By Matt Schneidman
July 30, 2014
HYANNIS — With the majority of the McKeon Park crowd departed and the game having surpassed the three-hour mark, Jackson Glines (Michigan) stood at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth.
The game – one which saw the lead change seven times – was tied at 10 and Glines had an opportunity to give Cotuit the lead for good.
He blooped a 1-1 pitch into shallow center, scoring two and giving the Kettleers a two-run lead. After a back-and-forth offensive barrage that saw a combined 22 runs and 28 hits, Cotuit (17-22-1) emerged from its offensive slump to grab a much-needed 12-10 win over Hyannis (18-22) on Wednesday night.
“It’s just really trying to see fight in regards to when you make mistakes, can you come back some nights,” head coach Mike Roberts said. “I really like the fact that they battled like crazy.”
Cotuit jumped on the board right away, as Logan Taylor (Texas A&M) hit a leadoff single and later scored from third after Sam Haggerty botched a Jake Fincher (North Carolina State) grounder to short.
It was the beginning of a monster day for Taylor, who reached base in all six at-bats, recording four hits and continuing his red-hot streak. He’s reached base safely in 19-straight games and now leads the Kettleers in batting average at a .317 clip.
The hosts responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first, but Cotuit tied the game at four in the next frame on a Tres Barrera (Texas) two-RBI double and a Jameson Fisher (Southeastern Louisiana) RBI groundout.
Cotuit starter Trey Wingenter (Auburn) settled in after a rough first to throw a scoreless second and third, while the visitors tacked on two more runs courtesy of Drew Jackson (Stanford) and Taylor bloop singles to give Cotuit a 6-4 lead.
Already in the first three innings of Wednesday’s game, the Kettleers had tripled the number of runs it had scored in the previous 29 innings. It was a much-needed explosive start, one that would set the tone for the rest of the game.
“It’s huge,” Glines said of Wednesday’s offensive production. “We were struggling a little bit trying to score some runs.”
And although four Hyannis runs in the fourth gave the Harbor Hawks the lead right back, Taylor, Kyle Holder (San Diego) and Barrera each drove in runs to regain the lead in the top of the fifth.
On a day where Wingenter and Luke Leftwich (Wofford) struggled, the bats picked up the pitching after not being able to back up stellar performances on the mound as of late.
Over the next three innings, Hyannis would tie the game – once at nine and once at 10 – but Cotuit always had a response. Roberts attributed both teams’ ability to stack up runs in part to the field conditions, ones that play in favor of the hitters and heavily against the infielders.
“The field is really hard,” Roberts said. “There’s a lip in front of home plate and everything went up. I think the surface had something to do with the number of runs scored.”
But at 10-10, the scoring wasn’t done.
Last Tuesday against Chatham, Glines drew a bases-loaded walk to give Cotuit a 7-6 win. This time, he gave the Kettleers a game-winning at-bat with his stick.
In that win against Chatham, Glines admitted he was trying to hit a grand slam when he came to the plate. This time was no different, but a two-run single would be enough to get the job done.
“Oh of course,” Glines laughed when asked if he was again going for a grand slam. “First hack I just was trying to get it way out there. We’re hitting balls hard and they just ended up falling for us today, which is good to see.”
Adam Whitt (Nevada) shut down Hyannis in the bottom of the ninth to give the Kettleers a crucial win on a night when last-place Wareham tied Brewster.
For Cotuit, it now sits three and a half games up on the Gatemen and half a game behind Hyannis with four games to go. With a playoff spot virtually locked up, the Kettleers will look to fine tune as the regular season winds down.
Wednesday’s victory revitalized an offense that had gone stagnant and gave the lineup momentum heading into the final four games.
“It was good for us,” Taylor said. “We’ve been grinding and working hard and it finally showed up. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it’s a win and that’s all we care about.”
UP NEXT: Cotuit will host Hyannis at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Lowell Park.