By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 23, 2018
Game recap by Mason Horodyski (Syracuse)
CHATHAM– With the All-Star “break” officially in the rear-view mirror, the crucial stretch run for the playoffs is heating up for the Kettleers.
That playoff race seems like it will continue to rest in the same fog that often encapsulates Veterans Field in Chatham, as it did on Monday night.
But in perhaps the most bizarre game of the 2018 Kettleers season thus far, Cotuit roared back to score 15 unanswered runs after trailing 5-0, en route to a 15-5 win over the Anglers in a game that was called after 5 ½ innings due to fog.
Griffin McLarty (College of Charleston) got the win, going 4 ⅓ innings in relief, while giving up only one hit and striking out four. Michael Toglia (UCLA) hit a grand slam in the fifth, while Will Robertson (Creighton) and Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) had three RBI’s each to power the Kets on Monday.
“I haven’t been involved in anything like that in my career up here, to be down five and then score 15,” said Mike Roberts after the game. “All I know is I’m very appreciative of these guys binding together and giving it their all.”
The fun started in the first inning, as Kyle McCann (Georgia Tech) laced a two-RBI double into center field that scored Michael Busch (UNC) and Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State).
In the ensuing at-bat, Colin Simpson (Oklahoma State) would score on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 Chatham. Ben Ramirez (USC) hit another two-RBI double into the gap to score McCann and Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington), and it looked like the rout was on for the Anglers.
But the Cotuit rally got started in the following frame, as Brady Smith (Florida) began things with a sac fly to left, scoring Duke Ellis (Texas). After Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) and Mike Salvatore (Florida State) got aboard to load the bases, Robertson doubled in two runs, as both came around to score making it 5-3.
“Every time we play these guys, it just ends up kind of weird. We got some runs on the board and found a way to win,” said Robertson postgame. “I just kept it simple and tried to use each part of the field at the plate. Had two hits to the opposite field, I think just not being too crowded in the head really helped out.”
With Robertson on base with two outs, Biermann launched a game-tying, opposite field home run into the trees past the left field fence to dramatically tie the ballgame for Cotuit, who trailed 5-0 just minutes prior.
The Kettleers took the lead in the fourth inning and proceeded to open things up from there.
After Smith got on base and scored thanks to a balk, Biermann again stepped up with an RBI double to bring home Peyton Burdick (Wright State). Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist) would drive in Biermann on an RBI single and throwing error, making it 8-5 Cotuit.
The fifth inning essentially played out like a Chatham spin on the “Bad News Bears”. The Anglers made three errors in the inning, beginning with a throwing error that allowed Ellis to score. Burdick would drive in a run on an RBI single that scored Cory Wood.
Then, Will Robertson stepped up again with an RBI single of his own to left field, allowing Brady Smith to score on yet another error. After the Anglers walked Zach Biermann to load the bases, Toglia smashed a grand slam out of Veterans Field, putting to rest any hopes that Chatham had of another comeback against Cotuit.
Things have the potential to get even more interesting on Tuesday, as Cotuit will host Bourne in a battle of two teams vying for the final playoff spot in the West Division. The Kettleers hold a four point advantage over the Braves heading into the contest. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.