Produced by Cierra Jordan
By: Matt McHugh
August 2, 2017
COTUIT – The Cotuit Kettleers rode their hot bats and strong pitching performances on Wednesday to a 6-3 victory over the Y-D Red Sox (26-16-1). With the win, the Kettleers (22-20-1) secured a top two spot in the West division, guaranteeing home field advantage in the first round.
Michael Toglia (UCLA) is one of the hottest bats in the cape league, and he showed no signs of cooling off on Wednesday. He had an RBI single in the first inning, and launched a solo shot in the fourth – his fourth home run in the last four days.
“I’m seeing a beach ball up there,” Toglia said. “I’m just trying to make things as simple as possible at the plate, and it’s been working well these last couple days.”
Toglia is hitting .444 over his last five games, raising his season average to .239. His 10 RBIs lead the league in that span.
“It’s awesome to see the young guys start to figure it out,” centerfielder Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) said. “I couldn’t be prouder of him as person, let alone as a player. He’s a great guy and he deserves all of it. He’s a great guy, and I’m really proud that it’s starting to work out for him.”
But the offense didn’t stop with just Toglia. The Kettleers had contributions up and down the lineup, with a two-run double from catcher Gian Martellini (Boston College) and an RBI double from Luke Alexander (Mississippi State). Jenista went 3-4, and the team finished with 11 hits.
“All the guys got together, and we wanted to come out tonight at swing it and let it go,” Jenista said. “We took the fastball away, they went to the offspeed, and we got some walks. We got to do some stuff offensively. We got to run, we got to bunt – we got to play our game, not their game, and I think that was really important.”
Coach Mike Roberts added: “I just look at the way the ball is jumping off the bat. I think the whole club, with Michael [Toglia] leading it, is swinging the bat a lot better this past week.”
The Kettleers sent Mitch Stallings to the mound for his third start, and he had his best outing of the season. He threw three innings and allowed one run on six hits. He also didn’t walk a batter for the first time all season.
Chase Cohen (Georgia Southern), Kyle Kemp (Lipscomb) and Brian Rapp (Boston College) combined to throw six innings of effective relief, allowing two runs on three hits. Rapp earned his first save of the season with 1.2 perfect innings.
“I think pitching and defense, combined with timely hitting, is what carries you to the championship,” Roberts said. “We have to throw strikes and play good defense.”
The Kettleers finish out the regular season tomorrow with their final game against Y-D. With a win and a Falmouth loss, the Kettleers can clinch first place in the west division.