By Shane Petagna (The University of Tampa)
COTUIT, Mass. - All three of the Cotuit Kettleers’ wins to start the 2023 season were characterized by excellent pitching and sound defense. The latter went by the wayside in a 6-2 loss against the Brewster Whitecaps on Wednesday at Lowell Park.
Cotuit made just one error entering the night but committed three in the first two innings. One of those led to a run as Jay Harry (Penn State) couldn’t convert a 4-4-3 double play attempt that allowed Brewster’s Trevor Austin (Missouri) to score after leading off the top of the second inning with a double.
The one unearned run was the only blemish on the stat line of Ketts starter Paulshawn Pasqualotto (Cal), who went four innings and allowed three hits and three walks. Pasqualotto, celebrating his 22nd birthday on Wednesday, received the gift of having his college roommate and 2022 CCBL All-Star Caleb Lomavita (Cal) behind the dish.
“I caught him all season and he's been great all season. I love catching him. His command is great and he has great stuff,” said Lomavita.
Pasqualotto’s pitch mix included a fastball that topped out at 97 miles per hour, which was complimented by an effective changeup that froze two Brewster batters for strikeouts in the outing.
The Kettleers gave their starter some run support in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a two-out rally. An Irvin Weems III (San Diego State) walk and Harry double placed a pair of ducks on the pond for Ryan Galanie (Wofford). He delivered with a two-RBI single past the glove of the Brewster first baseman to give Cotuit a 2-1 lead.
The Ketts maintained the lead into the seventh inning as Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida), the first reliever out of the bullpen for Cotuit, went back to the mound for his third inning of work. Up to that point, the 2022 CCBL Reliever of the Year appeared to have returned to form after failing to record an out in the season opener against Yarmouth-Dennis.
However, a pair of singles and walk loaded the bases for Brewster with no outs, forcing Cotuit to opt for Ben Grable (Northwestern) to try and get out of a severe pinch. Grable struck out the first batter he faced, but Brewster tied it up on an infield single by Jaime Ferrer (Florida State).
From there, Cotuit opened the floodgates for the Whitecaps when Austin cracked his second extra-base hit of the night to put Brewster up 4-2. Brewster added two more runs by the end of the frame on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.
Joey DeChiaro (Old Dominion) and Josh Timmerman (Ohio State) combined to shut down the Kettleers bats in the bottom of the seventh, the last official inning of the game. Three batters into the top of the eighth, lightning was sighted which caused the battle between first-place teams to end prematurely.
Cotuit hosts the Chatham Anglers on Thursday, the lone game on the CCBL slate. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.