By Sam Blum
July 11, 2014
FALMOUTH – Tres Barrera stood with the bat on his shoulders as Falmouth ran off the field. The umpire headed out, and so did the catcher. It was just Barrera in the batter’s box and a disappointed look on his face.
With the tying runs at first and third base and two outs, Barrera had just struck out to end Cotuit’s three-run ninth-inning rally.
“He just threw a great pitch, down and in for a strike,” Barrera said. “Just a good pitcher’s pitch.”
The Cotuit bats had been lifeless for the first eight innings, posting just two runs on eight hits. But three runs and five hits later, Barrera, who had just hit a home run in the eighth inning, was up as the lead run. But his strikeout sent Cotuit to a 7-5 loss, it’s second straight.
The Kettleers are now just 2.5 games ahead of last-place Wareham with 18 games to play.
“The fight in the dog you like to see,” manager Mike Roberts said. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes running around, we’re just not really polished.”
Once again the starting pitching dug the Kettleers in a hole. Logan James lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on three hits and four walks. In the first 26 games this season, the longest a starting pitcher has is five innings.
In the seventh, a dropped popup by Drew Jackson opened the door for three Commodore runs, which proved to be the difference.
“The offense is always there, we just gotta throw more strikes,” Barrera said. “If they keep us in the game, it’s more likely we’ll come out with a win.”
In the first eight innings, the offense didn’t get too many opportunities. First-pitch swinging led to quick outs.
But in the ninth, those quick outs turned into seeing-eye base hits. After Jake Fincher grounded out to the pitcher, the Kettleers recorded four straight singles.
“If you swing the bat and you swing the bat correctly, everybody’s got a chance,” Roberts said. “There’s no Superman here in any form or fashion. Everybody puts on their pants the same way. I like for them to swing the bat.”
All of a sudden, the bases were loaded with one out for John Norwood. He got behind in the count and struck out swinging on a 2-2 count.
Jackson Glines followed up Norwood’s at-bat with a 2-run single, and then Barrera stepped to the plate.
He got ahead on a 3-1 count, and got a pitch that he thought he should have hit. Instead he fouled the ball off.
The next came in right down the middle. He froze, and the home plate umpire pulled the trigger. In an instant a game-saving rally was vanquished.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu4Wa1YMUDQ“That’s baseball sometimes,” Barerra said. “You come back tomorrow, get back to work.”
Up next: Cotuit hosts Wareham at 5 p.m. at Lowell Park tomorrow.