July 12, 2017
Hyannis – Terrin Vavra (Minnesota) opened the eighth inning with a shot to the right center-field gap. Vavra turned first and ran for second as the ball bounced off the wall. Seeing trouble handling the ball in the outfield, Vavra sped through second, eyeing third. The relay throw made it in time but Hyannis third baseman Brendan Donavan (South Alabama) dropped the ball when he laid the tag.
Down 3-2 with no outs in the top of the eighth, Cotuit looked poised to make another late-game comeback against the Harbor Hawks. But 6’7” Christian Tripp closed the door on that opportunity, striking out the side and stranding Vavra at third to end the threat.
“Tonight was the first night in quite a while,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said, “we just had trouble making contact.”
Cotuit (14-11-1) struck out a season-high 14 times in the 3-2 road loss to Hyannis (10-13-2) on Wednesday night. Vavra and Michael Toglia
(UCLA) were the only two Cotuit batters not to strike out and five hitters in the lineup struck out multiple times. The loss marks Cotuit’s second-consecutive defeat after going unbeaten in seven straight contests, and it pushes the season series with Hyannis to 2-1-1.
“Coach Roberts just said pitching in July is going to get a lot better,” Miles Lewis (Michigan) said. “That was the case tonight. Too many strikeouts.”
Neither side took advantage of their opportunities in the matchup. Cotuit finished with eight hits and five walks, but left 10 men on base to end innings. In every inning but the first and the last, Cotuit left men on. Six of those opportunities came with runners in scoring position.
Zack Kone (Duke) made a return to the lineup tonight after sitting the previous two games, and provided one of the few offensive highlights of the game. Kone led off the top of the third by taking Hyannis starter M.D. Johnson (Dallas Baptist) over the center field wall for a solo shot; his second home run of the season.
Despite Kone’s home run, the rest of the offense was relatively silent. Kone, himself, struck out three times in his return to the order. But he wasn’t the only one. Chandler Avant (Alabama) fell victim to strikeouts three times as well. The team as a whole struck out more on Wednesday night than they had base runners, 14-to-13.
“If you do not put the ball in play you are not going to score many runs,” Roberts said. “It doesn’t matter what team it is. You’re just not going to score many runs.”
Cotuit’s 14 strikeouts move them into last place in strikeouts, as the team has struck out 233 times this season, the most in the Cape League.
Cotuit will look to get back on track with a road contest against Wareham (11-14-1) on Thursday night.