By Will Kraus, Bates College
video recap by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
June 10, 2019
COTUIT – The returning Cotuit Kettleer, shortstop Adam Oviedo (Texas Christian University), came through clutch, batting in the game winning runs in the bottom of the seventh as the Kettleers defeated the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 4-3 in the season opener on Monday, June 10th.
Christopher Farrell (College of William & Mary) received
the start for the Kettleers, beginning the season with a solid one-two-three frame. He struck out the first two batters he faced on strong curve balls.
Oraj Anu (University of Kentucky), the Kettleers’ designated hitter and Coltyn Kessler (University of Kentucky) both singled in the bottom of the first. But Y-D’s starter John Beller (University of Southern California) kept the Kettleers from scoring, getting third baseman Casey Schmitt (San Diego State University) to fly out to left field to end the season’s first inning.
Farrell went on to pitch a solid 4 ⅓ innings, totaling 57 pitches, five strikeouts, two walks, one hit, and one earned run. The hit and earned run came on a Y-D home run to right field by Y-D first baseman Jack-Thomas Wold (University of Nevada Las Vegas).
The Kettleers responded to Y-D’s strike immediately in the bottom half of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Schmitt led off the inning with a hard hit ball up the middle. He would move to second on a wild pitch by Beller, steal third, and finally score on a ground out to first base by Cameron Hill (University of Kentucky). Right fielder, GeonHyoung Kim (Boise State University) who reached on an infield single scored the second run on a balk by Y-D reliever Chase Smith (Pittsburgh University).
Cotuit pitching stayed strong through most of the night, but the Kettleers did surrender two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Y-D scored their runs on a triple into the gap between right and center by Jeffrey Costello (Northeastern University) followed by a single to right by Andrew Eyster (South Carolina University Columbia).
The Kettleers once again showed resiliency in the bottom half of the inning. Cameron Hill led the seventh off with a six pitch walk, followed by a good bunt by Donta Williams (U.Texas Austin) that was ruled an error on Y-D pitcher, Ledgend Smith (Oklahoma University).
Cotuit continued to play solid small ball as Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State University) advanced Hill and Williams with a sacrifice bunt. The play of the game came with two outs as the aforementioned Adam Oviedo sent the Cotuit bench into an ovation with a hard hit ball in the gap between shortstop and third that scored Hill and Williams to give the Kettleers a 4-3 lead. Williams showed tremendous speed scoring from second, narrowly beating the tag at home by Y-D catcher Adam Kerner (San Diego University).
The Kettleers did have some struggles on the basepaths in the bottom of the eighth as Colin Davis (Wofford College) was picked off by the catcher, Kerner. Hill was also picked off by Y-D reliever Brandon Dufault (Northeastern University) to end the eighth.
Cotuit pitcher Kyle Nicolas (Ball State University) dazzled in the eighth and ninth, retiring all six batters he faced, sealing the Kettleers’ victory in their 73rd opener. Nicolas threw the fastest pitch of the night in the eight inning, the radar gun clocking him in at an impressive 97 miles per hour. Nicolas struck out three men total, leaving William Escala (Miami University) looking with an 88 mph cutter to end the ballgame.
Cotuit improved tremendously with runners in scoring position compared to their 0-12 performance in their scrimmage versus the Lexington Blue Sox on Saturday, June 8th. The Kettleers turned it around in their first official game, batting 3-9 with RISP.
Coach Mike Roberts, entering his seventeenth season as manager for Cotuit said he was impressed by the maturity of his starter, Farrell, as well as the maturity of Oviedo. “That’s what you need in this league,” Roberts said. “You need maturity.”
Roberts spoke glowingly about having Oviedo return to the team. “He’s just a great human being, so you get leadership [from him].” said Roberts.
Roberts also had praise for his closer. When asked about Nicolas, Roberts responded by saying “He has a good arm. But you’ve got to be able to throw strikes and he did that too.”
Oviedo is clearly happy to be back with Cotuit. “I love the fans, the players, the program. It’s just awesome. I can’t think of any better way to spend the summer.” the Kettleers’ shortstop said.
The Kettleers certainly have many positives to build off of after their opening win. Cotuit will face off against the defending Eastern Division Champions, the Chatham Anglers at Lowell Park on Tuesday, June 11th at 5 PM.