By Ben Gainsboro, Stetson University
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
August 8th, 2019
What Happened: The Cotuit Kettleers overcame the Harwich Mariners in a 15-inning marathon in game one of the CCBL Championship. The final score was 7-6.
One Cheer for: Aram Leighton and Sam Neiderman
-Though neither Aram Leighton or Sam Neiderman threw a pitch or had an at-bat in Cotuit’s epic game one victory, the broadcasting team had to stay busy for five-plus hours of entertainment.
While fans, interns, and kids were all exhausted by 11:15-11:30, Neiderman and Leighton remained composed, smiling, and professional through the slugfest. The dynamic duo has been a joy to listen to all season, especially on the road, but tonight was a different level.
Keeping listeners entertained for nine innings is hard, especially when you are not a paid professional. But fifteen? Fifteen innings of a radio broadcast is a downright challenge for even the best in the business, and Leighton/Neiderman took on the challenge with a smile on their face and an extra boom in their voices.
Two Cheers for: Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State)
-Just Gonzales being Gonzales.
While Nick was fantastic last night with a massive home run in the bottom of the seventh to overpower Falmouth, the second baseman was just as vital tonight, delivering the game-winning hit in the top of the fifteenth.
With Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) on second and Cody Pasic (Maine) on first, Gonzales stepped up with two out and a chance to ignite the Cotuit crowd. Just like the night before.
After falling behind 0-2, Gonzales roped a single to left field, scoring Oviedo and once again sending the Cotuit crowd into an absolute frenzy.
So far in the playoffs, Gonzales is hitting .387 with seven RBI. He somehow has outplayed his outlandish regular season average of .351 and remains one of the most feared hitters on the Cape.
Three Cheers for: Richard Brereton (Emory)
-He doesn’t go to the biggest school. He doesn’t have the fastest heater. He doesn’t have the biggest bat.
In fact, Brereton hadn’t even appeared in the playoffs until tonight when he took over in the eighth inning.
He entered with his team trailing by two runs, basically playing the role of damage control while he waited for his offense to climb back into the game. To put it mildly, Richard was phenomenal in the role, pitching his best outing all season.
He ended up going six innings, allowing just one hit, walking four, and striking out five Mariners. Most impressively? If the Mariners had scored a run in five of Brereton’s six innings of work, the ballgame would’ve been over.
For a guy who was far from dominant in the regular season (5.78 ERA), to step into that situation and shut Harwich down in the biggest game of the Kettleers season (to this point), is just outstanding.
What’s Next? Cotuit hosts Harwich in game two of the 2019 CCBL Championship. If Cotuit wins, they are the 2019 Champions. If Harwich wins, game three will be played at Whitehouse Field at 5:30 on Saturday, August 11th. First pitch at Lowell Park tomorrow is set for 4:00 P.M.