By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 10, 2018
COTUIT – By the halfway point of the 2018 season, the Cotuit Kettleers and Orleans Firebirds had played two wild games with the Kettleers winning both. On Tuesday, the teams repeated the pattern, trading blows in a wild back-and-forth affair that ended in a 12-7 Cotuit win.
While the teams each finished with 10 hits, bases gifted to the Kettleers by the Firebirds that made a big difference. Orleans pitchers issued 7 walks and hit 3 batters and the Firebirds defense made four errors which accounted for two unearned runs.
With the game tied 4-4 in the fourth inning, Cotuit took the lead on a sacrifice fly to right field by third baseman Ryan Reynolds (Texas). Orleans struck back in the fifth, taking the lead on a three-run home run by catcher Philip Clarke (Vanderbilt).
The Kettleers squandered opportunities in both the fifth and seventh innings, loading the bases with one out and failing to score.
Cotuit finally cut into the lead in the eighth inning with a solo home run by Reynolds. The Kettleers tied the game later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk by left fielder Peyton Burdick (Wright State). On the very next pitch, pinch-hitter Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) roped a two-run single to left-centerfield to give Cotuit the lead.
“I’m really happy for Zach,” coach Mike Roberts said. “He’s played almost every day and this week I haven’t played him as much but a very mature young man. He came off the bench and he was ready”
Reynolds led the way for the Kettleers, with three RBI, including the home run that kickstarted the game winning rally.
“I like the fact that he scares people,” Roberts said of his third baseman. “We want a lot of guys in the lineup that scare people. I’m hoping that he continues to get confidence offensively.”
Reynolds was not the only Texan doing damage, as shortstop Adam Oviedo (TCU) continued his recent hot streak by blasting a home run to left field.
“He’s worked very hard on his swing with his hands and his lower half,” Roberts said. I’ll tell you what, you’re not going to see many guys hit a ball farther than he did. It just sounded good.”
After a dramatic win to push the team back over .500, Roberts was quick to praise his players after their comeback.
“You have to congratulate the players,” Roberts said. “I didn’t have anything to do with it at all, they’re the ones who battled back.”
The Kettleers go on the road Wednesday, taking on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks at 6 p.m. at McKeon Park.