Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
Cotuit, MA — Today, eleven total runs were scored from five homers in a high-slugging game for both the Cotuit Kettleers and the Bourne Braves.
The Kettleers’ pitching staff ran into issues early in the game. On the fourth pitch of Christian Little (LSU)’s night, Matt Shaw hit a dominant shot into the trees, and the issues only continued from there. A sac fly combined with a second homer in the third inning brought the Ketts to a five-run deficit, Little adding traffic to the basepaths with a walk and hit-by-pitch in the inning.
Initially, the Ketts were able to keep up thanks to the slugging power of Tommy Troy. Troy hit two home runs in the third and fifth inning, ultimately going 3 for 5 on the night with 6 RBI. His two hard-hit balls sailed for 385 and 418 feet respectively. Baldwin hit a double and scored the tying run from Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina)’s single to close out the fifth inning.
Troy said today, a focus on short-term memory worked well for him. He didn’t have the best BP, but he stepped up to the plate with confidence. Knowing he was hitting against a pitcher who pushed the velocity, he didn’t think about speeding up his swing; instead, he wanted to stay loose and let his hands do the work.
“Right now, I feel like I was right in momentum,” Troy said. “I feel super comfortable in the box, just trying to stay on time for the fastball and work backward in the count from there.”
“We need more guys to balance out [Troy’s consistency] from both the right and the left side of the plate,” said head coach Mike Roberts. “Tommy’s been very consistent, and I think he’ll stay that way because he has a short, compact swing. We need a bit more of a group effort offensively.”
But after Bourne took the lead for the second time, they never relinquished it. Will Jacobsen (Harvard) pitched a clean 2.0 innings, but Max Meier (Stanford) took the mound and gave up three hits on three pitches for a total of four runs scored in the sixth. Then, a three-run homer in the seventh pushed the Braves into a 7 run lead. Although the Ketts attempted to push a resurgence, scoring two in the ninth off of two singles from Caleb Lomavita (California) and Troy, the comeback attempt ended there for the Ketts, and they surrendered 12-7 to the Braves.
Overall, the Ketts pitching struggled to throw strikes, and they paid for it. They gave up seven runs on three homers that sailed into the trees. They continued to put themselves in high-pressure situations, walking 5 batters and increasing traffic on the bases, and then they struggled to shut down a threatening offense.
“After we came back from a 5-0 deficit to tie it up, we lost [momentum] in the sixth inning when we struggled to throw strikes, and obviously put the ball in the wrong place,” Roberts said in a postgame interview with sideline reporter Jenna Meyer. “But I was real pleased with the comeback; that’s not easy to do with wood. You had two really good teams, but they did a really great job, and they hit the long ball today, and that hurt us the most.”
They return for Game 2 of the homestand, a matchup against Wareham at 5:00 p.m., in hunt of a win that’s been eluding them since July 2.
By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
The Cotuit Kettleers have not won a baseball game since July 2 — their longest winless drought all season. Ever since its 3-1 victory over Hyannis, Cotuit lost to Falmouth 5-0 and 10-7, followed by a 1-1 tie with Brewster and a 12-7 loss to Bourne. Having won 14 contests on the year, the Ketts have never reached the 10-run mark in a single one of them. But they have now allowed double-digit tallies in two of their last three matchups.
- On the third pitch of the game, Christian Little (LSU) floated a fastball high in the zone that nearly grazed the yellow of the top of the right-center field wall but was nonetheless a solo home run. Little struggled in his three innings of work with 5 ER allowed on 5 hits and two walks. He gave up four extra base bits and suffered through the abysmal 4-run top of the fourth.
- Five relievers split up the final eighteen outs with Will Jacobsen (Harvard) receiving the first call. While Jacobsen pitched two shutout innings, he continued to let runners on base. With two outs in the top of the fifth, he walked and hit a batter, and coach Roberts elected to intentionally walk the next runner to load the bases. But on a wild pitch, reminiscent of Max Gieg’s (Boston College) wildly thrown ball at the end of Wednesday night’s game, Jacobsen spiked a fastball that got away from new catcher Jimmy Obertop (Michigan). Obertop was able to scramble to the baseball and fire a strike to Jacobsen to rage the runner out and to end the half-inning. Carson Swilling (Auburn) and Max Meier (Stanford) split up the sixth frame, another 4-run inning for Bourne. Swilling made one out and gave up two straight singles and a walk in four batters faced. While Meier gave up a bases loaded ground-rule double, he was only responsible for one run in 0.2 IP. Cameron Wagoner (Eastern Michigan) rounded out the final three innings, including a 3-run seventh. Bourne strung together a pair of base runners with two outs, leading to a 3-run homer to elevate the Braves’ number to 12. Wagoner struck out 6 and gave up 2 hits during his outing.
- Matt Shaw (Maryland College) had a solo shot in the first and the 3-run bomb in the seventh. He tallied up four hits in five at-bats with 2 home runs and 2 doubles and 6 RBIs.
- Shaw wasn’t the only player to launch a pair of blasts in game twenty-three. Tommy Troy (Stanford) flew out to right in his first AB and had his second go-around at the plate in the bottom of the third. Victor Scott (West Virginia) walked and eventually scored on Troy’s 385-foot homer to left-center. Then in the fifth, Troy scorched one even further — over the scoreboard a little bit left of the first one: 418 feet and his second 2-run knock of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, when the Ketts had a steep 7-run deficit to climb, ‘The Double T’ matched Matt Shaw’s 6 RBIs with a 2-run single, making it a 12-7 game. The only other RBI on the Cotuit side came from Tyler Johnson’s (Coastal Carolina) RBI single in the fifth. ”I feel super comfortable in the box and [I am] just trying to stay on time for the fastball and work from there,” Troy said.
- Jimmy Obertop made his first start behind the plate for Cotuit, receiving balls for the first four innings. Although the pitchers were not sharp all game long, Obertop is still optimistic about the team moving forward. “It could have been better, but it’s all good,” he said, “I’m just learning these new guys and what they like [and] we’ll get the rhythm going.” Calvin Harris (Ole Miss) also made his first appearance in a Cotuit uniform after winning a national championship with the Rebels. He replaced Kade Kern (Ohio State) at the plate in the sixth but went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Brooks Baldwin (UNC Wilmington) once again proved his versatility while making the start at shortstop Thursday. Baldwin fielded every ball cleanly including a fly ball on the first pitch of the game.
During the pregame ceremony, Will Jacobsen conducted a cap exchange with Barnstable police officer Nolan O’Melina. Tomorrow’s cap exchange will involve Steven Xiarhos, a Gold Star Father and former Deputy Chief of Yarmouth Police, just before the 5 p.m. game against Wareham.