and their normal outstanding starting pitching from Christian Cecilio (University of San Francisco), who went 5 1/3 giving up two runs and striking out four. However, they just were unable to nail the game down at the end, blowing two leads.
“The pitchers have thrown a lot of strikes and sometimes when you throw strikes you get hit,” said catcher Nolan Clark (Concordia). “It seems the ball hasn’t fallen our way the past couple days but they are still doing a great job.”
The Kettleers wasted little time to jump on the board. In the top of the first Danny Diekroeger (Stanford) drove the first pitch through the hole between first and second. On the second pitch he was advanced to second by Mark Payton’s (Texas) bunt down the third base line. The third pitch Diekroeger swiped third, setting the Kettleers with a runner on third and one out. Jake Fincher (NC State) drove Diekroeger home with a high chopper up the middle for a single. Tim Kiene (Maryland) grounded into a fielders choice, then stole second after the catcher hesitated waiting to see if the pitch was a called third strike. This hesitation proved costly as Drew Jackson (Stanford) worked a walk, perching runners at first and second with two outs. That is when Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) continued his hot hitting, knocking a single through the hole between first and second for a quick 2-0 lead.
Hyannis narrowed the lead in the second inning. It started with an Austin Slater (Stanford) triple that fell just beyond the reach of Payton in center field. George Griffin (Georgia Southern) then hit a sharp grounder to the hole at short, which went to an infield single, scoring Slater. Hyannis then tied the game in the sixth. Baum led off the inning with a line drive single into left field. Jay Baum (Clemson) then stole second, and then Steve Wilkerson (Clemson) dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line, moving Baum to third. Tyler Spoon (Arkansas) then hit a single into center scoring Baum and tying the game at two.
It looked like Cotuit would emerge victorious with a go ahead run in the seventh. Wiseman led off the inning being hit by a pitch. Then Logan Ratledge (NC State) laid down a sacrifice bunt towards the first base line moving Wiseman to second. Austin Byler (Nevada) grounded out to short, to move Wiseman to third with two outs. That brought up Clark who had been in a slump of late. But he broke out of it timely with a double down the right field line to score Wiseman, and put Cotuit up 3-2.
“I was looking for a pitch I could hit, that I could poke through the infield,” said Clark. “I have been struggling a bit at the plate, and I was just looking to get that run in.”
The lead quickly disintegrated. The bottom of the seventh Slater hit a grounder up the middle that Jackson ranged to, but his throw sailed high and Slater moved to second. Griffin then hit a single to left, but Wiseman’s hard charge held the runner at third. Then a fly ball to left was not deep enough with Wiseman’s arm, as he held the runner at third again. But Brian Anderson (Arkansas) got the run in with a single to left, tying the game at three.
The eighth is when the game completely got away from Cotuit. The rally was ignited by a double by Drew Stankiewicz (Arizona State) to left center. Then a ground ball to second moved the runner to third. Skyler Ewing (Rice) followed this with a double down the left field line scoring the go ahead run. Slater then got an infield single to perch runners at the corners. He quickly stole second, which was beneficial as Griffin knocked a double down the third base line scoring two, and giving Hyannis the 6-3 win.
“Every game is a new day in the game of baseball, which is different from all the other sports,” said Roberts. “We do need to consistently swing the bats. They do say hitting is contagious so we will see.”
Cotuit will look to rebound against Harwich at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. on Saturday.