By Jon Mettus
June 17, 2015
COTUIT — Jack Klein (Stanford) tightened his batting gloves then dug his right foot into the batter’s box. He tapped his bat in the dirt and on the plate before turning toward the pitcher.
Klein watched a pitch go by before driving the next one into center field for a base hit. Acting head coach Brian Scott waved his arm in a windmill motion sending Keenan Innis (Georgia Tech) home from second base.
“We knew the guy had been kind of thumbing us,” Klein said referring to Brewster pitcher Gage Griffin (Franklin Pierce). “He had been throwing changeups and curveballs in any count so I was really just looking for something up.”
Klein’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Kettleers over the Brewster Whitecaps, 4-3, at Lowell Park on Wednesday, ending a four-game losing streak for the Kettleers and earning their first win at home. Cotuit overcame an early deficit and scored over three runs for just the second time this year.
“It feels great, more than the win, because we played well basically in all aspects,” Scott said.
In the top of the second, Brewster’s Chandler Avant (Alabama) singled on a ball hit past Cotuit’s Spencer Gaa (Bradley) at third. Colin Lyman (Louisville) laid down a bunt up the first base line that pitcher Jonathan King (Georgia Tech) fielded. King spun and threw to first, but he airmailed the ball into right field, putting runners on the corners.
After a walk, Brewster took a 1-0 lead on a passed ball.
An inning later, a leadoff single to center field followed by a stolen base and a liner to left-center boosted the lead to 2-0.
But in the bottom of the third, a half inning later, the Kettleers responded.
Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) hit a line drive into left field for a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Brett Stephens (UCLA) lined one that the Brewster shortstop jumped and tipped with his glove, but landed in the outfield for an RBI single.
Gaa beat out a bunt down the third base line to put runners on the corners before Brody Weiss (Riverside CC) hit a sacrifice fly into right field to tie the game at two runs apiece.
“I was just trying to elevate it into the outfield and get that guy home,” Weiss said.
In the bottom of the fifth, Gaa reached first after being hit in the hand by a pitch. He walked around flexing his hand before shaking it off and stealing second and third base. Weiss stepped to the plate again and sent one between the third baseman and shortstop for his second RBI.
The Cotuit pitching locked down for four straight innings until Brewster tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the eighth inning. But like the Kettleers had done earlier in the game, they wasted no time responding.
Innis started the inning with a walk, and then an Alemais bunt moved him over to second. Klein delivered his second hit of the day, which proved to be the game winner.
The Kettleers needed Klein to deliver in his first game of the season and he did.
“They’re here for a reason so we want to see what they can do and give them a chance to play and knock the rust off and he was great today,” Scott said of Klein.
Cotuit (4-5) has a day off on Thursday and will return to action on Friday to face the Chatham Anglers (4-4) at Veterans Field.
“They deserve the off day tomorrow,” Scott said. “We’ve been practicing a lot. Everybody’s coming in for early hitting. … Hopefully this is the start of a streak in just hitting better.”