Produced by Cierra Jordan
July 17, 2017
COTUIT – Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) dropped his bat in front of the Bourne dugout as he watched the ball clear the trees in right center-field. Jenista trotted around the infield, taking his time and savoring the moment. As he crossed home plate, the Cotuit dugout emptied to greet Jenista with high fives.
“That was an absolute bomb,” Zack Kone (Duke) said. “There’s not much you can say about it. It was just a bomb.”
Jenista cranked a Ronnie Rossomando (Connecticut) fastball 435 feet, the longest Cotuit home run this year. He beat Griffin Conine’s (Duke) previous high of 430.
“That’s tough,” Conine said. “I’m sure I’m going to hear about that tomorrow.”
“Both were hit pretty hard and pretty far,” Jenista added.
Jenista’s three-run dinger proved to be the difference maker in Cotuit’s (15-14-1) Monday-night win over Bourne (15-15). After five consecutive losses, Cotuit returned to form in comeback fashion to reclaim the West Division lead. The Kettleers had two more hits on Monday night than they had in their previous three games combined.
The game opened with Noah Davis (UCSB) on the mound, earning his final start with Cotuit before returning home to Huntington Beach, California. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Davis found himself in trouble in each of the next three.
He managed to escape trouble in the second and fourth, leaving Bourne runners stranded in scoring position. In the third inning, though, three consecutive leadoff hits scored a run for the Braves. Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) smoked a double over Jenista’s head in center field, the ricocheted off the fence. The double scored Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) as Bourne took a 1-0 lead.
Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) opened the bottom of the fifth inning in the leadoff spot. After Chatham (15-15) snapped his 10-game hitting streak, Alexander’s batting average dropped from .306 to .262. But on the first pitch against Nick Bennett (Louisville), Alexander pulled a fastball deep over the left field fence as Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) watched from the warning track.
“It felt good to get back in the hit column,” Alexander said. “No matter if it was a blooper or a home run.”
Alexander’s solo shot tied the game at 1-1 and sparked a dormant Cotuit offense. Jenista scored later in the frame on a Michael Toglia (UCLA) single to put Cotuit on top 2-1, the team’s first lead since July 11.
The Kettleers continued to pour on runs in the sixth. With two outs and Brett Kinneman (NC State) on third, Conine chopped a ground ball over Bourne first baseman Scott Schreiber’s (Nebraska) to score Kinneman.
With Conine on first, and Kone on third, Jenista unleashed his power and launched a towering home run over the trees. Fans rose to their feet and children raced to the outfield to try to find the ball.
“It made my home run look not nearly as cool,” Alexander said. “That was one of the longest hit balls I’ve ever seen.”
The hit extended Cotuit’s lead to 6-1, and the Kettleers never looked back. Bourne added two more runs in the eighth inning before Michael Byrne (Florida) was brought in for relief. The closer earned the save, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two.
After a week of silence, the offense made some noise Monday night in front of a home crowd.
“The past couple games have been tough,” Jenista said. “But tonight we took care of the baseball and gave our offense the chance to go up and get in a groove.”
Cotuit has the day off on Tuesday before they return to action at home against Hyannis (11-17-2) on Wednesday.