July 28, 2017
Harwich – Chase Shugart (Texas) lowered his head as he trudged back to the mound. Looking at the ground, Shugart shook his head back and forth before wiping sweat off of his brow. After giving up Cotuit’s 2-1 lead on a Cobie Vance (Alabama) two-RBI single, in the bottom of the fifth, the righty walked Ryan Ogren (Elon) on five pitches.
“I have to be better about ending innings,” Shugart said. “Both times they scored runs was with two outs and nobody on.”
After Ogren’s walk, Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts yanked Shugart and brought in Kyle Kemp (Lipscomb). Vance scored after Shugart’s departure, but the run was charged to the Longhorn.
Vance’s two-RBI base knock was all Harwich (12-26-1) needed to mount a victory over the Kettleers (18-18-1) this Friday night at Whitehouse Field. After being eliminated from playoff contention Thursday night, Harwich responded with a fury, toppling Cotuit 7-2. The Mariners held the Kettleers to just three hits, while pouring on nine of their own.
Shugart opened the contest strong in his second start of the campaign. Through four innings Harwich had just one run on three hits and trailed Cotuit 2-1 off of a two-run Brett Kinneman (N.C. State) home run.
But in the fifth inning, Cotuit’s hopes turned southward. Shugart opened the inning with two putouts, before giving up three consecutive hits and a walk to score three runs.
“Just not the day I wanted to have,” Shugart said.
Kemp finished off the inning, giving up a hit to allow Vance to score, and then made it 1.2 more innings before being pulled himself. In his two innings, Kemp surrendered three runs on two hits and three walks.
All three runs came in the seventh inning, when Kemp gave up a two walks and a hit to load the bases. With the bases juiced, and in need of a crucial out, Kemp walked Matt Vierling (Notre Dame) to score Jake McCarthy (Virginia) from third base.
“You walk the first guy of half the innings you pitch in,” Kemp said, “and you’re begging for something like that to happen. We beat ourselves.”
Shugart and Kemp combined to allow all nine runs and six walks. In addition to a struggling pitching staff, the offense had minimal impact aside from Kinneman. After his home run in the second inning, the Kettleers remained hitless until Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) knocked a two-out double in the ninth inning to keep the game alive.
Cotuit appeared lifeless all around in a harsh loss to the Cape League’s worst team.
“We need to clean it up,” Roberts said. “Defensively, offensively, pitching… We need to clean our entire game up.”
With starters such as Noah Davis (UCSB) and Justin Hooper (UCLA) gone for the summer, the Kettleers added Josh Andrews (Grand Canyon) and Mark Moclair (Tampa) to bolster the rotation and bullpen.