Cotuit, MA- A leadoff blast was just a foreshadowing of the offensive outburst to come from the Cotuit Kettleers in an 8-3 win over the Chatham Anglers on Wednesday night. Nine of ten Kettleers to step in the box collected a hit on the evening. After a lackluster offensive performance the night before, coach Mike Roberts was pleased with his hitters. On the offensive approach, Roberts said, “It was really good. Chatham threw some really good arms out there. I thought our offensive approach was excellent. It’s a credit to our hitters.”
Moments that mattered:
Kettleers start fast
After a loss yesterday, the Kettleers made a statement in the first inning. Shawn Rapp (North Carolina) began his first start of the year with three straight strikeouts. The first two hitters both went down looking on breaking balls.
After relieving for most of the spring at UNC and coming out of the pen in his first two appearances as a Kettleer, Rapp wanted to bring a reliever’s intensity to the mound from the first pitch. “I was just trying to keep the same intensity and mentality as coming out of the pen. I was just trying to attack hitters and not trying to focus on going a ton of innings,” said Rapp.
Cole Cummings (UC Santa Barbara) led off the bottom half with his first home run of the season. Cummings crushed the fourth pitch out of Bryce Osmond’s hand well out over the right field fence.
With Cummings being draft eligible and the draft a few days away, today was his last day as a Kettleer. The third baseman was ecstatic that he ended his time in Cotuit on a high note. “It was kind of my farewell tour, and I was really glad to get on the board. I’ve been trying to get there and been seeing my teammates drop bombs, so it felt really good to see that ball fly over the fence.”
Baldwin comes up clutch on both sides of the ball
The Kettleers sustained their 1-0 lead going into the top of the third. An infield single and a passed ball put a runner in scoring position with two outs for Chatham. Lyle Miller-Green ripped a line drive single into left field that looked like a game-tying single, but Brooks Baldwin (UNC Wilmington) had other plans. Baldwin unleashed a dart right to Matt Donlan’s (UConn) chest. After deking the runner, Donlan applied the tag for out #3.
The outfield assist capped off three scoreless innings for Rapp. Rapp said, “Brooks is unbelievable. I said to Brooks, if that didn’t get a bad hop or he didn’t bobble it, I knew he was going to throw that runner out because he has a cannon.”
Baldwin kept the momentum on Cotuit’s side in the bottom half. A Luke Gold (Boston College) single put one man on with two outs. The left-handed hitter shot a double into the left-center gap to score Gold from first and stretch the Kettleers’ lead to three.
Baldwin slapped a pair of hits to the opposite field tonight after perfecting the opposite field approach prior to the game. Balwin said, “I’ve been getting away from the opposite field a little bit recently. During batting practice, I tried to stay on the backside of the field. I ended up with two backside hits in the game, so I feel like my work is starting to pay off a bit.”
Kettleers put Anglers away with five-run fifth
The Anglers clawed their way back into the game over the fourth and fifth innings. A pair of two-out, RBI singles tied the game at three going into the bottom of the fifth. The Cotuit lineup had a quick response. Nathan Martorella (California) ripped a double into the right-center gap to put Cotuit back up by one. After coming off the bench in the prior inning as a defensive replacement, Andy Garriola (Old Dominion) provided the big hit for Mike Roberts’ squad. With the bases loaded, Garriola smoked a line drive into the left-center gap to clear the bases and extend the lead to four as RJ Schreck (Duke) made it across home from first base.
Garriola was looking for one certain pitch and capitalized on it. The Old Dominion product said, “I knew he was probably going to try to get ahead in the count. I knew he was a big fastball throwing guy, so I just tried to gear up for it and see it in the strike zone. It was an amazing feeling. I have to give credit to Schreck for getting from first to home and give him a big hug later.”
Donlan capped the inning with an RBI-single, his first hit of the season, to extend the lead to five. Harrison Cohen (George Washington) wouldn’t let the Anglers back into the game after entering in the sixth. Cohen closed the game with two scoreless innings.
Rapp: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 R
Baldwin: 2-4, 2B, 1 RBI, SB
Martorella: 2-4, 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
Schreck: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
Eric Brown (Coastal Carolina): 1-3, 2 R, SB
Cohen: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 R
UP NEXT: The Kettleers will have tomorrow off. Cotuit will return to action on Friday back at Lowell Park. The Harwich Mariners will travel to face the Kettleers for the second time this season. The Mariners defeated the Kettleers in their first matchup.