By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
June 22, 2019
Cotuit’s bats fell startlingly silent for most of Saturday night in Harwich.
A game slated for 5:30 PM was delayed by rain, thunder, and lightning, pushing the first pitch to 6:30 PM.
After two scoreless innings and a couple of outs in the top of the third the lightning siren sounded and the field was once again bombarded by the elements, stopping play until shortly after 8.
On a night of Cape League baseball, it was the weather, not the game that was the story for the Kettleers. In fact, the inclement weather has dampened Cotuit in this second week of baseball as three of the five games thus far this week have been postponed.
Along with the precipitation has come a precipitous drop in offensive production for the Kettleers.
After impressive, high-scoring wins during opening week such as an 11-0 whooping of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, an 8-2 thrashing of the Brewster Whitecaps, and a 7-5 victory over the Harwich Mariners, Cotuit’s second week of the 2019 season has been a very different story.
A team that went 18 innings without allowing an earned run last week has now had just one runner cross home safely themselves over the last two games.
That run came in the form of Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) in the top of the third inning on Saturday night after Harwich walked three consecutive men to force Gonzales home.
The Kettleers came dangerously close to being held without a single hit for the first time in six years to the day, dating back to when Brewster no-hit Cotuit on June 22, 2013.
If it hadn’t been for Adam Oviedo’s (Oral Roberts) lead-off single between first and second onto the outfield grass in the top of the ninth, Harwich would have completed their no-hit bid.
The Kettleers just couldn’t put the ball in play against the Mariners. In fact, a majority of Cotuit’s outs, fifteen of the twenty-seven, came via the strikeout.
While Cotuit’s offense slowed, Kettleers pitching stepped up in a big way to keep the Kettleers in the game right to the end.
Pitchers Sean Sullivan (California Berkeley), Joseph Nahas (Georgia Southern), Christopher Holcomb (Tulane), and Matt Moore (Purdue) put on an impressive display, stifling the Mariners for the large majority of the game.
Sullivan’s night was cut short simply by the rain as he threw two solid shutout frames.
Nahas came out lights out in the third striking out three of the four Harwich hitters he faced. Nahas could have gotten out of a troublesome fourth inning had Cotuit’s infield not dropped a pop-up and bobbled a grounder that could have potentially been a double play. But instead Harwich grabbed a 2-1 lead they would hold onto for victory.
Marstons Mills native Holcomb continued to turn heads with three scoreless innings of work, featuring a strong fastball to go along with some seemingly unhittable curveballs. Holcomb has an outstanding 1.28 ERA in seven innings of work this year.
Moore appeared for a third time this season to keep Cotuit within one heading into the ninth. Moore has yet to allow a run on the season.
The Kettleers (4-4-1) take on the Brewster Whitecaps (6-3-1) for a doubleheader at Lowell Park on Sunday. First pitches are tentatively scheduled for 2 PM and 5 PM.