By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
July 14, 2019
Coach Roberts had his head in his right hand, seemingly aware that a big inning was to come for the Firebirds despite the 6-1 lead over Orleans and two out following a mistake at first base in the top of the sixth inning on Sunday night.
The sweltering summer sun had just fallen behind the trees along the third base line, cooling Lowell Park and evidently the Kettleers.
The missed opportunity to end the inning came when a ground ball took first baseman Mason McWhorter (Georgia Southern) away from the bag, forcing reliever Bo Hofstra (Purdue) to run and cover the bag. The only problem was that McWhorter tossed the ball just behind Hofstra, bringing his momentum to a halt that allowed the speedy Zach Daniels (Tennessee) to reach first.
Coach Roberts spoke of the play postgame.
“If you’re looking at the fundamental part, you always throw the ball in front of the pitcher. He tossed the ball behind him and it kind of changed the inning. But Mason is playing really well. I like him as a first baseman. He didn’t play first base as much at Georgia Southern so it’s something he’ll have to get reacclimated to but I’m really pleased with him there.” said Roberts.
It was still 6-1 at that point but a pair of singles, a wild pitch, and another base knock tied the game at 6-6, a score that would hold as the game only lasted seven innings due to darkness.
The game got off to a rocky start from the get go as starter Christopher Farrell (William & Mary) walked in a run to put Orleans on top 1-0.
The Kettleers punched right back however, starting the bottom of the inning off with a double to dead-center field by Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) who returned after missing a couple games from a leg contusion.
“Does it surprise me that he led the game off with a double? Not at all.” Roberts smiled following the game, clearly appreciative of Gonzales’ 2-3 performance in his return.
It was McWhorter who brought Gonzales home in the first as he blistered a double into left-center field to bring the game even at 1-1 after the first.
Kole Ramage (Arkansas) came into the game for Farrell in the second and was very solid, tossing four scoreless innings.
“He pitched really well.” said Roberts. “It was by far his best outing since he got here. He kept the ball down, his fastball and his breaking ball were good.”
While Ramage kept the Firebirds at bay Cotuit accumulated their big lead in the fourth inning,
striking five times to grab a commanding 6-1 lead.
Matt Mervis (Duke) put Cotuit ahead with a double down the right field line that scored McWhorter from second.
Christian Robinson (Stanford) would extend that lead to 3-1 with a single up the middle.
With the bases loaded Orleans’ reliever Angelo Smith (Michigan) would throw an Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) grounder away to home, allowing both Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) and Robinson to enhance the Kettleers’ lead 5-1.
“It was one of those games that wasn’t pretty either way.” Roberts commented.
A Gonzales single scored Coltyn Kessler (Kentucky) and Cotuit appeared to be in total command of the game heading into the fifth.
Of course the sixth inning negated the lead, though the Kettleers still managed to muster a point from the result as they tied Orleans for the second time at Lowell Park this season.
Cotuit (15-11-3) heads to Doran Park on Monday night at 6 PM to take on the Bourne Braves (11-16)