By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 20, 2018
COTUIT– The Kettleers wore red uniforms Friday as part of a league-wide promotion this season, and it looked the shirts would rub off, as the bats exploded to the tune of nine runs on ten hits.
But the Kettleers blew a 7-0 lead after two innings, as Chatham shocked Cotuit, stealing a 10-9 win in a bizarre affair as the two teams combined for 19 runs and 25 hits on Friday night at Lowell Park.
Jorge Arenas (Stetson) drove in Greg Jones with an RBI single for the winning run with two outs in the eighth inning. The Anglers trailed 9-6 after six, but a Blake Sabol two-RBI double cut the lead to one, and Spencer Torkelson led off the eighth by driving a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field to tie the game.
“Just ugly. We hit the ball pretty well, but outside of that it was pretty ugly,” said manager Mike Roberts after the game. “When you’re up 7-1, you should win any game. Our Achilles heel was the defense today.”
Roberts referred to the four Cotuit errors that were committed, in addition to a botched rundown play, as the main culprits for Friday’s collapse.
In the first inning, Michael Salvatore (Florida State) got the Kettleers going, with an RBI single to drive in Will Robertson (Creighton). Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist) followed up the Seminole by hitting a single into right field that was misplayed, allowing Salvatore to score.
Cotuit blew the game wide open in the second inning, scoring five runs in the frame. After Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) and Brady Smith (Florida) got on base with singles, Zach Humphreys (TCU) started the onslaught with an attempted sacrifice bunt that turned into another Chatham error, one of three Angler errors on the day, scoring Wood.
Smith would later score on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Michael Toglia (UCLA), as Cotuit built up a 4-0 lead. After Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) drove in Humphreys on a ground out to second, Salvatore continued his hot night at the plate with a two-run home run, driving in Toglia and making it 7-0 Kettleers.
Salvatore went 2 for 4 on the day, with two runs and three RBI’s.
“The key has been not getting behind in the count,” said Salvatore postgame. “Swinging early and at good pitches, because once you get behind, it definitely gets tougher to hit.”
While it seemed like Cotuit would roll to a win, Chatham began to come back with a few runs of their own.
John Rave (Illinois State) launched a two-run home run to start the rally. Colin Simpson (Oklahoma State) drove in Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) with an RBI single to cut the Kettleers lead to 7-3. But the Kettleers came right back, as Brady Smith drove yet another two-run homer out of Lowell Park to bring Cotuit’s lead back to six.
Yet again, there was Chatham, staying within striking distance of the Kettleers.
In the fourth, it was Torkelson who drew the Anglers within four with a two-RBI double, scoring Sabol and Kyle McCann (Georgia Tech). Simpson would strike again to lead off the fifth, this time with a solo shot to cut the Kettleers lead to three at the time.
Cotuit will look to get back in the win column as they travel over the bridge to Wareham tomorrow to take on the Gatemen. First pitch from Spillane Field is set for 6:30 p.m.