by Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
Wareham, MA — Shortstop Ryan Ritter (Kentucky) hadn’t had a hit in five games when he stepped up to the plate. He drove up the count to 3-2 before taking a massive long swing to hit a two-run homer to the longest point of the park. In the past week, Ritter has been working hard in the mornings on his swing. His focus has been trying to keep his weight on his back food and spin from there. His 2-RBI hit to centerfield was a validation of his drive to improve; ultimately, Ritter’s putting work in for the long run.
“I want to play this game for a long time, so you have to keep going,” the shortstop said. “I felt good before, so I knew I could feel good again, so I just kept working.
Ritter drove in the first two hits in a 4-4 tie against Wareham. The Ketts got on the board early and then put another pair of runs on the board in the sixth inning. Carter Trice (NC State) hit a soft rolling single to the infield, and a double from Zach Cole (Ball State) brought him in to score. Cole also crossed home plate thanks to 6-3 effort from Kyle Karros (UCLA).
The first retaliation run was a hard-hit homer off of a hanging breaking ball off of Tyler Bosma (Kentucky) in the third, but in the later innings, it was really the small ball that hurt the Kettleers. They registered four errors, and third baseman and former Kett Graham Pauley advanced and then scored off of two errors in the third inning to add another run. The Mariners posted two more at the bottom of the seventh, tying the ballgame for the final time.
The Kettleers have struggled against this Harwich team, especially with their fielding. Over the course of this season, the Ketts average one error a game yet average 3.5 errors per every Mariners matchup. Coach Roberts pointed to the baserunning as another area of focus for this club going forward. Two Ketts were caught stealing tonight, and Tommy Troy (Stanford) was tagged at first base for the third out in the seventh.
Tyler Bosma (Kentucky) took the mound in his last appearance for the Ketts, pitching 5 innings and allowing two hits. His velocity isn’t the highest of all the arms on the Kettleers pitching staff, but his changeup gave him a lot of airy swings from Harwich. “Being able to land a changeup was important,” Bosma reflected. “You’re able to keep hitters off balance, and that changeup is a relatively new pitch for me.” His time with the Ketts has taken a few more miles off of his off-speed pitch, a result of a grip adjustment.
The last four innings were a combination of four arms. Mark McLoughlin (Tennessee) and Ben Johnson (Georgia Southern) pitched a combined sixth inning, the former walking two, but Johnson secured the third out. Jackson Kelley (Mercer) pitched two innings followed by another TJ Brock (Ohio State) closing appearance, who secured three final forced outs.
Going forward, the Ketts play a 5:00 p.m. home matchup against Hyannis. The Ketts’ last matchup against the team was an away matchup, where the Ketts took a 7-2 victory with Kate Morris and Isaiah Coupet on the mound.
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the game
By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Cotuit earns its third tie of the year and now has more ties than losses with a record of 13-2-3. After failing to take the lead in the top of the ninth, the Ketts could still clinch one point by shutting down the Mariners in the bottom of the frame.
- T.J. Brock (Ohio State) cut down the Mariners’ in order to keep the game knotted at four. Before Brock, it was Jackson Kelley (Mercer), Ben Johnson (Georgia Southern) and Mark McLaughlin (University of Tennessee). Jackson pitched in the seventh and eighth, striking out two and giving up two unearned runs on three hits. Ben Johnson faced one batter when he relieved Mark McLaughlin who got two outs in the sixth, walking two batters. Tyler Bosma (University of Kentucky) made the start and pitched five innings, two more than his previous start. Bosma gave up two runs on five hits. “My changeup was my favorite pitch coming in, it’s still my favorite pitch,” Bosma said, ”but I think [coach Roberts] improved that pitch, helping me take some miles per hour off.”
- Ryan Ritter (University of Kentucky) batted in the eighth spot on Friday night and led the way for the Ketts’ offense. He smashed his third homer of the summer, a 2-run bomb, to tie team leader Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina) and also move into a tie for third in the CCBL. His homer came in at-bat number one on the night in the second inning — the second AB was a ripped double, his second extra-base hit of the game. Ritter’s luck did not extend past two at-bats as he flew out and grounded out in the sixth and in the ninth. It was Ritter’s first hit in five games but he stayed poised during his slump. “I have a good support system; they keep me upbeat,” he said. “I want to have a fun day no matter what happens, and I believe that translated to the game today.
- Out of Stanford, Eddie Park made his first start out in right field but only reached on a walk in four at-bats. After being the walk-off hero on Thursday night, Tommy Troy (Stanford) went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Both Carter Trice (NC State) and Zach Cole (Ball State) recorded a hit and a run scored.
- In the field, Cotuit committed four total errors. From failed pickoffs, to bobbled grounders, the Ketts made some costly mistakes that allowed the Mariners to match Cotuit’s score.