By Jon Mettus
July 13, 2016
BREWSTER — It only took a matter of seconds for Brewster head coach Jamie Shevchik to get thrown out of the game. Umpires Tom Carey, Will Bowers and Billy MCCollum had just dispersed from a mid-game conference with a consensus that none of them saw what happened on the play. Shevchik hardly had enough time to yell or say many words before Carey pointed to the sky while saying “I have to.”
Cotuit’s A.J. Balta (Oregon) was at the plate with a runner on second. He whiffed on a third strike in the dirt. Balta dropped his bat to run out the play to first and wound up kicking the ball down the line and away from the catcher. The play put Balta safely at second and Quinn Brodey (Stanford) at third.
What ensued was three runs for the Kettleers that won them the game and earned them their first three-game winning streak of the season. Pat Dorrian (Lynn), Tim Susnara (Oregon) and Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) all followed by driving in runs to give the Kettleers a 5-1 lead in the fifth and ultimately the 5-2 win over Brewster.
Connor Simmons (Georgia Southern) got Cotuit out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the sixth inning and Josh Roberson (UNC Wilmington) held the Whitecaps scoreless for the final 2 2/3 innings — helped out by six strikeouts — to earn the save.
“It’s unbelievable,” Dorrian said of the work of the pitchers. “If we can score two runs a game we’ve got a really good chance to win.”
The Kettleers got on the board first when Dorrian hit a single up the middle to score Brodey from second on a play that Brewster didn’t even attempt to throw home. It was one of two hits for Dorrian on the day and one of two RBI.
Cotuit added another in the second off the bat of Ryan Hagan (Mercer), who knocked one into the gap in left-center for a run-scoring double.
Brewster emerged onto the scoreboard in the third with a run, but it was the fifth inning for Cotuit that made the difference.
After Balta reached first on the dropped third strike, Dorrian laid down a bunt back to the pitcher. He couldn’t handle it though, and Brodey scored from third.
“It’s nice to have a cleanup guy who can bunt,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said.
Susnara hit a line drive into right field that Dorrian had to hop back to dodge. It plated Balta. Jenista was the third in a row to drive in a run when he hit a sacrifice fly to left.
After Ross Achter (Toledo) walked in a run in the sixth, Simmons entered the game with the go-ahead run at the plate and the bases packed. He hit Brewster with a barrage of curveballs. Kel Johnson (Georgia Tech) fanned on one for the second out of the inning. Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) saw two in a row — the first low and the second even lower in the dirt — with a 3-1 count and he came up empty on both.
“He was the right person in that situation throwing that pitch,” Roberts said. “You talk about two crucial strikeouts. Those were big.”
It hasn’t exactly been pretty, but Cotuit is on its longest winning streak of the season.
Next up, the Kettleers face Harwich on the road on Friday at 6:30 p.m.