Hyannis, MA- The Cotuit Kettleers traveled to Hyannis to take on the Harbor Hawks at McKeon Park in the second game of the season. The game marked the first game of the year between the two CCBL west division foes. The Kettleers fell to the Harbor Hawks by a score of 7-4 at McKeon Park. The Kettleers jumped out to an early lead, but the Harbor Hawks were able to battle back on Monday night to take the win.
Cotuit got off to a fast start, as Blake Klassen (UCSB) led off the game with a no-doubt home run over the right field fence on the second pitch of the game. Klassen turned on a 1-0 fastball, giving the Ketts the early 1-0 lead. Cole Cummings and Dylan Beavers kept the foot on the gas pedal, following up with two consecutive singles. But the Hyannis starter, Cole Halemanu (Hawaii), would settle in and retire the next three Kettleers to end the threat and limit the damage to one run.
Will Jacobsen (Harvard) got the start for Cotuit, and looked comfortable early, getting through the first two innings with relative ease. The right-hander was pounding the zone early and often, keeping his pitch count low, throwing only 23 pitches through the game’s first two frames.
The Ketts’ offense would strike again in the third. Dylan Beavers (Cal-Berkley) got things started with a one-out laser off the wall in right-center field for a double. With Beavers at second, RJ Schreck (Duke) was hit by a pitch to put two Kettleers on base. After a strikeout, catcher Ben Rice (Dartmouth) would come to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second. Rice battled his way into a 3-2 count before sneaking a grounder past the Hyannis first baseman for a two-RBI double, making the score 3-0.
The Harbor Hawks got their bats going in the third. Jacobsen walked the leadoff batter and surrendered a hit for the first time all evening. After striking out the next batter, Jacobsen threw two wild pitches to the next Hyannis batter. The second of which resulted in a Harbor Hawks’ run. That would be it for Jacobsen, as Mike Roberts would turn to the bullpen to get out of the inning. Coach Roberts turned to Shawn Rapp (UNC-Chapel Hill) with a runner on third and just one out. The first Hyannis batter that Rapp faced grounded into a fielder’s choice to third, scoring a run to make the score 3-2. Rapp then struck out the next batter to end the inning and limit the Harbor Hawks to just the two runs.
After the Ketts were held silent in the top of the fourth Rapp would come out again for the fourth and get two quick outs. With two outs and nobody on Rapp would surrender a single, throw a wild pitch, and give up another single to allow the Harbor Hawks to tie the game at 3-3. That would bring up Dominic Johnson for Hyannis. Rapp would fall behind Johnson 3-1 before grooving in a fastball that was crushed over the center field fence to make the score 5-3 Hyannis.
The late innings were dominated by the bullpens, as both clubs tossed scoreless fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. For Cotuit, Jake Brooks (UCLA) and Chris Troye (UCSB) were both efficient out of the Ketts pen and flashed some excellent stuff as they quieted the bats of the Harbor Hawks.
After scoring three runs in the first three innings, it wasn’t until the eighth when the Ketts would scratch another run across the board. After a Klassen single and a double by Cole Cummings (UCSB), Beavers lifted a fastball on a 3-2 count that was just deep enough to score Klassen, making the score 5-4.
Alaska Abney (Coastal Carolina) was called upon to keep the Kettleers close in the bottom of the eighth after a leadoff walk. An error put two on with no outs. The sidewinder was then able to retire the next two, making it two outs with the two runners still on base. Then after another walk, the bases were loaded for Hyannis. With the bases juiced and two outs, an Abney fastball got away from Rice and scored two to give the Harbor Hawks a 7-4 lead.
The 7-4 lead would be more than enough, as Hyannis reliever Trey Braitwaite would work a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth to get the save and end the game.
Coach Roberts is ready to move onto tomorrow saying that, “We play 40 games, and we want to win all 40 of them, and unfortunately we just dropped one of them, so we have to play better tomorrow.”
Roberts credited the loss to himself saying, “I just didn’t put the guys in the right positions to win the ball game, that’s on me. I’m a little rusty after two years off but there is still no excuse.”
The Ketts will try to bounce back today at 5:00 PM vs. Bourne at Lowell Park.