Produced Cierra Jordan
July 1, 2017
FALMOUTH – Clark Cota (UNC Wilmington) stormed off the mound and headed straight for the bullpen. He did not look at the field, nor the dugout, nor the fans. Just the bullpen. Frustration mounted with each step.
Moments after Cota was pulled from the game, he was talking with Cotuit starter Jason Bilous (Coastal Carolina) as Alec Bohm (Wichita State) cranked a three-run home run over right center-field to put Falmouth on top 6-3. Two of those runs were charged to Cota and the righty’s frustration only grew.
“I just wanted to be in the game and compete a little longer than I was able to,” Cota said. “I felt confident I could battle up there.”
Bohm’s moonshot set Falmouth ahead for good, as the Commodores (10-7) defeated Cotuit (8-9) 6-3 at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth. Bohm finished with two home runs this Saturday night, almost single-handedly defeating Cotuit and pushing the Kettleers under the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Bilous earned the start for Cotuit this Saturday. It was his first appearance since pitching in relief against Orleans on June 25. Bilous pitched well for the Kettleers. His 5.1 inning-start is the deepest any Cotuit pitcher has gone in a start this season. And he surrendered just one hit, a solo blast from Bohm in the bottom of the first. Bilous finished with five strikeouts, four walks and gave up two earned runs. The other earned run came off from a wild-pitch strikeout where a runner managed to score from third.
As much as Bilous stagnated the Commodores, Falmouth pitchers Dalton Feeney (NC State) and Derrick Adams (Jacksonville State) performed even better. The pair combined for six innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and walking just one.
Entering the seventh inning, Falmouth led 3-1.
After being pulled in the seventh inning of Friday night’s loss against Wareham, John Cresto (Santa Clara) redeemed himself this Saturday. The designated hitter launched a towering two-run home run over the Falmouth scoreboard in left field to tie the game at 3-3.
Roberts turned to Cota in the next half frame to preserve the tie. Cota normally needs five days’ rest to be at his peak, said Cotuit manager Mike Roberts. Against Falmouth, he had four.
“I was a day early with him, Roberts said. “I could tell as soon as he went out there. That’s my mistake.”
Cota struck out his first opponent on three straight pitches before yielding a double and a walk to put runners on first and second.
With the score knotted at 3-3, Cota fell behind in the count, 2-0, to Bohm in the next at-bat. Instead of letting Cota finish the at-bat Roberts decided to pull his top reliever in the middle.
Cota was visibly angry at the decision, charging towards the bullpen. Christian Demby (NC State) subbed in to finish the at-bat and it ended quickly. Bohm jumped on a fastball, up and away, sending it sailing over the fence for a three-run home run. The two runs charged to Cota raised his ERA from 1.17 to 3.38, but Cota just wanted to keep fighting.
“All the guys knew I wanted to be in,” Cota said. “Coach Roberts is going to make whatever decision he thinks is best for the team and I just have to be okay with it even if it’s not what I want.”
With the hit, Bohm raised his average to a league-leading .424. He sits a comfortable .40 points above everyone else in the league.
Cotuit couldn’t answer Bohm’s home run, falling 6-3 to Falmouth despite outhitting the Commodores. The Kettleers struggled hitting the ball into the outfield. Without Griffin Conine (Duke), who competed at the College Home Run Derby, and Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) who left the game with a leg injury, the Cotuit lineup faltered. The Kettleers combined for 22 strikeouts and ground outs and had just six hits.
Cotuit aims to return to .500 with a home game on Sunday against Hyannis at 5:00 p.m.