by Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
June 20, 2018
COTUIT– After an offensive explosion last night in Hyannis, it looked like the Kettleers were going to go down quietly on Wednesday night against Orleans.
But a five run, seventh inning rally for Cotuit propelled them to a 5-4 win, improving their record to 6-3 on the season. Ryan Smith (Princeton) got the win for the Kettleers, while Kevin Kelly (James Madison) got the loss for Orleans. Garrett Gayle (Rice) was credited with the save for Cotuit.
The Kettleers rally in the seventh inning started with back-to-back hits from Eric Jones (Davidson) and Reynaldo Pastrana (Marshall). Both would end up scoring as Matt McCourt (Mt. Aloysius) slugged a two-RBI single, narrowing the Orleans lead to two.
After Will Robertson (Creighton) and Thomas Dillard (Mississippi) got on base, Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) would drive in McCourt as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Then, in his 2018 Kettleers debut, Michael Toglia (UCLA) hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Robertson and tie the game for Cotuit.
“I was trying to keep it simple there. Just wanted to get the ball in the air and drive in the run to tie the game,” said Toglia after his debut.
In the ensuing at-bat, Beau Brundage (Portland) drove an RBI single of his own through the gap, scoring Dillard and giving Cotuit the lead for good, as Gayle made the four out save.
The Kettleers win also meant a wasted start for Orleans by Graeme Stinson (Duke), who struck out 12 Cotuit batters in five innings, giving up only two hits.
“We’re fortunate to have a bunch of guys that like to compete. That’s the key,” said manager Mike Roberts following the game. “I try to encourage our guys to grind it out and compete.”
The Firebirds were able to jump out to a lead in the early going. After Brandon White (West Virginia) reached via error, JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt) drove him in on an RBI double. Bleday would later score on an RBI single by Logan Wyatt (Louisville), giving Orleans a 2-0 lead after one.
The Firebirds would add another run in the second inning, as Philip Clarke (Vanderbilt) got aboard with a leadoff single. He would later come around to score off an RBI single by Ricky Martinez (Tennessee).
Orleans further opened the lead in the fourth inning off a moonshot by Jaxx Groshans (Kansas) over the left field fence extending the Orleans lead to four.
The Kettleers will travel to Red Wilson Field tomorrow as they take on the Y-D Red Sox. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.