By Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
Cotuit, MA — On Monday, the Kettleers clinched their playoff spot in a powerful 12-4 victory. The win against Yarmouth-Dennis was the highest scoring contest of the summer for Cotuit and gave them their twentieth win of the season.
The teams stayed competitive for the first three innings, YD scoring first in the second inning off of a wild pitch. Carson Swilling (Auburn) pitched the first two frames, allowing two hits and two earned runs in his first start on the Cape. But Cotuit never allowed them to grab much of a lead, putting their leadoff hitter on second base after a single and an error. After loading the bases, the fourth at-bat Eddie Park (Stanford) walked Carter Trice (NC State) home, and a sac fly to center field brought home a second run in the second to put the Ketts in a one run lead.
The Red Sox offense remained consistent, scoring one run in both the top of the third and fourth, the
former off of Zach Chappell (University of Central Florida). Cole McNamee (Georgia Tech) pitched the next two frames, allowing one hit and striking out three.
McNamee was credited with the win in the senior’s second outing for the Ketts. It was a marked improvement from his debut, where he allowed two earned runs in one inning pitched. He settled in and trusted his pitches, and he saw the results on the field. “I worked backwards out there, just being able to land breaking balls and off-speed pitches for a strikes was huge to keep the hitters off balance,” he said. “Luckily, the defense behind me was making some good plays.”
In the bottom of the fourth, the Ketts broke the game completely open. With a runner on-base, batter Caleb Lomativa (California) stayed patient at the plate, fouling off three on a 2-1 count. But he got the pitch that he wanted and sent a pitch soaring into right center. Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina), who dashed around the diamond from first base, made it home on a throwing error.
The right fielder’s throwing error brought in the tying run for the Ketts, and from there, the damage just continued against the top-ranked team in the east division. A speedy first base sprint from Enrique Bradfield (Vanderbilt) put pressure on the defense. Lomavita sprinted home, and then, seeing the throwing error at first, he beckoned to his teammate rounding third. Park dashed down the line to bring home the fifth run of the game. Tommy Troy (Stanford) knocked a missile down the line and then brought in final run of the inning, scoring off of a single from CJ Kayfus (Miami). Kayfus was narrowly tagged, having taken one step too far off the bag, to close out the inning.
The Ketts’ trend of scoring leadoff hitters extended in the fifth, Trice reaching with a double. With Park at first and two outs, Trotter Harlan (Charleston) nuked a ball out to the scoreboard to land right in between the left and out fielders, allowing both runners to score. It brought the Ketts to nine runs, Bradfield making the score double digits in the sixth from a sac fly from Trice that floated up to the shortstop and brought him home from third base.
Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida), one of the Ketts’ most dependable arms out of the bullpen, took the last 2.0 innings, allowing only one retaliation run. Schuelke threw 41 pitches, 25 of them for strikes.
Despite making three defensive substitutions in the seventh, the Red Sox couldn’t stem the tide of Ketts. Two final insurance runs crossed in the seventh from a two-out single from Tommy Troy. Troy bolted towards second and was thrown out, but not before Lomavita and Harlan scored to add two more runs to the Ketts’ stockpile.
This is the team’s first time with double digits runs scored, and it was within the confines of a shortened seven-inning game. Five out of seven leadoff hitters reached base, and Trotter Harlan had a particularly good night at the plate, with three RBIs. The Ketts had four players go three for two.
“We definitely swung the bat better,” said head coach Mike Roberts. “They helped us some with their defense, without a doubt, but I was pleased after a couple days off that the guys seemed to be a little bit refreshed and ready to play.”
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the game
By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Every single player in the starting lineup reached the base paths for Cotuit on Monday night’s matchup with the Red Sox. After the Ketts were shut down in the first inning, at least one runner got on base in the following six frames.
Five Cotuit batters had multi-hit performances, one of those being Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston). Harlan had 4 RBIs in 27 plate appearances entering game 37, but other than one strikeout in the fourth, the right handed batter barreled up three balls into the gaps. His first ball soared into the glove of a parallel Homer Bush Jr. (Grand Canyon) who laid out to snatch what would be an extra base hit in highlight reel fashion. That’s when Harlan grabbed his first RBI of the game when Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina) scored on the sacrifice fly. This was the first of four two-strike counts that Harlan battled through this evening.
“I tried to work the pitchers count a little bit, get his pitch count up, see if we can drag him out of there early. But I felt very comfortable tonight with two strikes and felt like I was going to put the bat on the ball,” Harlan said.
In his at-bats in the fifth and seventh, he drove in two on another ball that landed inside the park, just in front of the scoreboard along with a one-run double down the first base line. Batting in the eighth spot and starting at second base, Harlan finished up his night 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
“I had a lot of runners on this when I came up tonight so I just wanted to drive them in and get some RBIs for the team,” Harlan said.
For the second time this season, Cole McNamee (Georgia Tech), pitched for the Ketts. His first appearance was against Falmouth on July 17 when he allowed 2 earned runs in the first inning before being replaced after recording just 3 outs. Tonight, McNamee threw during the fourth, fifth and walked his only batter faced in the sixth. That runner would eventually come around to score Y-D’s fourth run, an unearned tally for McNamee. McNamee allowed just one hit during his two frames of work and was credited with the win. “Coach Roberts has been pushing me to develop my changeup so I’ve been doing that and it’s been good,” McNamee said, “I felt like my command was good and maybe my stuff wasn’t as good but any day you get chance to help your team when is a good day.”