by Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 3, 2018
COTUIT– With the Kettleers trailing only 2-0, it looked like a possible comeback could still be in play in the seventh inning on Tuesday night at Lowell Park.
But a ground ball that looked to be a potential double play took a weird hop on Cotuit’s Adam Oviedo (TCU), and the Gatemen never looked back, scoring six runs in the last three innings, on their way to an 8-1 win over the Kettleers.
“It was a competitive game at 2-0, and then the ground ball gets through and that changed the complexion of the game,” said coach Mike Roberts after the game. “We stayed competitive, but until our bats wake up, it’s gonna be tough to win.”
The first two innings went scoreless as both Griffin McLarty (Charleston Southern) and Joey Matulovich (Cal) mowed down both team’s orders. Matulovich kept the Kettleers to just one hit through six innings.
McLarty went 4 ⅔ innings for Cotuit, giving up two earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Coach Roberts generally liked what he saw from McLarty after the game.
“He changed his speeds, he throws strikes,” said Roberts. “He doesn’t get himself in trouble. Our starting rotation has done a good job of that.”
Wareham would score the first two runs of the game in the third inning. Jeremy Ydens (UCLA) hit a one-out double, and Sahid Valenzuela (Cal State Fullerton) got aboard on a single.
Ydens came around to score on an RBI single off the bat of Austin Shenton (FIU), and Valenzuela scored via a fielder’s choice from Lael Lockhart Jr. (Houston), to make it 2-0 for the Gatemen.
Wareham would add two more runs in the seventh inning, and another in the eighth. The Gatemen scored both their runs with the bases loaded in the seventh, off a walk and hit-by-pitch. In the eighth, Shenton would drive in another run on an RBI single that scored Gian Martinelli (BC), extending their lead to 5-0, and effectively putting the game out of reach.
Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) made sure the Kettleers didn’t get shut out, with an RBI double in the eighth inning that scored Will Robertson (Creighton). Coach Roberts was pleased to have Dillard back in the lineup, after he spent the weekend in Omaha for the College Home Run Derby.
“He leveled his swing last summer, and then went back and hit well at Ole Miss,” said Roberts. “He’s brought that swing back here, and I’d like to teach that ability to sit still and stay level like he’s doing. Glad to have him back in the lineup tonight.”
The Kettleers have the Fourth of July off, but will be back at Lowell Park on Thursday when they host the Falmouth Commodores. That game will mark the third time in six days that Falmouth and Cotuit have played each other. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.