By Jon Mettus
July 30, 2015
BOURNE — Head coach Mike Roberts crossed his arms as the rain dripped down from the brim of his hat. He stood on the empty, soaked field at Doran Park, still talking to an umpire in the pouring rain.
Bourne’s players were retreating to a line of cars waiting for them on a small road outside the field. Cotuit’s players were making their way to the parking lot to the team bus.
The fans had long since gone — just like the five-run lead the Kettleers had held two hours earlier. When six of the eight lights at the field shut off, Roberts finally made his way to the dugout to retrieve his things.
The Kettleers had a 5-0 lead over the Braves in the fourth inning, but then disaster struck. The next three innings took nearly two hours to play with 10 runs crossing the plate for Bourne and just two for Cotuit. The Kettleers (16-25) fell to Braves (20-19-2), 10-7, in a seven-inning game cut short by rain that still lasted three hours.
The Kettleers are one and a half games ahead of Falmouth (14-26-1) in the West with three games remaining and one behind Wareham (16-23-2) for third place.
Everything was going right for Cotuit to start the game. Saige Jenco (Virginia Tech) and Cole Fabio (Bryant) each knocked in a run in the second. Starter Nick Eicholtz (Alabama) walked three batters in the first three innings, but gave up just one hit and left the Braves scoreless.
When Brody Weiss (Riverside City College) came to the plate in the fourth, Fabio had just poked a blooper over the infielders’ heads into center for a run-scoring single. Weiss watched a fastball bounce in the dirt and past the catcher to score Jenco from third.
Yells of “Let ’em eat,” and “Brody, you’re next,” came from the dugout before Weiss smacked a deep line drive to left that scored Fabio on the sacrifice.
It seemed like the game was getting out of hand.
But then Kevin Ginkel (Nevada) came in for the bottom of the fourth, walking a batter, hitting one and throwing a wild pitch to help the Braves get a run back. When he hit another batter to start the bottom of the fifth, his day was done.
Jack Anderson (Penn State) didn’t fare better. Two hits and two walks had three runs scoring for Bourne to cut the lead to 5-4 and shift the momentum of the game.
The Kettleers bats picked up again in the top of the sixth for two runs, but three straight hits (a single, double and then another single) for the Braves nullified that in the next half inning and had Roberts yanking Anderson in favor of Mitch Stallings (Duke) to try to salvage the game.
The rain began to fall steadily and Bourne tied the game at seven. Brett Stephens (UCLA) tried to make a diving catch in left, but missed and the Braves took the lead, 8-7.
Roberts was in and out of the dugout and walking back and forth from the mound all game. Bernardo Flores (USC) seemed getting the most work, tasked with running to and from the bullpen multiple times each inning.
By the seventh, most of the fans were gone, but Bourne wasn’t done, picking up two more runs off Stallings. There was no chance for a comeback as a downpour began before the start of the eighth, ending the game.
Cotuit’s offense had six hits and five runs through the first four innings, but its last three pitchers gave up 10 hits and 10 runs through the final four. A game that started with numerous yells and cheers from the Kettleers bench ended with silent exits in the rain.
The Kettleers will play Hyannis (22-18-1) at Lowell Park on Friday at 5 p.m. and then host Yarmouth-Dennis at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in their final regular season home games. The regular season wraps up at Wareham on Sunday.