By Dylan Wolter
June 19th, 2015
CHATHAM- The Cotuit Kettleers fell apart in the 7th inning against the Chatham Anglers, losing the lead, and spoiling the sensational outing of starting pitcher, Austin Sexton (Mississippi State). The Kettleers took a one run lead into the seventh, when the bullpen failed to limit the damage by surrendering four runs in the inning. The Kettleers would eventually lose the game, falling to 4-6 on the season.
Austin Sexton was nearly unhittable for the first six innings of the ballgame. After a somewhat disappointing start against Yarmouth-Dennis last Sunday, Sexton flashed what made him such a dominant college arm against the Anglers. His pitches were electric with the ability to throw each one for a strike.
In Manager Mike Roberts’s return to the team on Friday, Sexton accomplished his manager’s greatest weapon as a pitcher, changing speeds. “When you change speeds like he did tonight,” remarked Roberts, “you’re not going to give up many runs in this league.”
What was most impressive for Sexton was his ability to put away hitters with different pitchers. He was able to use his fastball, changeup, and curveball to strike out the opposition. He totaled six strikeouts in 6.1 innings, allowed two hits, one walk, one hit by pitch, and was credited with two earned runs.
The Mississippi State was cruising through the first six innings, not allowing a runner in scoring position. The offense didn’t give much of any support until the seventh inning when centerfielder, Jack Klein (Stanford), lifted a solo homerun just over the fence in left. The solo dinger gave the Kettleers a 1-0 lead, a lead that wouldn’t last much longer.
The bottom half of the seventh came along and Sexton began the inning with another strikeout, the batter whiffing through a change up at the knees. The next batter marked the beginning of the end for the Kettleers on Friday night. With two strikes on Nate Mondou (Wake Forest), Sexton tried to bury a 1-2 fastball that ended up clipping Mondou’s foot, sending him to first base. The next hitter took an inside out swing and lifted the ball just over the first basemen’s, Gene Cone (South Carolina), head in right field for a bloop single. Coach Robert’s decided to call it a night for Sexton who seemed to still be in control but was getting to his pitch limit.
“My pitch count was getting up, my arm was getting a little tired,” mentioned Sexton “It was my second start here after I took off about three weeks so it was a good time to come out.”
The bullpen was unable to hold the lead for the Kettleers. Mitch Stallings (Duke) came in for one hitter and gave up a single, scoring Mondou from second. The score was tied at one when Kevin Ginkel (Nevada) arrived on the mound, giving up another RBI single to the first batter he saw, Zack Short (Sacred Heart). If you remember Short hit a three run blast in Cotuit, the last time the Kettleers faced the Anglers. The runs kept piling in for the Anglers as pinch hitter Will Craig (Wake Forest) laced a single to left field that scored two more runs and cushioned the lead for Chatham. The score was 4-1 in the blink of an eye.
“They (Stallings and Ginkel) didn’t situational pitch very well today,” admitted Roberts, “but that’s okay. It’s my job to teach them and we’ll continue to do that.”
The Kettleers were unable to ever make up for the damage losing by a score of 4-1. Although it may be a tough loss for Cotuit, Sexton’s performance along with Klein’s hot bat can be taken as very positive signs moving forward. Sexton puts no fault in the bullpen for the loss against the Anglers, admitting they do their job more often than not.
“That’s baseball,” says a tough Sexton, “you got to bounce back and we got a game tomorrow.”
The Kettleers (4-6) will march to Brewster to face off against the 4-6 Whitecaps.