By: Sean Bailey, Writing Intern, Providence College
Jully 28, 2013
(Kettle Talk with Alexa Galloway PREGAME and POSTGAME)
(Video Highlights by Connor Sullivan HERE)
(Seth Bernstein with outfielder Bradley Zimmer during the KETTLEERS PREGAME SHOW)
(Greg Mroz with winning pitcher John Hochstatter in KETTLEERS AUDIO EXTRA)
COTUIT – Good teams know how to punish opponents for their mistakes. Sunday the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox made mistakes. And the Cotuit Kettleers punished them. The Red Sox made four errors through three innings, five total, and the Kettleers capitalized, pouring in eight runs to beat the Red Sox 8-3.
“They made some errors and we made some,” said Manager Mike Roberts following the game. “Sometimes after a break, some guys have trouble focusing back.”
The first inning was an inning that could have easily ended disastrously for Cotuit. Instead, they were able to capitalize on some mistakes, and escape a jam. In the top of the inning Ben Smith (Coastal Carolina) backed himself into a bases loaded jam off an error and two walks. However, he induced a double play ground ball to second to dismiss the threat.
Danny Diekroeger (Stanford) led off the bottom of the inning with a rocket back up the middle. The ball managed to roll under the center fielder’s glove and roll all the way to the wall, allowing Diekroeger to motor to third. Next up, Bradley Zimmer (University of San Francisco) topped a bouncer to second, scoring Diekroeger. But the throw to first was low and wide, allowing Zimmer to take second. He advanced to third on a ground out to short, then scored on a passed ball, giving the Kettleers a 2-0 lead.
“We were fortunate early,” said Roberts. “That is unusual for a Y-D team. It was one of those days.”
Cotuit tallied another run in the third. Diekroeger stroked a single to left to lead it off. Zimmer then grounded to short, but he was able to beat out the double play. After a strikeout, Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) hit a rocket right over the right fielder’s head for a double, which was good enough to score the speedy Zimmer from first, giving the Kettleers a 3-0 lead.
Y-D struck back in the fifth. A walk, and a hit batter perched runners on first and second with no outs. Then a bunt was dropped down the third base line, but the throw sailed high, scoring the runner from second. Then Auston Bousfield (Ole Miss) dropped a ball into the right center gap for a double, scoring two and tying the game up with no outs. John Hochstatter (Stanford) came in and dodged further damage, escaping a bases loaded jam by forcing a weak ground out to third.
The Kettleers regained the lead in the sixth. Drew Jackson (Stanford) took a pitch off his shoulder to lead the inning off. Then Wiseman laid a bunt back to the pitcher to move him to second. Mark Payton (Texas) worked a walk to put runners at first and second. That brought up Logan Ratledge (NC State) who drove home the go ahead run with a double to left field.
“I have been working hard, coming to work extra as much as I can,” said Ratledge, “I am trying to get my feel back. I’m really starting to see the ball well again.”
A wacky play ended the frame, as Austin Byler (Nevada) grounded to short, who tossed home to catch Payton in a run down. Byler then tried to sneak to second while Payton was in the pickle, but he was thrown out to complete an inning ending double play.
Cotuit’s lead was cushioned in the seventh and eighth. The inning was led off by a Hunter Cole (Georgia) single up the middle, which was followed by a Nolan Clark (Concordia) walk. Diekroeger dropped a bunt back to the pitcher, which moved runners to second and third with one out. That is when Zimmer grounded to first, who tagged first but his throw to the plate was just beaten by Cole, giving Cotuit a 5-3 lead.
“Bradley (Zimmer) was our core offense, then he left,” said Roberts on Zimmer’s impact. “We are really lucky to have him back. It means a lot to us offensively, defensively, and on the bases.”
In the eighth Cotuit would build an insurmountable lead. Wiseman led off with an infield single, then took second on a passed ball. Payton followed with a bunt single down the third base line, perching runners at the corners. Ratledge drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Then Byler smoked one back up the middle to bring home two runs. After a strikeout, Clark hit a grounder to short, which was misplayed, scoring another Kettleer setting the score at 8-3 Cotuit, which is when it would stand.
The Kettleers will take on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. Monday. The game will be for the Barnstable Patriots Cup.