By Matt Schneidman
July 17, 2014
Going into the season, head coach Mike Roberts had a well-known knack for being aggressive on the basepaths.
He hasn’t been able to give his players the green light often though, as baserunning struggles have plagued the Kettleers at times.
But on Thursday, it was aggressive baserunning that ultimately won the game for Cotuit.
In the fourth, Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) stole second, and advanced to third on an overthrow. As he approached third, Roberts waved him around as center fielder Sam Gillikin (Auburn) bobbled the ball. Wiseman slid headfirst into home, scoring the eventual game-winning run in Cotuit’s (14-15-1) 4-2 win over Falmouth (16-13-1) at Lowell Park.
Wiseman also added an RBI single in the sixth to give the Kettleers an insurance run – which he followed with another stolen base – in their second-straight close win over the Commodores.
“I was looking over my shoulder a little bit and saw a little bit of a bobble out there in center,” Wiseman said of the sequence that scored Cotuit’s third run. “Coach and I were on the same page and I never slowed up and he kept waving me.”
The relay from second baseman Trever Morrison (Oregon St) looked to be on point, but pitcher Casey Mulholland (South Florida) cut it off and Wiseman scored easily.
It was the third run of the day that the Kettleers scored on a Falmouth error, as three of the four Cotuit runs ended up being unearned.
“He’s running and I’m trying to look at the play,” Roberts said. “We just kind of read it and see what happens. The center fielder bobbled it a little bit and that helped us out on that play.”
In the sixth with the hosts clinging to a 3-1 lead, Tres Barrera (Texas) lead off with a double down the left-field line. He then advanced to third on a picturesque sac bunt from Logan Taylor (Texas A&M).
Falmouth moved the infield in to try and get the force at home to prevent Cotuit from stretching its lead to three, but that plan backfired.
Wiseman ripped the ball into right for Cotuit’s lone RBI of the day. The ball sailed just over the leap of Morrison, who, if positioned regularly, would’ve had an easy catch.
“It just makes it a little easier on the hitter,” Wiseman said of the infield playing in. “They brought in a good right-handed guy, throwing a lot of offspeed. I was the first of three left-handed hitters coming up in the lineup, and I think that just gives a lot of confidence to that part of the order, bringing in a soft right-hander.”
On a day in which the pitching was on point, only allowing two runs, the bats didn’t have to do much.
And although Cotuit wasn’t hitting for as much power as it has been, Wiseman in particular was the first to capitalize on several advantageous situations for Cotuit with Falmouth in the field.