By Matt Feldman
July 29, 2016
COTUIT — First it was Quinn Brodey (Stanford) with a two-out shot to right center field that scored two runs. Then it was a shallow single into center from Jordan Pearce (Nevada) that scored Brodey in the next at bat.
With two quick plays, the Kettleers (13-25-1) had swung Friday’s game into a 3-0 lead over Hyannis (17-22) in the fifth inning, and Harbor Hawk pitcher John Gavin (Cal State Fullerton) could do nothing but grimace. Gavin stood behind the mound, knocking the rosin bag in his hand as Hyannis manager Chad Gassman marched to the mound to remove him.
Cotuit’s offensive assault in the fifth inning powered the Kettleers over Hyannis, 3-1, Friday night at Lowell Park in Cotuit. The win came behind a start from Colton Hock (Stanford) in which Hock allowed no runs in six innings of work, striking out six. Friday’s game was do-or-die for Cotuit; the 3-1 win kept Cotuit’s playoff hopes alive, now sitting three-and-a-half games behind Hyannis.
After getting up 3-0 in the fifth, Cotuit almost lost the lead in the seventh with a one-out, bases loaded jam. After Josh Roberson (UNC-Wilmington) allowed a run to bring it to 3-1, left hander Jacob Erickson (San Diego State) got the Kettleers out of the inning from there and kept the score at 3-1, where it would stay.
For a majority of Friday’s contest, the product on field was the epitome of a pitcher’s duel. Both starting pitchers, Hock for Cotuit and Gavin for Hyannis, had goose-eggs on the scoreboard, and there were just five hits combined. Hock’s strong start came eight days after he allowed six runs in four innings at Harwich on July 21.
“(Hock) today probably threw as well as anybody on the Cape has thrown all summer,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “Today he pitched like a starter instead (of a reliever). He just pitched instead of threw.”
But with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, with Ryan Hagan (Mercer) and Cal Stevenson (Arizona) on base, Brodey trekked out to the batter’s box to try to stir the kettle and put a run on the board for the Kettleers. Boasting a .307 average coming into Friday’s game, Brodey was the only Cotuit player with an average above .300, and just the guy Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts wanted to see.
Brodey slammed a 1-0 pitch to deep right center field. The ball took two hops before Hyannis right fielder Brad Netzer (UNC Charlotte) snagged it, scoring Hagan. As Netzer relayed the throw in from right, Stevenson sprinted around from first, scoring and putting Cotuit on the board, 2-0.
“It’s been an incredible summer for (Brodey),” Roberts said. “When that ball came off the bat, it just sounded incredible.”
In the very next at bat, Pearce knocked a single into shallow centerfield. Brodey stormed in from second base, crossing the plate as he grabbed Pearce’s bat and knocked helmets with A.J. Balta (Oregon).
“(Pearce), the last week to ten days, has been a go-to guy,” Roberts said. “He has really made a lot of progress.”
The score was now 3-0, and even with a threatening comeback from Hyannis in the seventh, Cotuit’s offense in the fifth was enough to put the Kettleers on top of the Harbor Hawks, 3-1, and keep the Kettleers’ playoff hopes alive.
“You look out there, there’s no errors, both teams have six hits, our three runs came with two outs,” Roberts said. “(Cotuit) deserved the win today.”