Cotuit, MA- “We don’t give up at-bats. Everybody’s going up fighting,” said Jace Grady (Dallas Baptist) after the Cotuit Kettleers scored 10 unanswered runs en route to a 10-5 win over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox on Tuesday evening. Cotuit produced sixteen hits as eight of nine starters produced a hit. The Kettleers bullpen combined for eight scoreless innings while the offense produced double-digit runs for the fourth time in the last six games.
Moments that mattered:
YD and Cotuit trade early five-run frames
The Red Sox jumped on the Kettleers right away. After the first three batters reached base, Kody Huff opened the scoring with a grand slam over the left field fence. An error on the pitcher added a fifth first inning run for the Sox. Despite the big hole and with a playoff spot already secured, the Kettleers’ offense wouldn’t go quietly.
Cotuit went down in order in the first but took advantage of free bases to get kick started in the second inning. Eric Brown Jr. (Coastal Carolina) made it to third with no outs after a walk, balk, and stolen base. Brett Roberts (Florida State) scored Brown on an RBI-groundout and reached base on an error. Nathan Martorella (California) settled for an RBI-double on a line drive off the top of the fence. Matt Suggs (UNC Wilmington) brought home Martorella on a RBI-single through the left side. Carter Trice (Old Dominion) cut the deficit to one with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Ritter (Kentucky) capped the inning with an RBI infield single, which extended his hit streak to 11 games and tied the game at five.
Head coach Mike Roberts credited the players’ joy of the game for their ability to respond to tough situations. He said, “They love to play. They’re field rats. They just really enjoy to play the game and they kind’ve play it like it’s in the backyard with a wiffle ball.”
Ciminiello impresses in debut, Cotuit takes lead in fourth
Michael Ciminiello (Seton Hall) made his Cotuit debut as he took the mound in the second inning. Ciminiello helped Cotuit get back in the game as he calmed the YD offense. In the second, the southpaw stranded two men on base with a strikeout. He induced a fly-out in the third to strand the bases loaded. Ciminiello’s day ended with one out in the fourth as a single put two men on base. Trevor Kuncl (George Washington) stranded both runners with a groundout and a pop out.
Roberts was impressed with Ciminiello’s debut, “I liked him. I like his athleticism. He hadn’t really thrown this spring. I thought he did extremely well and he was huge in keeping us in the ball game.”
Trice got the Kettleers’ offense back in gear with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth. A double-steal brought Trice across the plate on an errant throw from the Yarmouth catcher. Roberts brought in his second run with a two-out single up the middle. The single extended Roberts’ hitting streak to five games. He’s also driven in multiple runs in three of the last four games.
After another big two-out hit, the Florida State product said, “I live for those moments. I try to get a barrel on anything with runners in scoring position and try to get it deep enough in the outfield for a runner to score.”
Cotuit plates three in the seventh to put Red Sox away
Logan Maitland (UMass Dartmouth) kept the Kettleers up two with 2.2 scoreless innings after toeing the rubber in the fifth inning. Maitland’s scoreless innings streak is up to 12 after another strong appearance out of the pen. Zach Fruit (Eastern Michigan) stranded two men on base as he struck out the only batter he faced in the seventh inning.
The Kettleers’ offense came back to life in the seventh with their third crooked number. Martorella and Suggs opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Jace Grady (Dallas Baptist) loaded the bases with one out on his third hit. Grady has five straight multi-hit games and an eight-game hitting streak. “I’m confident for sure. I’m locked in. When I step in the box, I’ve got a plan and it’s working for me right now,” said Grady.
A groundout pushed the lead to three before Ritter drove in his second run with an RBI-single. Brown capped the inning with an RBI-double down the left field line to extend the lead to five.
Grady: 3-6, R, RBI
Martorella: 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI
Trice: 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B
Ciminiello: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 0 R
Brown: 2-3, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB
Maitland: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R
Donlan: 2-4, R
Up next: The Kettleers will complete a home-and-home with the Red Sox as they travel to Red Wilson Field on Wednesday. It will be the last game of the regular season. First pitch will be at 4:30 PM from Yarmouth-Dennis.