Video recap by Jon Perez
By Jon Mettus
July 10, 2016
HYANNIS — Cal Stevenson (Arizona) nonchalantly jogged off the field, but the rest of his teammates were frozen in place, staring at home plate umpire Al Libardoni, waiting for him to make the call. Libardoni held up three fingers and the rest of the Kettleers joined Stevenson in scurrying off the field. The close call was over.
Stevenson had just gunned out Chris Cullen (South Carolina) trying to tag from third to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. He caught the ball in shallow center and fired a strike to Tim Susnara (Oregon) at the plate that beat Cullen easily.
“We all know that he can throw, so we’re all kind of waiting for it to come out of his hand,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said,” because we all know that the young man can really throw the baseball. In that instance, is it going to be accurate? And it was.”
Thanks to Stevenson and left fielder Quinn Brodey (Stanford), Cotuit (8-17-1) eked by Hyannis (11-15), 2-1, at McKeon Park on Sunday. Stevenson had that throw and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the eighth. Brodey accounted for more than half of Cotuit’s hits with a 3-for-5 day and scored both of the team’s runs.
“Great baseball game anywhere,” Roberts said. “I’m really pleased with the way they played.”
Roberts had seen Brodey hitting the ball well in recent days, so he moved him up from the eighth spot in the lineup on Friday to the sixth spot on Saturday to leadoff on Sunday.
He told his new No. 1 hitter to swing at the first thing he sees. Brodey acknowledged and sent the second pitch of the game over the right field fence.
“That’s the reason I put him up in the leadoff spot,” Roberts said laughing. “I thought, oh I’m not that good of a coach, but there are times when I can visually really see that this guy is hitting the baseball pretty good.”
The Harbor Hawks hit a home run off of Matt Ruppenthal (Vanderbilt) in the bottom of the first and the game was stuck at one apiece for the next six full innings.
Hyannis nearly took the lead in the third when Ford Proctor (Rice) hit a line drive into the gap in right-center field. Stevenson missed it on a diving attempt and Treg Haberkorn (Cincinnati) ran from first to third. Devon Gradford’s (UCSB) throw from the outfield went behind Haberkorn to third and forced Haberkorn to run to the plate after rounding too far off the bag.
The throw to the plate was just in time and Haberkorn was tagged out.
“Certain plays in every game make a big difference in regards to not only winning and losing,” Roberts said, “but also kind of the attitude and the bounce in the club.”
No one had more bounce than Brodey when he slid across the plate after Stevenson’s RBI single in the eighth. He popped up, let out a yell and slapped hands with Susnara. He continued celebrating as Haberkorn, whose throw was late, squatted and hung his head in center field.
The Kettleers picked up their second road win of the season and have lost just once in the last five games.
Next up, Cotuit will host Harwich at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.