Nick Solari, Writing Intern, Quinnipiac University
August 2, 2013
(Kettle Talk with Alexa Galloway PREGAME and POSTGAME)
(Video Highlights by Connor Sullivan HERE)
(Greg Mroz with Kettleers first baseman Caleb Bryson in KETTLEERS AUDIO EXTRA)
(Greg Mroz with Chatham Anglers writer Chris Jones in a CAPE COD BASEBALL LEAGUE RECAP PODCAST)
COTUIT – In baseball, just like in life, first impressions can be key. As the regular season winds down the Kettleers have been forced to bring in a surplus of new players who have only a few days to make an impression on Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts before the postseason begins.
First baseman Caleb Bryson (Samford) and starting pitcher Tommy Kister (Masters College) got their one chance at a first impression Friday night at Lowell Park, and they didn’t disappoint.
Kister struck out the first four hitters he faced en route to a win on the hill, Bryson led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, and Cotuit defeated the first-place Chatham Anglers by the final of 5-1.
“They set the table for us, and I’m very appreciative of that,” head coach Mike Roberts said after the game on his two new players. “Coach West really deserves the credit, going out and finding those guys from the Great Lakes League.”
Kister lasted 5.2 innings on the night, giving up only three hits, a run, three walks, and eight strikeouts.
“I was just trying to attack the zone as early as possible, and pitch to my game,” Kister said. “I wanted to keep the ball low and get as many ground balls as possible. It made it easy that we scored a lot of runs so I could work with a cushion.”
“Tommy is one of those guys who is kind of under the radar, doesn’t throw hard, but he really knows how to pitch,” Roberts said of his starting pitcher. “I learned a lot from that young man tonight.”
The only blemish was a solo homerun by Chatham first baseman J.D. Davis (Cal St Fullerton) in the sixth inning. It would be the final batter the 6’2” righty would face on the night.
“I was a bit nervous,” Kister said. “I knew, though, that these were just college players like me. I trust my stuff, and I was happy with the way I was able to throw.”
The Kettleers scored three runs in the bottom half of the first, allowing Kister to work with a lead throughout the game.
A day after arriving in Cotuit Bryson, the 6’1” 205 lbs. right-handed hitter, took a powerful cut at the first pitch of the night from Chatham starter Andrew Chin (Boston College), and lifted the ball deep over the fence in left-center to make it 1-0.
For Bryson, it wasn’t a bad way to kick off his first at-bat in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
“Some of the coaches said Caleb (Bryson) was questioning why he was leading off because he told the coaches he wasn’t very fast,” Roberts said. “My objective was to get someone up there who would swing the bat, who was excited, and who would work hard. He got one out on the first pitch, so I was really happy for him.”
Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) and Logan Ratledge (NC State) then followed Bryson’s long home run with a single each, putting runners on first and second with still nobody out. Cleanup hitter Jake Fincher (NC State) then lined a ball to deep right-center field for a double, driving in both Zimmer and Ratledge.
Fincher was thrown out at third base after trying to stretch the double into a triple. Regardless, his swing gave Cotuit a 3-0 cushion.
Zimmer, the Kettleers right fielder, was the only player with two hits on the day. He was 2-for-4 in the ballgame.
Rhett Wiseman continued to stay hot. The CCBL all-star left fielder belted a two-out solo homerun in the third inning to stretch the lead to 4-0. It was his fourth homerun of the season.
Hunter Cole (Georgia) drove in the final run Cotuit scored with a sacrifice fly to center field, plating Fincher.
“I did think we made contact better at the plate today,” said Roberts. “We were definetely better with our offense, and it showed.”
John Hochstatter (Stanford), Mike Roberts (Coppin St), and Brian Miller (Vanderbilt) combined in relief to pitch the final 4.1 innings without surrendering a hit or a run.
Hochstatter went 1.1 innings, Roberts went 0.2 innings, and Miller threw the final 1.1 innings, recording the save.