By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 8, 2018
COTUIT– On “Heroes in the Park Night” at Lowell Park on Saturday, the Kettleers found some much-needed heroes of their own at the plate.
Zach Humphreys (TCU) and Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) each had a home run, seven different Kettleers had an RBI, and John Baker (Ball State) allowed one run over six innings as Cotuit knocked off Hyannis 8-3 to improve back to .500 on the season.
“I tried to change the lineup a little bit, and I think that gave it a little bit of flavor,” said Roberts after the game. “I was really pleased, I thought we battled at the plate much better today than we have recently.”
After a scoreless first, the Kettleers would bring in three runs in the second. Peyton Burdick (Wright State) and Michael Salvatore (Florida State) each had RBI singles to give Cotuit their first runs on the day. Will Robertson (Creighton) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the third run of the inning.
Cotuit would bring in a run in each of the subsequent three innings. Dillard led off with his second home run of the season in the third inning, and Humphreys added his solo shot in the following frame.
“Coach Roberts and I have been working on my hitting a little bit,” said Humphreys after the win. “I felt really comfortable, saw the ball really well. All the work being put in is paying off.”
Later that inning, Ryan Reynolds (Texas) walked with the bases loaded, extending the Cotuit lead to six.
Hyannis would add their first run of the game off a Davis Wendzel (Baylor) solo home run in the fifth. That would be the only run the Harbor Hawks would score off Baker, who struck out six on his way to earning the win on Saturday.
“Just tried to stay in the zone and hit my targets,” said Baker, who improved to 3-2 on the season. “I was throwing a lot of fastballs, and a combination of picking my spots and movement really worked for me today.”
Coach Roberts liked what he saw from Baker as well, who operated efficiently as he brought his ERA down to 2.17 on the season, among the top ten in the league in that category.
“Baker is a real competitor. He throws first pitch strikes a lot. Your defense is better, and things usually go better when you get those first pitch strikes.”
Both Duke Ellis (Texas) and Robertson would add RBI’s to the box score in the fifth. Ellis was credited for an RBI groundout on a bizarre tag play on the first base line. He was initially ruled safe at first on a call that was later overturned by the umpires.
In the ensuing at-bat, Robertson would add an RBI single for his 12th RBI of the season, which ties him for the team lead with Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina). Hyannis would add a run apiece in the seventh inning off a Wendzel RBI double, and a fielder’s choice by Kyle Wilkie (Clemson) in the eighth.
The Kettleers will travel to Whitehouse Field for the first time this season on Sunday, as they take on the Harwich Mariners. Both teams last met on June 26, with Harwich coming out on top. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.