By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 8, 2018
HARWICH – After a dominant 8-3 win over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Saturday, the Cotuit Kettleers were able to do something they hadn’t done since June 20th on Sunday and win back-to-back games, as they defeated the Harwich Mariners 4-1 at Whitehouse Field.
For the second day in a row, the Kettleers were carried by a stellar start and timely offense. Anthony Veneziano (Coastal Carolina) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished his day with only one hit and two walks allowed while striking out five.
Veneziano, who lasted just three innings in his season debut against Y-D, has been tremendous in each of his last two starts, allowing one total run and four total hits in 11 ⅓ innings. Veneziano said he tried to carry his approach and confidence from his previous start into his matchup with Harwich.
“The preparation is important for me,” Veneziano said. “I was just building off my last start. I know certain things worked or didn’t work for me and I just worked on that coming into today.”
Veneziano pitched with a lead from the get-go, as first baseman Michael Toglia (UCLA) blasted a solo home run to right field in the top of the first. The homer was Toglia’s third of the season, all of which have come in the last three games.
Veneziano, who has solidified himself as the Kettleers second starter behind John Baker (Ball State), earned praise postgame from coach Mike Roberts.
“He’s really made some progress,” Roberts said. “He came off Tommy John, he pitched some this spring, but I think we are starting to see his potential really come out.”
Toglia, in his second summer in Cotuit, seems to be coming out of a slump he had been in since his arrival in mid-June. With two hits and two RBI against Harwich, Toglia said it was “nice to finally see some hits drop.”
The Kettleers extended their lead with a run in the seventh and two in the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mariners threatened, loading the bases and bringing up the winning run. But closer Garrett Gayle (Rice) was able to induce a groundout and register a four-out save, his third of the season.
For his second consecutive outing, Gayle encountered some trouble but was left in the game to escape his own jam. Allowing him to finish the game was an affirmation of his role as closer for the Kettleers.
“I think he has the overall makeup to be a closer,” Roberts said. “He has really great stuff. He hadn’t pitched in six days, so he may have overthrew a little bit today.”
The Kettleers remain on the road Monday, traveling to Doran Park in Bourne to face the Braves at 6 p.m.