By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
July 7, 2019
“They really battled tonight.” Coach Mike Roberts said, smiling appreciatively of his team’s 8-6 win at Bourne on Sunday night.
Allbry Major (Xavier) was the epitome of that battle as he seemingly fouled off pitch after pitch in a pivotal pinch-hit thirteen pitch at bat in the fifth.
The Kettleers had already struck for two to take the lead but with the bases loaded and one out Major had a chance to make it a big inning. He did just that, fouling off seven pitches from the right-side of the box before lacing a double down the left field line that scored two.
“I was just trying to see the ball well. I battled back to a full count. I just found something in the zone eventually.” said Major postgame.
“That was really the turning point in the game.” said Roberts of Major’s double.
Major’s double was part of a six run fifth in which Cotuit took a stranglehold on the game.
“I take it as a comes.” said Major when asked about his comfortability level in pinch-hit situations. “I know coach has been doing that recently so I was kind of expecting it in the seventh but it came a little early today.”
The Major double was preceded by a wild steal of home by Joey Loperfido (Duke) on a failed Bourne run-down as Loperfido narrowly outmaneuvered the catcher’s tag and a Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) RBI single that put Cotuit in front after Bourne grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) would knock in two more runs in the fifth with another single as the Kettleers jumped all over Braves pitchers Ryan Cusick (Wake Forest) and Haydn King (Nevada Las Vegas).
The extended inning would end starter Zachary McCambley’s (Coastal Carolina) night.
“I thought it was his best start.” Roberts said following the game.
McCambley threw a solid four innings giving up just one hit and one earned run while striking out a season high seven batters.
Bourne would later cut the lead down to four in the bottom of the sixth but Cotuit would once again extend the lead to five in the top of the eighth on a bizarre double by Chavers that was lost in the lights by Bourne’s right fielder.
Gonzales would pick up his second RBI in the game in the top of the ninth after the Braves struck for one in the eighth that brought the game to 8-3 with Cotuit three outs away from victory.
But like Roberts said it was a battle.
An infield single, an error, and a walk would load the bases for Cody Morissette (Boston College) who cleared the bases on a double in the left-center gap.
Just like that Bourne brought up the tying run down 8-6 in the bottom of the ninth.
But Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) closed the door, striking out Jackson Greer (East Tennessee State) on a heater that sealed the win for the Kettleers.
Schmitt has really shown off his versatility this year and Roberts clearly trusts him as he has brought his starting third baseman into the late innings with runners in scoring position in Schmitt’s last three outings.
Schmitt also made two incredible 5-3 put outs as he dove to his right before throwing across the diamond to keep runners off the bases in the third and fifth innings.
Roberts described Schmitt’s plays as “Worldclass,” and went as far as to say that they were plays “you might not even see on a major league field.”
It was an important win as Cotuit kept pace with division rivals Wareham and Falmouth who also were victorious on Sunday.
The Kettleers (11-10-2) will take on the Wareham Gatemen (12-10-1) at Spillane Field on Monday night. It will be the fourth game between the two clubs and the third time the teams play for first place in the West Division. First pitch is set for 6:45 PM.