By: Nick Solari, Writing Intern, Quinnipiac University
July 22, 2013
BOURNE – After leaving a total of 27 men on base during the Kettleers four-game winless streak head coach Mike Roberts described his team’s offense as “inefficient” at times. Cotuit wasn’t leaving any runners on base throughout the first three innings on Monday night, however, because Bourne starter Kyle Kubat (Nebraska Lincoln) didn’t allow any.
In the fourth inning things quickly changed.
The Kettleers got runners on base. This time, they cashed in when they needed to.
Cotuit scored four runs in the top half of the fourth to take the lead, Jared Walsh (Georgia) and the pitching staff held the lead nicely, and the Kettleers got their first win in almost a week by topping the Bourne Braves by the final score of 8-5.
After a really tough loss yesterday the guys really bounced back, and that’s resiliency,” Kettleers head coach Mike Roberts said. “I was happy with the way they responded.
After failing to get a base runner through the first three innings, the Kettleers finally got on the board in the fourth. Danny Diekroeger (Stanford) and Logan Ratledge (NC State) each singled to lead off the inning.
Austin Byler (Nevada) was next at the plate. He grounded sharply to Bourne first baseman Tyler Kuresa (Santa Barbara), who threw on to second base to try and start the double play. The throw hit the helmet of Ratledge and skipped into left field, and Diekroeger plated the Kettleers first run.
Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) then did the major damage with one swing of the bat. After Brett Jackson grounded into a fielder’s choice and Jake Fincher (NC State) singled to right field, Wiseman lifted a two-out 1-2 fastball deep over the right field fence for a three-run homerun, giving the Kettleers the 4-2 lead.
“Rhett’s swing got us back in the game,” Roberts said. “There were some after that, but he had the big one that kind of got us going.”
Wiseman went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run. It was his third homer in five games. He is now 9-for-18 in that span.
“Tonight was a great night for everyone,” Wiseman said. “We came out and bounced back, and everyone did their part. We played some great defense and just swung the bats.”
Walsh got out of a big jam in the bottom half of the fourth inning. After walking two batters and giving up a base hit in the inning to load the bases with one out, he struck out right fielder Clint Freeman (East Tennessee St) on a curveball and got Kuresa to ground out to end the inning.
The six-foot southpaw earned his first victory of the season, and will be pitching in next Saturday’s CCBL all-star game.
In the top of the fifth Hunter Cole (Georgia) helped the Kettleers get some insurance for Walsh. With runners on first and third and two outs Cole lined a single in to left field, scoring Jake Fincher (NC State) to make it 5-2 Cotuit. The hit came only two pitches after Cole fouled a ball off his knee.
Walsh finished the fifth inning of work, then John Hochstatter (Stanford) came in to pitch. He gave up only one hit, struck out one, and surrendered no runs in his first two innings of work, but then gave up two in the eighth.
Cotuit added two more runs in the top of the eighth to stretch the lead to 7-2. After Wiseman laid a sacrifice bunt to advance Jackson and Fincher to second and third with only one out pinch-hitter Mark Payton (Texas) belted a double into the left-center gap to drive in both runs.
Fincher led the Kettleers with three hits on the night, scoring each time he reached base.
Tim Caputo (Rhode Island) drove in the other two Bourne runs with a one-out double in the bottom half of the eighth, making the score 7-4.
Adam Ravenelle (Vanderbilt) worked the final 1.1 innings for the save. He came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and walked the first batter to make it 7-5 before getting Pat Kelly (Nebraska Lincoln) to fly out to right and end the threat.
He then pitched a scoreless ninth, filling in for usual closer Brian Miller. Miller was out with what Roberts called a “tender” arm.
I really believe that his (Ravenelle’s) future here as well as in college and pro baseball is as a setup man or a closer,” Roberts said. “Tonight we kind of tried to see how it would go, and he did a great job.”
Diekroeger then doubled to lead off the top half of the final frame and was moved to third by Ratledge’s sacrifice bunt. Austin Byler then peppered a ball to center field that got past the defense, and he ended up with an RBI triple to extend the lead back to three again at 8-5.
With the win Cotuit improves to 19-14-1 on the season. They have an off day tomorrow, but are back in action on Wednesday at Lowell Park for a 5 p.m. start against Brewster.
“We have to keep going here,” Wiseman said. “This is the time of year you want to get hot, going into the playoffs.”