by Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Bourne, MA — Cotuit wins over 75 percent of the games that they score first in. In their midweek matchup against Bourne, the Ketts brought home the first 4 runs of game number 34. Coach Roberts and his squad never looked back from there as they left Doran Park Wednesday night with a commanding 7-2 victory.
The Ketts were blanked in the first two innings but things started to go their way when Carter Trice (NC State) worked a lead-off walk to jumpstart the top of the third. Coach Roberts turned on the hit-and-run for Eddie Park (Stanford) at the plate, with Trice on first. Park sliced one the other way down the left field line and Truce scored easily with a head start from first — Park advancing to third on the throw. Colby Wilkerson (University of North Carolina) appeared to drive in the second run of the game but the hot shot was snagged by the third baseman of Bourne. The on-base machine Tommy Troy (Stanford) improved his .461 OBP with a walk to put runners on the corners. Making his Cotuit debut, Enrique Bradfield (Vanderbilt) batted for the second time of the game in the top of the third after flying out his first AB. But on a 1-1 count, Bradfield received a changeup which he sent right back up the middle for an RBI single.
“It was middle out, kind of hung a little bit. It was a good pitch and I had seen it in my previous at-bat, and that’s what he actually got me out on so I figured it was coming in a couple of times my next at-bat,” Bradfield recalled.
A C.J. Kayfus (Miami) sacrifice fly moved the runners over to second and third for Josh Pearson (Louisiana State). Pearson continued his hot streak with a 2-RBI double into the gap for run number 4 in the inning. Pearson has reached base in each of his last 6 starts.
The Braves got one back in the bottom of the fourth. A one out walk led to a two out triple by Bourne’s Matt Shaw (University of Maryland) to make it a 4-1 ballgame.
Both the Ketts and the Braves put single tallies on the board in the fourth frame. Back-to-back Ks for Cotuit indicated a quick 1,2,3 round, but Eddie Park pushed his second opposite field knock of the game with a bloop single to left. Park’s basehit was the first of three straight singles for the Ketts. Colby Wilkerson pulled a ball to right and Tommy Troy slapped an RBI single on a 3-1 count to escort Eddie Park from third to home.
The Ketts escaped the bottom of the fourth while only suffering one run in the frame. Ben Johnson’s (Georgia Southern) night reached its end with runners on first and third with one out. The runner from third came home on a fielding error, Will Jacobsen’s (Harvard) first batter faced. Jacobsen limited the bleeding with a groundout to end the fourth and the Ketts still held a 5-2 gap.
Ben Johnson pitched a solid 3.2 innings with 3 hits and 1 earned run. Jacobsen pitched into the fifth before Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida) replaced him. Jacobsen recorded 2 outs and gave up no runs on 2 hits. Schuelke maintains the lowest ERA among Cotuit arms at 0.00, the next best being the right-hander Ben Johnson with 1.47. The submariner Schuelke handled things for the Ketts in the remaining 4.2 innings with no runs allowed on 3 hits and 4 strikeouts.
Cotuit added a 2 run cushion in the top of the sixth in an impressive display of Mike Roberts small ball. A couple of singles from Sam Ruta (Army) and Carter Trice kicked off the inning. Sam Ruta also made his debut on Wednesday night, starting at third and batting in the sixth position of the lineup. Ruta finished up his first Cape league game 2-for-4 with 2 singles and a run scored. Roberts decided to follow up the 2 singles with 2 sacrifice bunts.
“They definitely had some great arms today. I thought I hit pretty today … I got in some good hitter’s counts. And saw at-bats as a real battle which is awesome, trying to foul pitches off hoping [the pitcher] will a mistake,” Ruta said.
Eddie Park’s sac-bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Colby Wilkerson layed down a bunt that bounced equidistant between the plate and the mound. The Braves’ pitcher accepted the one run across and sent the ball over the first for an out but Trice showed no plan of posting up at third base and rounded the bag, darting towards home plate. Trice dashed over the plate standing up as the seventh and final run for the Ketts.
No runs were scored in the final three innings as the Ketts staved off the Braves’ bats. Cotuit improves to 3-2 against its division rival Bourne Braves and will play a final matchup against them at Lowell Park on August 1.
by Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
- In the bottom of the first, the leadoff hitter sent a missile flying into centerfield for the first fair ball of the game. Yet Enrique Bradfield (Vanderbilt), one of the Ketts’ newest members, tracked the ball all the way down to snag it with a diving play, rolling in the grass before procuring the ball in the glove. The athleticism of the play was a reminder of Victor Scott, the Ketts’ early season centerfielder.
Bradfield had flown in early that morning to Boston and went straight to Lowell Park. Hours later, he went one for three with one RBI, walking once. “It’s just gonna take a little bit to get my timing back,” he reflected on his eye at the plate. “It’s a new place and a new environment, so a couple more at bats, and I’ll be very comfortable
It was a Vanderbilt reunion at the Bourne Field for Bradfield, who spent the first portion of his summer playing for Team USA. Pitcher Bryce Cunningham pitched 3.2 innings against Cotuit, and he made his way over to the ketts’ dugout postgame to reconnect with his former teammate.
“See our guys out on the Cape and playing them out here, [we get] some good experience and good work during the offseason. So I’m happy that Bryce and I are catching and pitching each other—they’re doing great, and I’m just proud of them,” he said.
- Two days ago, Sam Ruta (West Point) was finishing up military training at West Point, where he’ll be a rising junior. There, he balanced baseball with a litany of other duties; every single BP that he took over the summer was always done on top of his daily schedule. When the work was done around 5 p.m., he’d go and hit in the field with his teammates.
But then his phone rang with a call from Coach Roberts. After getting the call up to the Cape League, Ruta made the drive from New York. He arrived in the afternoon, just in time to get his uniform to be able to start in the Ketts’ matchup against the Bourne Braves.
The lefty bat went two for four in his first game for the Ketts, and he played the entire game at third base. He faced hitters counts and made the most of them, and the fielding from the infield was an integral part of keeping the Braves at 2 runs.
This is Ruta’s first time in summer ball, and after leaving a team with a huge community culture at West Point, he’s excited to get settled with his new squad.
“It was an incredible honor being invited to the Cape,” he said. “A big thank-you to my coaches up at West Point who hooked me up with this, but this is an incredible honor and I’ve played against some incredible players so far.”