By Will Kraus, Bates College
photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
June 11, 2019
The Cotuit Kettleers fell short of victory in their second overall game of the season, losing to the Chatham Anglers on Tuesday, June 11th, by a score of 7-6 in eight innings. Despite the loss Cotuit had some definite bright spots.
Gonzales Hits Kettleers’ First Home Run
Cotuit’s starting second baseman Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) was one of those bright spots. Gonzales, who returns for another season with the Kettleers, extended Cotuit’s lead in the bottom of the second inning from 2-0 to 4-0 on a 2-2 count with 2 outs, taking Jack Conlon (San Jacinto College) deep with an opposite field home run down the right field line.
The home run scored Cameron Hill (Kentucky University) who walked before stealing both second and third.
Gonzales and Hill combined for all six of Cotuit’s runs, scoring three times apiece.
Casey Schmitt’s 3 RBI Performance
Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) put the Kettleers on top in the first inning, getting enough of a ball into left field that allowed Hill to tag third base before running across home to put Cotuit up 1-0.
Schmitt also came through clutch in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the Kettleers allowing four runs to Chatham in the top of the seventh to trail 6-4, Schmitt found himself up to bat in a pressure situation.
With Hill on third and Gonzales on second, a base hit would likely allow Cotuit to tie the ball game. Schmitt came up with two outs and worked the count to 3-2 against the hard-throwing righthander Austin Vernon (North Carolina Central). One strike away from ending the inning, Schmitt hit a rope into left field that let the Kettleers tie the ballgame 6-6.
Kettleers Being Clutch
A very positive sign for the Kettleers early in the season is the resilience they have shown when falling behind.
In their opener Cotuit fell behind Y-D twice, in the 4th inning and the seventh. In both cases the Kettleers rallied to take the lead.
After Jack-Thomas Wold (Nevada University Las Vegas) homered to put Y-D up 1-0, the Kettleers managed to score twice in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.
After Y-D took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh, Adam Oviedo (Texas Christian University) singled in Hill and Camryn Williams (Texas University Austin) to put Cotuit back on top 4-3.
Similarly Cotuit responded after surrendering the lead to Chatham, tying the game up in the bottom of the seventh after falling behind 6-4 in the top half of the inning.
What’s more, both Oviedo and Schmitt came through with two strikes and two outs in the late innings. Gutsy performances like these make for winning baseball.
While Cotuit couldn’t score in the bottom of the eight versus Chatham, they’ve certainly shown a pattern of perseverance in their first two games.
Cotuit Solid with Runners in Scoring Position
The Kettleers were strong with runners in scoring position, going 3 for 7 on the night.
Cotuit has shown a marked improvement with runners in scoring position in comparison to their showing in a scrimmage game against the Lexington Blue Sox in which they went 0-12. The Kettleers improved dramatically in their first game going 3 for 9 with RISP, and they only got better in their second game, totaling a .429 average with RISP.
Cotuit pitching struggled with control, walking nine Chatham Anglers and giving up seven earned runs en route to a 7-6 loss. That said, the Kettleers’ pitching staff held Chatham to just 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Reliever Joseph Nahas (Georgia Southern University) posted three strong innings of relief, allowing just one hit while throwing many curveballs that baffled Chatham hitters.
The 2019 Kettleers have been resilient to this point if nothing else. Three out of four innings in which Cotuit has found themselves trailing over the first two games they have either regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning or tied the game up. The 2-RBI hits by Oviedo and Gonzales in the bottom of the seventh with two strikes and 2 outs over the first two games indicate a team that can handle the big moments.
The Kettleers take on their town rival in the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Wednesday, June 12th at McKeon Park(120 High School Rd., Barnstable). Game begins at 6:00 pm.
Cotuit Kettleers Roster: https://www.kettleers.org/roster/
Chatham Anglers Roster: http://www.chathamanglers.com/index.cfm?base=5&seasonyr=2019
Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox Roster: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/team_roster.html?teamid=3430&seasonid=31871