By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
June 19, 2018
HYANNIS – After coming back from an early three-run deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks had the momentum against the Cotuit Kettleers. With one man on and nobody out in the eighth inning, the Kettleers snatched back the lead and the momentum on two pitches. Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) and Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) blasted home runs on consecutive pitches, giving Cotuit a 6-3 lead and chasing pitcher Brett Schulze (Minnesota) from the game.
The eighth inning explosion highlighted the dangerous combo that Dillard and Biermann are becoming at the top of the order.
“Playing in the Cape is an amazing thing. One through nine, they’re the best hitters at their school, so you feel safe wherever you are in the lineup,” Dillard said.
Dillard had a big offensive night from start to finish. In the third inning, Dillard broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single to right-centerfield.
Dillard accounted for a third run by getting in a rundown between first and second and allowing Will Robertson (Creighton) to score.
“Coach Roberts is obviously known for baserunning,” Dillard said. “One of the things we really work on is the double steal. He’s big on that so it’s good to see it executed in a game.”
Cotuit starter Zane Collins (Wright State) was solid through the first four innings, allowing just two hits and three walks while fanning two. In the fifth, Hyannis finally got to Collins, knocking him out of the game with four consecutive singles. Relievers Ryan Smith (Princeton) and Deacon Medders (Alabama) each allowed an inherited run as Hyannis tied the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hyannis threatened, loading the bases with two outs against reliever Garrett Gayle (Rice). But Rice got third baseman Davis Wendzel (Baylor) to fly out to right field to escape the threat and preserve the lead.
Cotuit put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth, scoring four times on two wild pitches, an RBI walk by third baseman Eric Jones (Davidson) and an RBI single by center fielder Beau Brundage (Portland).
“In the seventh, eighth, ninth innings, we kind of know how the team is going to pitch us,” Dillard said. “Just making those in-game adjustments and going out an executing them is big. Today it was just about being patient.”
The Kettleers get back in action on Wednesday when they take on the Orleans Firebirds at Lowell Park in Cotuit.