By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 31, 2018
COTUIT– Momentum can often swing in baseball like a pendulum, and on Tuesday night, that swing nearly spelled doom for the Kettleers, who watched a 3-0 lead evaporate in a ninth inning meltdown.
Heading into the frame, Jason Reynolds (Lehigh) was primed for the save as he entered his third inning of work.
But a four-run ninth for Wareham, along with some clutch hitting from Cotuit in the bottom half of the inning, led each team to take a point from Tuesday’s game, a 4-4 tie at Lowell Park.
“We pitched really well considering we’re trying to be really conservative with pitching,” said Mike Roberts after the game. “Trying to get ready for the playoffs, but that’s the reason they’re [Wareham] is in first place. They have really good bats and they came back extremely well.”
The Wareham rally started when Austin Shenton (FIU) led off with a double, and came in to score on a Drew Millas (Missouri State) RBI single, cutting the lead to 3-1. After Lael Lockhart Jr. (Houston) and Luke Roskam (Nebraska) got on base, former Kettleer Gian Martellini (BC) drove both Millas and Lockhart Jr. in with an RBI single to tie the game at three.
Isaac Collins (Creighton) would drive in Roskam two batters later on an RBI single of his own, giving Wareham their first lead of the game, making it 4-3.
But thankfully for Cotuit, Zach Humphreys (TCU) started the rally, getting on base with the Kettleers down to their last strike.
After Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) made his Cotuit debut pinch running for Humphreys, Brady Smith (Florida) and Will Robertson (Creighton) hit back-to-back singles, with Robertson driving in Gonzales for the tying run, salvaging a point for the Kettleers.
“I was just trying to see the ball,” said Robertson, who went 4-for-5 with two RBI’s on Tuesday for his third multi-hit game in a row.
“With a lefty on the mound, it can be tough to see but he left me a curveball that stayed up, so I tried to put a good swing on it.”
For Cotuit, Zane Collins (Wright State) got the start, and was able to throw 3 ⅔ scoreless innings, allowing only two hits with three strikeouts. Ryan Lefner (St. Louis) added another 2 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief, striking out a pair of Gatemen.
Neither side could push a run across in the first five innings, but that all changed with one swing of the bat.
Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) stepped up once again, slamming a tie-breaking, two-run home run to center field, giving Cotuit a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
Will Robertson (Creighton) would add another run in the following inning, with an RBI single that scored Peyton Burdick (Wright State), making it 3-0 Kettleers at the time.
With two games left in the regular season, Cotuit will take on Falmouth in a home-and-home set. The Kettleers will travel to Guv Fuller Field tomorrow, before hosting the Commodores on Thursday. First pitch tomorrow in Falmouth is set for 6:00 p.m.