By: Matt McHugh
August 4, 2017
COTUIT — The Kettleers finished second in the west division, meaning they will play the no. 3 seed Bourne Braves in the first round of the playoffs. The series is set to start on Saturday, August 5.
Game 1: Saturday August 5, 4 p.m. @ Lowell Park
Game 2: Sunday, August 6, 6 p.m. @ Doran Park
Game 3: Monday, August 7, 4 p.m. @ Lowell Park * if necessary
The Kettleers and Braves squared off six times in the regular season, with the Kettleers winning four of the games. Each game was decided by no more than three runs. Here’s a quick look at what transpired in each game:
Note: Players with an * next to their name are no longer on either team’s active roster.
Game 1: June 14 – Cotuit 5, Bourne 3 @ Doran Park
The season opener! Jason Bilous (Coastal Carolina) got the start and gave up two runs in 4.2 innings. Tim Cate* (Connecticut) was the opposing pitcher and was cruising through four scoreless before a wild pitch scored Zack Kone (Duke) in the fifth inning, and an RBI triple from Griffin Conine (Duke) followed by an RBI single from Brett Kinneman (NC State) gave the Kettleers the lead in the 6th.
In the 7th inning, Griffin Conine’s two-run single gave the Kettleers some insurance. Jayce Vancena (Michigan) earned the win with 2.2 strong innings, and Clark Cota (UNC-Wilminton) tossed two scoreless frames to earn the save.
Moment of the Game: Griffin Conine’s (Duke) two-run single to give Cotuit a 5-3 lead in the 7th.
Game MVP: Conine: 2-4, 3 RBIs
Game 2: June 20 – Bourne 5, Cotuit 4 @ Lowell Park
Bilous made his second start against the Braves, which went south in the third inning, when the Braves scored four runs. However, Kone hit an RBI double and Miles Lewis (Michigan) knocked in the tying run in the bottom half of the inning. The deciding run scored on an infield single by Lyle Lin (Arizona State) in the 7th. The Kettleers racked up 11 hits in the ballgame, but stranded two runners on base in the 9th and came up just short.
Moment of the Game: Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) knocked in three runs for the Braves with a double in the third inning to give Bourne a 4-2 lead.
Game MVP: Daniel Bies (Gonzaga): 3.0 IP, W, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Game 3: July 8 – Cotuit 7, Bourne 4 @ Doran Park
The Kettleers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) RBI double and a Michael Toglia (UCLA) sac fly. The Braves scored once in the bottom of the first off Bilous and took the lead after an error and a sac fly in the third. The Kettleers tied the game with a solo home run from Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) in the fourth, and Miles Lewis gave them the lead with an RBI double in the 6th.
Noah Davis* (UCSB) threw three shutout innings for the Kettleers, and Griffin Conine added some insurance with a two-run homer in the top of the 9th. Chase Shugart (Texas) threw the last two innings to lock down the save. The win was the fifth straight for the Kettleers.
Moment of the game: Luke Alexander’s (Mississippi State) home run to tie the game in the fourth inning. The home run also extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Game MVP: Miles Lewis (Michigan): 2-4, RBI, 2B,
Game 4: July 17 – Cotuit 6, Bourne 3 @ Lowell Park
Noah Davis got the start for Cotuit and threw four great innings in his final appearance of the summer. Nick Bennett* (Louisville) was stifling the Kettleers offense through four innings, but in the fifth Luke Alexander hit a solo home run, and Michael Toglia hit an RBI single to give the Kettleers a 2-1 lead.
The Kettleers took over in the 6th, with an RBI single from Conine followed by a three-run moon-shot by Greyson Jenista — the home run travelled 435 feet, the longest Kettleers home run of the season. Michael Byrne (Florida) threw two scoreless innings to pick up his first save of the summer.
Moment of the Game: Greyson Jenista’s three-run home run to give Cotuit a 6-2 lead in the 6th inning.
Game MVP: Jenista: 2-5, 3 RBI, HR
Game 5: July 20 – Bourne 5, Cotuit 3 @ Doran Park
The Kettleers got to Bourne starter Zack Hess* (LSU) early and often, scoring three runs in the first four innings. Terrin Vavra (Minnesota) hit an RBI double in the 3rd, and Ivan Gonzalez (West Virginia) had an RBI groundout in the 4th.
The Braves stormed back in the bottom of the fifth, plating four runs, with the final one scoring on a wild pitch. Only two runs were charged to Cotuit starter Jason Bilous, as Jayce Vancena and Zane Collins (Wright State) finished off the rest of the inning. Jeremy Eierman* (Missouri State) launched a solo shot in the 7th to give Bourne a 5-3 lead.
Moment of the game: Zac Susi (Connecticut) tied the game with an RBI single in the 5th inning.
Game MVP: PJ Poulin (Connecticut): 3.1 IP, W, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Game 6: August 1 – Cotuit 8, Bourne 6 @ Lowell Park
The Kettleers had a quick 2-0 lead in the second inning after an RBI single from Zack Kone, but things got crazy in the 5th. Starter Jason Bilous looked sharp through four innings, but made a mistake to Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) with the bases loaded and he launched a grand slam to give Bourne a 4-2 lead.
However, in the bottom of the 5th, Michael Toglia (UCLA) hit a grand slam of his own to give the lead right back to the Kettleers. It was the only grand slam for the Kettleers all season, and proved to be the difference in the game. Back-to-back singles from Kone and Gonzalez in the 8th added some needed insurance, and even thought they surrendered two runs in the 9th, the Kettleers held on to win the season series against the Braves.
Moment of the Game: Michael Toglia’s (UCLA) grand slam in the fifth inning to give Cotuit the lead.
Game MVP: Toglia: 2-4, 4 RBI, HR
Season Team Leaders
Batting Average: Grant Williams (Kennesaw State): .326
HR: Scott Schreiber (Nebraska), Zac Susi (UCONN) and Andrew Fregia (Sam Houston State): 3 HR
RBIs: Lyle Lin (Arizona State): 21
SB: Grant Witherspoon (Tulane): 10
OPS: Grant Williams: .788
ERA: PJ Poulin (UCONN): 1.66 (21.2 IP)
WHIP: Poulin: 1.02
Ks: Daniel Bies (Gonzaga): 27
- Zack Kone leads the Kettleers with a .444 batting average against the Braves in 18 at bats.
- Luke Alexander and Griffin Conine each have two home runs against he Braves.
- Jason Bilous has started five of the six matchups against the Braves this year. He has a 6.41 ERA in 19.2 innings against Bourne.
- Grant Withersppon has seven RBIs against the the Kettleers this season.
- PJ Poulin has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings against Cotuit.