Produced by Cierra Jordan
August 3, 2017
Yarmouth – Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) took half a step before realizing the ball was uncatchable. Instead, Jenista just watched as it soared over the center field fence at Red Wilson Field for a solo shot.
“I left it up,” Cotuit starter Seth Shuman said. “He got a good pitch to drive.”
Luke Miller’s (Indiana) lead-off blast in the second inning was the first of three home runs that inning for Y-D. After falling 3-0 in the top of the second, Y-D responded with 12 runs to knock off Cotuit 12-4 in the final game of the regular season this Thursday night. The loss locked the Kettleers into the two-spot in the West Division, and they will play No. 3 Bourne in the opening round.
After a 6-3 win on Wednesday against the Red Sox, Cotuit struggled on the road, especially the pitching early in the contest.
Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) opened the scoring with a three-run home run in the top of the second. But Cotuit wouldn’t hold the lead for long, as Y-D opened their half of the frame with back-to-back homers, before Carlos Cortes (South Carolina) smacked a two-run shot over the fence to take the lead, 4-3.
Both teams took advantage of a small field at Y-D. Both sides combined for six home runs, the most in a Cotuit game this entire season. The back-to-back home runs are also the first against Cotuit.
Cotuit tied the game in the following inning on Terrin Vavra’s (Minnesota) first home run of the year, but Y-D poured on five more runs in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 9-4.
The Red Sox chewed off runs on recent Kettleers’ acquisition, Mark Moclair (Tampa), who made his second appearance for Cotuit. The righty gave up five runs in just 1.1 innings pitched. In his two appearances, Moclair has tossed 2.2 innings and given up a nine runs to balloon his ERA to 30.38.
After Y-D took control of the game, Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts shuffled around the entire team. Brett Kinneman (NC State) and Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) each pitched Thursday, in their first appearances on the mound.
“I haven’t pitched since high school,” Kinneman said. “It felt good. It was fun.”
The two pitched excellently for Cotuit, combining for four innings of one run ball with five strikeouts. Dillard, in fact, provided the best pitching performance for Cotuit, striking out four and giving up just one hit.
As position players toed the rubber, pitchers took the field. Jayce Vancena (Michigan) played right field, Chase Shugart (Texas) and Chase Cohen (Georgia Southern) both played second base and both Michael Byrne (Florida) and Clark Cota (UNC Wilmington) got at-bats.
“That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Cohen said, after fielding a sharply-hit ground ball.
Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts limited bullpen action and took his starts out midway through the game to keep arms fresh and prevent any injuries. He’ll need his team at full strength on Saturday, when the Braves travel to Lowell Park in the first playoff game of the postseason. First pitch is at 4:00 p.m.