Video highlights by Jon Perez and Halley Harris
By Matt Feldman
July 20, 2016
CHATHAM — On Wednesday night, Quinn Brodey (Stanford) led off the game with what he agreed might have been the longest wooden-bat home run of his life, a 400-plus-foot shot to right field at Veterans Field in Chatham.
It was a shot that— as it flew over the team bus in right field and bounced across Depot Road— gave Kettleers fans hope early; and a shot that put Cotuit up 1-0 just one pitch into the game.
But eight innings later, it turned out to be a shot that didn’t matter.
Behind two home runs of their own Wednesday night, the Chatham Anglers (13-19-1) topped the Kettleers (11-21-1), 2-1, at Veterans Field in Chatham. The Cotuit loss came despite a leadoff home run from Brodey which came on the first pitch of the game. Cotuit remains the only team in the Cape League with more than 20 losses.
One minute into Wednesday’s game, as fans were just beginning to pepper the outfield hill in right field, the lights around the ballpark had yet to power up. But it didn’t matter, because Brodey was about to put on a light show of his own.
He smashed the very first pitch of the game— a fastball from Chatham starter Andrew Karp (Florida State)— to deep right field. The ball sailed over the 314-foot sign plastered on the fence, over the handful of fans that had already made their way onto the hill, and over the bright yellow Cotuit team bus perched on the hilltop. It was his third homer of the season.
A few children gave chase as the ball rolled down Depot Road, while Brodey briskly jogged through home plate, knocking helmets with Tim Susnara (Oregon) and A.J. Balta (Oregon) as the scoreboard showed the first run of the game.
“(Brodey) attacks (opposing pitchers),” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “I wish I could take some of that attack-attack-attack and put it in some other guys. (Brodey’s) been a highlight for us.”
But down 1-0, it didn’t take the Anglers long to respond with a home run of their own in the fourth inning.
After Cotuit starter Rio Gomez (Arizona) was pulled for Ross Achter (Toledo), Patrick Mathis (Texas) crushed the first pitch of Achter’s night into right field. Cotuit right fielder Balta tracked the ball back, but it fell just beyond the fence for Mathis’ third home run of the season, tying the score at one.
“Pitching up and away, you can’t pitch up and away,” Roberts said. “(Against Mathis), he just threw the ball right in the middle (of the zone) first pitch.”
It took Chatham just two more innings to get on the board again, thanks to yet another home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Achter was still on the mound, facing Sean Bouchard (UCLA) with no outs and the bases empty to start the sixth. Bouchard launched a fastball to deep right field, the ball dropping onto the hill as the crowd lit up with cheers. Achter threw his hands up in the air, looking towards catcher Jason Delay (Vanderbilt) as Bouchard trotted around the bases, moving the score to 2-1.
“Again, he threw the ball up and away. You never throw the ball up and away, particularly in a ballpark with a short porch,” Roberts said. “Two swings, and we get beat 2-1.”
From there, the two sides would tame each other’s offenses, scoring no runs in the final three innings of the game. As the final out of the game was registered, it seemed everyone in the stadium, minus a few Cotuit fans, had all but forgotten about Brodey’s leadoff home run.
All they would remember was the final two home runs, both hit by Chatham, and both contributing to the final tally on the scoreboard that showed a 2-1 Chatham win.
“We threw a couple of fastballs up and away, and (Mathis and Bouchard) hit them out,” Roberts said. “We’re just kind of a daylight and a dollar short… we just came up on the wrong end.”