By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 18, 2018
HARWICH– Heading into the bottom half of the sixth inning, Cotuit held a 3-0 lead and Zane Collins (Wright State) was humming along on the mound.
But the game would unfold much like some previous Kettleers contests this season, with the Mariners coming back to tie the game, which would be the way it ended after 12 innings at Whitehouse Field in Harwich.
“We were back to being very competitive,” said manager Mike Roberts postgame. “We got a great outing from [Zane] Collins. The most important thing to me, no matter the outcome, was that we were a ton more competitive tonight than we have been the last couple games.”
The Mariner rally in the sixth inning began as Aaron Schunk (Georgia) and Andre Lipcius (Tennessee) each got on base to start things off. After Schunk scored on a wild pitch, Lipcius came around on a Danny Casals (Maine) RBI single, making it 3-2. A few batters later, Gabe Rivera would tie the game on an RBI single to score Casals, bringing Harwich all the way back.
Cotuit did get off to a fairly solid start in the third inning. After Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) reached on a one-out double, Will Robertson (Creighton) walked to put two runners on. With two outs, Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) drove in both with a two-RBI double, making it 2-0.
Wood went 2 for 5 on Wednesday with a run and an RBI for the Kettleers, upping his average to .224 on the season and providing some needed hit support to the bottom of the Cotuit batting order.
“Playing here is a lot of ups and downs, especially with hitting, so you have to take advantage of a good pitch when you see it,” said Wood. “You want to help your team out and your pitcher out and have their back, and I was able to do that today.”
While the Kettleers maintained their lead, Collins shut down the Mariners in order. In one of his best starts of the 2018 campaign, he went five innings, giving up one earned run and four hits on five strikeouts.
“I would say changing speeds worked a lot,” said Collins after the game. “I threw a lot of changeups and I had it tonight. I didn’t have it early but then I just started throwing it and it came back.”
Cotuit would extend the lead to three in the fourth inning, as Wood hit an RBI single to drive in Duke Ellis (Texas), making it 3-0.
As the teams went into extra innings, the Mariners had a perfect scoring chance with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom half of the tenth. With Rivera at the plate, he grounded towards first base, where Michael Toglia (UCLA) threw home for the force out.
Then, as catcher Zach Humphreys (TCU) faked a throw to first, he caught Matt Gorski (Indiana) in a rundown between third base and home plate for the final, miraculous out of the inning, somehow keeping the game alive.
Neither team could suffice a hit in the final two innings, forcing the game to end in a 3-3 tie. Cotuit will be back at Lowell Park on Thursday, as they host the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in a crucial West Division matchup. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.
Check out Mason Horodyski’s video recap of last night’s game below.