By Ben Gainsboro, Stetson University
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
July 17th, 2019
COTUIT – Do not underestimate anyone.
It’s a phrase you hear at every level of sports, whether it is middle school soccer or Major League Baseball.
Coach Mike Roberts himself reiterated the statement earlier in the season in regard to Hyannis, who came into this game with a 6-23-1 record through thirty games.
In the first five and a half innings of play on Wednesday night, it looked like the Kettlers had done just that.
The Hyannis bats came out hot, smacking thirteen hits in the first half of action.
Don’t forget, this was against Cotuit’s ace, Reid Johnston (NC State), as well. The righty came into the game sporting a .52 ERA through four starts.
However, his day was done after just three innings, the first time since June 23rd against Brewster that the all-star had given up a run.
The damage against Johnston all came in the second inning, when Rowdey Jordan (Mississippi State) got the ball rolling with a single. Anthony Servideo (Ole Miss) then doubled, followed by a Jordan Westburg (Mississippi State) single to give Hyannis the early 3-0 lead.
Cotuit would answer in the form of a Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) opposite field blast in the bottom of the third, his sixth of the season.
“It’s (Gonzales’s opposite field proficiency) something he’s learned years ago,” Coach Roberts said postgame. “You don’t teach that. He’s one of those guys that can just get up there and hit, and he hits the ball where it’s pitched. C.J. Cron (Minnesota Twins) is the only other player I’ve had here, right hander, that could consistently hit the ball out that way. And Nick is about half his size.”
The home run got the attention of the dugout and scouts alike, a reaction consisting mostly of “ooh’s” and “ahs.”
Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) would score the next run for Cotuit in the bottom of the fourth off of a wild pitch, narrowing the Harbor Hawk’s lead to just 3-2.
In the fifth, Hyannis would score again, this time off of a wild pitch from Trey Holland (Sewanee). Holland, in his Kettleer season debut (pitched for the club last year), was able to pick up the win in his three innings of action.
“I think he did an excellent job,” Roberts said. “I’ve known Trey for a long time. He was here a little bit last year, and he brings a change of pace. Honestly, he made two bad pitches. Trey’s going to give up some home runs, and I’m willing to go with that, he’s going to give up some. But he did a great job, we need pitching help right now and I’m really appreciative.”
The home run Roberts was alluding to came in the top of the sixth, when the score was 4-3 in favor of Hyannis.
Jared DeSantolo (Florida Atlantic) was able to smack one over the right field fence to give the Hawks a 5-3 lead. Ian Fair (Northeastern) then brought home Trevor Hauver (Arizona State) to extend that lead to 6-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, which would end up being the final inning of play, the Kettleers quickly found themselves with two outs and runners on first and second. Nick Gonzales then singled to center field, which brought home Cam Hill (Kentucky) from second.
Matthew Mervis (Duke) then walked the bases loaded before Mason McWhorter (Georgia Southern), who replaced Casey Schmitt a few innings prior, delivered a huge two out single to right field, scoring both Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) and Nick Gonzales.
With two out and runners on the corners, Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) stepped to the plate.
“I got it 2-0,” Chavers said postgame. “Got a strike one pitch I didn’t really like, fouled the next pitch off for two strikes, took a breaker in the dirt, and I knew it was 3-2. I knew he didn’t want to walk me so I was sitting fastball, got one I [could handle] and luckily put a good swing on it.”
“Good swing” was an understatement, as Chavers lasered the 3-2 pitch to the right side of the infield, scoring Matthew Mervis to give the Kettleers the 7-6 win on a rainy Wednesday evening.
The umpires would call for the seventh inning to begin, but quickly called the game in the top of the seventh due to a lack of light.
Coming off of two straight losses, Coach Roberts was in high spirits after the come from behind win.
“This is the reason you keep coming to the ballpark,” Roberts said. “You make some big mistakes in this game and somehow you battle back. That was fun to watch, we told Casey (Schmitt), he’s not seriously hurt, but we’re glad he got hurt so McWhorter could get in the game (laughs). And then Parker (Chavers) came up with just a huge hit.”
The win puts Cotuit at first place in the west, tied with Wareham, with 35 points.
Cotuit (16-13-3) is back in action tomorrow (weather permitting) at Falmouth (15-12-1). First pitch at Guv Fuller field is set for 6:00 P.M.