Video recap by Jon Perez
By Jon Mettus
July 8, 2016
COTUIT — It was 7:47 p.m. when Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts stood by gated the entrance to the field at Lowell Park, begging the umpires for an explanation. Light was dwindling on the heavily clouded night. The teams were packing up in their dugouts. And after a few moments, the umpires left, still without an explanation, Roberts said.
Jason Delay (Vanderbilt) was at the plate and Cal Stevenson (Arizona) was on first when home plate umpire Bob Aquino yelled out for a balk and motioned Stevenson to second. Wareham head coach Jerry Weinstein came charging out of the dugout to argue. The umpires met and sent Stevenson back to first.
Delay struck out four pitches later and that was it. Neither team could get ahead after 10 innings and the umpires called it due to darkness. The Kettleers (7-16-1) tied Wareham (12-10-2), 3-3, after both squad’s scored in the ninth inning of sloppy game. Four of the six runs scored were unearned. The two teams combined for four errors.
“Poor defense is what that ballgame was,” Roberts said. “Great pitching and poor defense. I really believe we have a real good club right now and if we play good defense we have a chance to do some good things.”
The game was stuck scoreless until the fifth inning when Preston Grand Pre (Cal Berkeley) hit a single into center field. Jack Klein’s (Stanford) throw was just a few feet to the left of the plate. Robert Metz (George Washington) had to duck, but crossed the plate safely.
Cotuit countered in the bottom of the fifth with some help from the Gatemen defense. Stevenson hit a two-out grounder to short with a runner on third that rolled through the umpire’s legs and hit off a piece of his pants. Grand Pre fumbled the ball to let a run in. The next batter, A.J. Balta (Oregon) knocked in Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) with a single, to take a 2-1 lead.
But the Kettleers gave it right back when Alonzo Jones Jr. (Vanderbilt) botched a two-out grounder to second and let the tying run in. Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts hurled his helmet into the dugout in frustration. Jones was taken out of the game the next inning. He’s made four errors in nine games at second base due to “inexperience,” Roberts said.
“Luckily for us they made a couple errors that kept us in the game and luckily for them we made a couple that kept them in the game,” Quinn Brodey (Stanford) said. “Just a little sloppy defensively.”
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Ryan Rigby (Mississippi State) issued a walk and a ball on the first pitch to the next batter, Alex Destino (South Carolina), before being removed in favor of Alec Byrd (Florida State). Destino grounded a single up the middle and Dominic Miroglio (San Francisco) yelled “Let’s go” and pumped his fist as he slid across the plate.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Clay Fisher (UCSB) reached second on an error with one out — the third baseman airmailed a grounder that he mishandled originally. Brodey followed it with a line drive into right-center field to send the tying run home.
After the inning, the umpires met with the coaches and decided just one more inning would be played. Both teams got men on base, but couldn’t get the game-winning run.
“I did not like that at all,” Ryan Rigby (Mississippi State), who tossed four innings of relief, said of tying. “But, oh well. It wasn’t a win. It wasn’t a loss.”