July 11, 2017
COTUIT – Griffin Conine (Duke) didn’t get the birthday win he hoped for, but the now 20-year-old continued his pace as Cotuit’s hottest hitter.
After drawing a walk and scoring in the first inning, Conine clobbered a home run with two outs in the second inning to cut Chatham’s lead to 5-3.
“I guess it caught some wind,’’ Conine said. “I didn’t think I got it that well. But it got out.”
Griffin’s two runs and two RBIs were not enough though to carry Cotuit (14-10-1) to another win as the Anglers (12-13) ended the Kettleers’ seven-game unbeaten streak. Before Tuesday’s home loss to Chatham, Cotuit won six of seven, and tied Hyannis. They hadn’t lost since a 6-3 defeat at Falmouth on July 1.
Conine has been on fire the previous five games though, homering in four of them. Since July 5 Conine has hit .389 with four home runs, 10 RBIs and nine runs.
“He has a professional approach,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “He’s swinging at pitches he can drive. He’s really been patient at the plate.”
Originally Conine planned to spend his birthday in Miami for the MLB All-Star Game. His father Jeff, a two-time all-star who spent 17 seasons in the MLB, is working as the official ambassador for the All-Star Game and invited his son to come to the event.
Tuesday night’s game was also scheduled to be played on Friday, July 7, but was postponed to Tuesday because of rain.
“I think I was going to be in the Marlins suite,” Conine said. “We were probably going to do the parade. But I was just as happy up here playing. I got to get that birthday home run in.”
Conine’s home run moves him to within one of Marty Bechina’s (Michigan State) league lead. And his two RBIs bring his 2017 total to 23, the top mark in the Cape League.
Conine and Cotuit will look to return to their winning ways on the road against Hyannis (9-13) on Wednesday. Cotuit is 2-0-1 against Hyannis this season, with the last game ending in a 9-9 tie.
- Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) finished 0-4 against Chatham. The hitless performance ended his 10-game hitting streak. He and Conine are now tied for the longest streaks of the season.
- Cotuit struck out a combined 10 times against Chatham. Brett Kinneman (NC State) and John Cresto (Santa Clara) currently rank one and two in the Cape League in strikeouts.
- Michael Toglia (UCLA) extended his hitting streak to five games and has recorded an RBI in each of those games as well. He has nine RBIs during the streak.
- Conine has 23 RBIs in 23 games played.