By Ben Gainsboro, Stetson University
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
June 30th, 2019
WAREHAM, MA – The game had “pitcher’s duel” written all over it.
Walking up to Spillane Field at 5:00 P.M., it looked as if the game was going to be rained out. Puddles formed behind home plate and third base. Wareham players wandered around in the dugout, talking amongst themselves and staying dry from the stray showers.
Rain had been falling steadily for the past twenty minutes, erasing the otherwise warm day we were having on the Cape prior.
But, as quickly as the rain started, it stopped.
Cotuit got off the bus, made their way to the field, and set their stuff up in the opposing dugout. Coach Mike Roberts had a brief meeting with Wareham coach Jerry Weinstein, and the two decided to play ball.
However, the heavy, damp air remained. That, paired with the cloudy sky and foreboding forecast, made for a dreary pregame on the Spillane Field gravel, which Cotuit radio broadcaster Sam Neidermann affectionately compared to a “moon crater,” partly because of the sharp, gray color.
Of course, the other factor that needs to play into a “pitcher’s duel” is, well, pitchers.
And boy, were there two good ones out there today.
Ian Bedell (Missouri) of Wareham threw five innings, striking out four Kettleers and allowing just one hit, an Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) single in the top of the third.
“I credit them, always,” Coach Roberts said. “They threw the ball really well.”
For Cotuit, it was Jackson Wolf (West Virginia) once again forcing batters to miss balls, as he went five innings himself.
In the five innings, he allowed zero runs, four hits, one walk, and struck out four Gatemen. In Wolf’s last two starts, he has eleven strikeouts and just two earned runs against two of the best offenses in the CCBL, Wareham and the Chatham Anglers.
“I just thought he had another beautiful outing,” Coach Roberts said. “I’m very pleased with his competitiveness, the way he handles himself on the mound maturity wise, and his pitch selection. Cody [Pasic] (Maine) did a good job with him.”
For Wolf, he was able to watch the Gatemen hitters yesterday from the bullpen, giving him a bit of an inside edge for tonight’s start.
“I got to see all their hitters yesterday and find out tendencies,” Wolf said. “Had a little stat sheet written down, so I was prepared for everyone that stepped to the plate.”
Matthew Mervis (Duke) was also sharp out of the pen for the Kettleers, allowing just two hits in three innings of work. He was the unlucky loser for the night, but the big Blue Devil looked comfortable and confident on the mound throughout.
Offensively, Cotuit was shut out by the Gatemen for the second time this season. The other time came at home back on June 19th, a game in which Cotuit lost 6-0.
Oddly enough, the two offensive performances nearly mirrored eachother. In the first game, Cotuit managed just four hits, none going for extra bases. Adam Oviedo and Cody Pasic had two of the four hits in that game.
On Sunday night, Cotuit managed just three hits, with none going for extra bases. One of those hits came from Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State), who was able to improve his hitting streak to seven games. That, along with his rock-solid fielding, made for another strong game for the Kettleers second baseman.
The other two hits, though? A single from Oviedo in the third, and a single for Cody Pasic in the sixth.
The one run from Wareham came in the bottom of the seventh, when Benjamin Sems (Kansas) brought home Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) with a sac fly. It was very much the appropriate (and limited) offense that would prove to be the difference maker in this defensive battle.
Coach Mike Roberts was positive after the game, crediting Wareham for a good game but hungry for another chance at the Gatemen in the future.
“The thing that I’m asking the players to do is that we need to be there every pitch,” Roberts said. “We got to be there every pitch and tonight we weren’t there every pitch. We want games to be 0-0, we want to see who the best team in the league is and tonight it was Wareham, but we’ll get better in regards of being there every pitch.”
The Kettleers (7-7-2) return home tomorrow to face off with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (3-11-1). First pitch for that Western division battle is set for 5 P.M. at Lowell Park.