By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
August 6, 2018
COTUIT – Through eight innings, the Cotuit Kettleers hung with the top-seeded Wareham Gatemen in game two of their playoff series. But in the ninth, Wareham showed why they were the league’s top regular-season offense, rattling off ten runs to end the Kettleers hoped of forcing game three.
While Cotuit got a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Gatemen slammed the door and ended the Kets season with a 15-6 win at Lowell Park.
The Gatemen jumped ahead immediately in the first inning. Wareham knocked Cotuit starter Zane Collins (Wright State) after just ⅓ of an inning and scored three times in the inning.
After closing the deficit to 4-2 after three innings, the Kettleers jumped ahead in the fourth on a three-run opposite field home run by third baseman Trey Jacobs (UNC-Pembroke).
Jacobs was brought up after a two-out intentional walk to first baseman Michael Toglia (UCLA) after he had hit a monster home run in his previous at-bat. Jacobs said he was “pissed off” that the Gatemen walked Toglia to face him and wanted to punish them with a big hit.
The score stayed at 5-4 until the seventh when Wareham third baseman Austin Shenton (Florida International) tied the game with a solo shot to right-centerfield, his second of the series.
In the top of the ninth, the Gatemen sent nine men to the plate against three different pitchers before finally recording an out. The scoring started on a single by catcher Luke Roskam (Nebraska). Six different players drove in a run, highlighted by a two-run triple by Shenton.
Jacobs gave the Lowell Park faithful something to cheer about in the ninth inning with his second opposite-field home run of the game but it was too little, too late for the Kets.
Cotuit coach Mike Roberts said he had “never seen” a player hit two opposite-field home runs in the same Cape League game.
Jacobs said that he may have received some help from the wind on his first home run and added that he wanted to hit the second to prove the first one was not a fluke.
Cotuit came into the playoffs shorthanded, with only ten available position players. Roberts compared the 2018 team to his shorthanded 2009 squad which reached the finals with three catchers in the starting lineup, including current Major Leaguer Cameron Rupp.
For the second year in a row, the Kettleers exit in the first round of the West division playoffs. The Gatemen will advance to face either Hyannis or Falmouth in the West division finals.