By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Brewster, MA — The starter for Brewster Friday night, Jackson Nezuh (Florida State), threw eight straight balls to kick off the game. Five Kettleers reached base before a two-out single from C.J. Kayfus (Miami). Both Tommy Troy (Stanford) and Carter Trice (NC State) were hit by the pitch and the first two Ketts quickly grabbed two bags. Coach Mike Roberts decided to be aggressive early on and turned the steal sign on for Tommy Troy. After Troy successfully snatched his third stolen base of the year, Eddie Park (Stanford) batted him in on a ground ball to shortstop. Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina) then reached on an error in center field, and Caleb Lomavita (Cal Berkeley) got to first on a fielder’s choice. It seemed as though the first would carry on until C.J. Kayfus was picked off with two runners on base.
The Ketts grabbed two more runs in the top of the second, kicking off the frame with Josh Pearson’s (LSU) walk. Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston) swapped places with Pearson on his groundout that Brewster couldn’t turn two on. Up next was the nine-hole hitter Colby Wilkerson (North Carolina) singled over the first baseman’s head. Tommy Troy (Stanford) continued his hit and RBI streak to three games as he batted in Trotter Harlan with a bullet down the first base line.
Trotter Harlan was 3-for-12 on the season entering game 30 against Brewster. The three singles came in his first three games on the Cape and Cotuit’s new third baseman got on base once over the next three contests. In the top of the fourth inning, Harlan came up to bat having not had a hit in five ABs. But before the first bid from the pitcher, there was a stoppage of play. A duck had wandered onto the field about halfway between home plate and third. Despite persistently steering the bird into foul territory, it still waddled around the shallow left field grass. The umpires agreed that the chances of anything fowl happening to the duck are low so play carried on. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Trotter Harlan turned on a belt-high fastball and tucked it right by the left field foul pole.
“I’ve been trying to get my timing back down because I was off for about three weeks before I came up here, so I was just working on getting my timing back,” Trotter said.
Harlan’s homer gave Cotuit a 5-0 lead, and going into the night, the Ketts were 13-1-2 when scoring the first runs of the game. Starting pitching was once again a strong point for Cotuit. Harrison Cohen (University of Virginia) pitched into the fifth having not allowed a single hit through the first four frames. His no-hit streak ended against the lead-off batter in the bottom of the fifth who smacked one off the fence in center for a standup triple.
“I felt good in the first inning, results were good and then I feel like it kind of unraveled a little bit in terms of my command from there,” Cohen said. “While I felt a little bit off … not giving up a hit in the first inning shows that [throwing strikes] was working. I have a defense behind me that I can trust and that’s really important for anybody.”
That runner wound up crossing the plate as an earned run to Cohen who was taken out directly after the triple. Michael Portella (Norfolk State) faced two batters in his first appearance, giving up two singles. Zach Chappell (North Florida) relieved Portella and slammed the door with two strikeouts and a groundout to end the fifth. Chappell stayed in for the sixth when the White Caps manufactured a two out flurry of base runners with a double, an RBI single and a walk. That’s when Mike Roberts called on Cam Schuelke (Northwood University) to make his third appearance in as many days. The submariner was lights-out in 1.1 — no hits and two Ks. Although there was a discussion involving the coaches and umpires, the game was called after seven innings, giving Cotuit an early 5-2 win.
The Ketts are now 3-0-1 against the White Caps this season. They square off against Harwich for a 5:30 p.m. game on Saturday, July 16.
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the Game
by Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
- The national anthem played extra early at Stoney Brook Elementry as 27 new citizens stood around the infield of the ballpark. The Brewster Whitecaps hosted the first naturalization ceremony ever held in conjunction with Cape Cod League baseball. The event, coordinated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service office, was a touching ceremony that was held in conjunction with Red Shirt Friday. Families filled the stands at 4:00, and the entire ceremony wrapped up well before first pitch in a unique collaboration between the Cape’s baseball community and the newest American citizens sworn in by the naturalization oath.
In the top of the fourth, the entire game paused to gawk at a duck wandering through left field. It took a meandering line along the foul line before beelining to head coach Mike Roberts. Yet even while the onlookers’ attention may have been fixated on the duck, Trotter Harlan (Charleston) was locked in. He took a big swing to sling a ball over the duck’s head through left field, a shot that hooked just fair of the left field foul pole.
“It kind of took the pressure off of me, because most of the focus was on the duck, so it allowed me to be more free and just relax,” Harlan said.
Some would say that Harlan was due—he hadn’t landed a hit in five at-bats and hadn’t gotten an extra base hit in his time in Cotuit. Still, other onlookers credited the lucky mallard, who flew through the infield just like the long ball that landed in the trees.