By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
You would have thought a cannon was firing baseballs out of Lowell Park for Cotuit on Sunday as the Kettleers (6-4-1) went yard four times, taking both halves of the doubleheader to defeat the Brewster Whitecaps (6-5-1) 5-2 and 6-2.
Second baseman Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) led the way with the game winning RBI’s in both contests, homering in game 1.
“It feels really good to help the team out as much as I can and to go out there and compete everyday with my team.” Gonzales said postgame.
Gonzales scored the first run of the first game for Cotuit as well following a double he rocketed into the right field fence between right fielder Tyler Gentry (Alabama) and center fielder Alerick Soularie (Tennessee) in the bottom of the first. Gonzales would come around due to a throwing error by third baseman Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma).
Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) put the Kettleers up 2-0 with a flare into centerfield that sent Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) home.
Brewster clawed themselves back into the game, evening the score 2-2 in the fourth as Gage Workman’s (Arizona State) sacrifice fly to center traveled far enough to score T.J. Collett (Kentucky) from third.
But Cotuit responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning. Gonzales stepped to the plate from the right side with Coltyn Kessler (Kentucky) at first. In his prior at bat Gonzales sent a laser into the glove of Hardman at third. But Gonzales had seen enough of Brewster’s starter Chandler Jozwiak (Texas A & M) to really get a hold of one.
Gonzales sent a towering shot deep into the trees over the left field fence. The homer would prove to be the game winning hit as Cotuit went up 4-2.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit.” Gonzales commented after the game. “I knew he had thrown me a fastball inside the last at bat that I had lined out to third. I was expecting him to throw it somewhere around there and he ended up throwing it.”
Kessler would tack on Cotuit’s fifth run in the bottom of the sixth with a home run of his own as the lefty lifted one over the fence in dead center.
Newcomer Holden Powell (California Los Angeles) came into the game in the fifth with runners on the corners and one out. Powell would throw just seven pitches in the fifth to strike out Brewster’s 1-2 hitters in Brett Auerbach (Alabama) and Soularie on stellar curve balls. Powell recorded the win in his very first appearance as he would go on to close out the game.
It was a similar story in the second game as Cotuit jumped in front early.
Duke Ellis (Texas Austin) would single in Gonzales from third as he once again put Cotuit up 1-0.
Ellis showed off some serious speed as he scored all the way from first for the game’s second run on an Oviedo double to the left field fence.
The Whitecaps tied it up in the top half of the inning with two runs off of Kettleers’ starter Zachary McCambley (Coastal Carolina).
Once again Cotuit responded almost immediately. They put on a clinical display of tactful baseball, starting the bottom of the second off with a hard fought walk that Christian Robinson (Stanford) earned in his first plate appearance for Cotuit. Robinson fouled off seven balls in a twelve pitch at bat he ended up getting the better of.
Cody Pasic (Maine) dropped down a well placed sacrifice bunt to Brewster starter Sean Hunley (Tennessee) that allowed Robinson to advance to second.
Gonzales would finish the sequence off with yet another ball hammered right on the screws as he pulled a blistering double down the third base line that put Cotuit back on top 3-2.
The Kettleers wouldn’t need any more runs but they provided themselves with plenty of insurance in the bottom of the fifth starting with a left field solo smash by the right handed Schmitt that put Cotuit up 4-2.
Oviedo got in on the action two batters later with a two run homer, increasing Cotuit’s lead to four with another crack of the bat as the ball continued to fly out of left field.
Kyle Nicolas (Ball State) came in for three stingy innings in which he didn’t allow a single hit and struck out four. Nicolas continued to shine both on the field and on Lowell Park’s radar gun that flashed 99 miles per hour in the fifth.
Coach Mike Roberts was understandably happy with his club after the game, as he praised his team’s performance in all phases of the game.
“The key for me today was our defense.” said Roberts. “I just thought our defense was the best it has been this year and I was really pleased with our entire infield in regards to the way we handled ground balls today. When you handle ground balls and back up your pitching staff then everything is gonna be better.”
Roberts also mentioned Cotuit’s “clutch home runs.” “Anytime you get the ball to leave the ball park then that gives you some breathing room.” Roberts continued.
When asked about Nicolas’ outings early in the season Roberts smiled brightly, saying that “I’m really pleased with him,” while also emphasizing his enjoyment of Holden Powell’s debut. “I’ll also say it was really a pleasure to see the way that Holden Powell pitched.” Roberts finished.
The Kettleers travel to Chatham on Monday to take on the Anglers (6-4-1) at 7 PM.