By Clara Richards
Hyannis, MA – Usually when the Ketts get off the bus, there might be smiles. There might be some laughter. But today when the Kettleers boarded the yellow schoolbus to make the twenty minute drive to Hyannis, they just looked locked in. When they stepped off at McKeon Field, there was no messing around; instead, the team looked determined. They had two options; win and advance, or go home.
And from the very first at-bat, they showed that they deserved to stay.
After getting peppered with fastballs, Tommy Troy took a 95 mph fastball deep to centerfield for a leadoff triple. He was then brought in by a lofted hit by Carter Trice for the first run of the ballgame. Troy started a rally that arguably never stopped all game. The Ketts snagged at least run for the first five innings, the score 7-0 at the end of the fifth. From an Enrique Bradfield (Vanderbilt) hit from a strange bounce off the infield lip to a Ryan Ignoffo (Eastern Illinois) home run sent flying by the flagpole, the Cotuit bats were unstoppable. Ryan Galanie (Wofford) went three for four with two RBI on the night, slugging .875 on the night. Once again, the team also showed productivity with two outs, scoring four runs in two-out rallies.
On top of the barrel rally, Harrison Cohen (University of Virginia) pitched a lights-out six inning outing, allowing five hits but no runs and striking out five. Cohen and catcher Caleb Lomavita (California) were on the same page all night, Lomavita catching his fourth straight game and still managing to throw a missile to second base to tag out a runner.
“I thought that was the best ball games that I’ve ever seen Harrison Cohen throw,” head coach Mike Roberts reflected. “He set the tone and built; he took the team on his back, and then the offense went after it.”
Reliever Zach Chappell (University of North Florida) allowed the only run for the Harbor Hawks in one inning pitched, and Will Jacobsen (Harvard) struck out three batters swinging in the eighth and closed out in the ninth for a hitless 2.0 innings. The effectiveness of Chappell and Jacobsen also allowed the Ketts to save the arms of reliable relievers like Cam Schuelke (the College of Central Florida) and Ryan Bruno (Stanford) for their next matchup.
Last night, the Ketts struggled to stay competitive at all with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, never once taking a lead. Tonight, Cotuit never relinquished their advantage. Different teammates had different answers about the spark that started this team’s rally.
“It was Harrison, for sure, on the mound,” Ignoffo said. “He went out there and was doing his best stuff. He seems like a leader, and going out there today and shoving he did just proves that.”
Lomavita credited the leadoff hitter with the change of pace. “It was Tommy [Troy]; like come on,” he said. “Once you get a hit as a first batter, it’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna have his number. Everyone is barreling him after that.”
Regardless of who created that spark, the team will look to keep the flame kindling for the all-important Game 3 of the Hyannis series. Both teams come in with one dominant win out of the series, but only one team can advance to the second round of playoffs. The two will face off at 4:00 back at Lowell Park.
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the game
By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
During the regular season, the Ketts held a record of 20-2-2 when scoring first. The one run in the top of the first set the table for Harrison Cohen (University of Virginia). A pitcher-catcher relationship is vital for success on the diamond, and tonight, Harrison and Caleb Lomavita (Cal Berkeley) were locked in.
“I talked to [bullpen coach] Trey Holland on Saturday night … and he said ‘pressure is a privilege.’ I haven’t found myself in many of these situations before, so I really just wanted to make the best of it,” Harrison said.
With Lomavita behind the dish, Cohen has a 2.23 ERA in 16.1 innings. The duo have a record of 3-1 together and have allowed 4 ER in 4 games.
“He and I’ve been here since day one,” Cohen said. “Each start we just get better and better with communicating and with syncing up with each other.”
Seemingly every time Cohen threw a pitch, ball or strike, Lomavita nodded his head up and down as he liked how Harrisons’ pitches were working.
“He just had all this stuff working today, he made it easy for me,” Lomavita said
After Thursday night’s abysmal loss, Ryan Ignoffo (Eastern Michigan) said that this team needed a spark, someone that the team can all rally behind. Tonight, the Ketts backed up third year veteran Harrison Cohen.
The guys rallied around Harrison Cohen, their spark, and blew Hyannis out of the water 9-1. Cohen delivered a nearly perfect performance in what could be his final appearance in a Kettleers uniform.
“My history and being part of Cotuit for the last couple of seasons … it’s just great. It’s hard to describe, but I’m really, really thankful for my experience here and I’m really, really grateful for being able to go out and do this tonight and in a win or go home game.”
From one of the oldest pitchers on the team to one of the youngest, Daniel Brooks (College of Charleston) takes the mound in game 3 Saturday. Brooks has never thrown against the Harbor Hawks and has an ERA of just over three in 9 games this season. Jake Berry (University of Virginia) is on the bump for Hyannis. The 6-foot-10 lefthander has also never seen the Cotuit lineup and has an ERA of 5.87. First pitch is 4 p.m. at Lowell Park.