By: Shane Petagna (The University of Tampa)
HYANNIS, Mass. – Arriving at McKeon Park with the chance to secure the 2023 Barnstable Patriot Cup with a win against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Tuesday, the Cotuit Kettleers did not miss.
With a 16-7 win in which eight hitters notched multiple hits, the Kettleers cruised to their 18th win behind the most runs and hits on the season to date. The offensive outpour came after Day 3 of the 2023 MLB Draft, where players on the active roster like Ryan Galanie (Wofford) and Austin Emener (ETSU) heard their names called.
“We pretty much just came in relaxed. We knew everybody was happy in the dugout, people were getting drafted,” said Caleb Lomavita (Cal). “So that's the part that we enjoy about baseball where we see people going to the next level and the vibes were up in the dugout, so that made it pretty easy to hit.”
The good mojo around the field helped propel Cotuit to a blowout win, but Hyannis managed to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Zachary Yorke (Grand Canyon) RBI double.
Cotuit answered in the top of the second when James McCoy (Kentucky) punched a two-strike, two-out RBI single up the middle to tie the game at one. From there, the Kettleers never looked back.
Cotuit took the lead in the top of the fourth inning when an Emilien Pitre (Kentucky) triple led to a run on a McCoy groundout and Carter Mathison (Indiana) followed with an RBI single to right field. Leading 3-1, the Kettleers scored in each of the next three innings to build a comfortable 11-1 lead.
The exclamation points came on a Teo Banks (Tulane) moonshot solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth inning and a four-run seventh inning with RBI hits by Banks, McCoy, Cole Mathis (College of Charleston), and Lomavita.
“My job is player development and player development is getting out and working at it and grinding it out and these guys, I'm thrilled with their grind-it-out mentality,” said manager Mike Roberts. “And to see Teo and James have a really big night, they've been working hard to improve, is wonderful to see.”
On the defensive side, Josh Pyne (Indiana) was a vacuum at the hot corner and Nick Dugan (Stanford) was solid in his Kettleers debut as the starting pitcher. Over three innings, the freshman allowed one earned run on two hits and struck out one batter.
“He's a very mature freshman, but not many freshmen pitch in the College World Series,” said Roberts. “Before 25,000 people in Omaha you learn a lot and so we're very happy that Nick will be one of our starters.”
Cotuit also saw a combined five scoreless innings in relief from Cullen McKay (Virginia) and Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida). McKay tossed two of them while Schuelke manned the rest, striking out four and allowing one hit over three innings pitched.
With the big win, Cotuit started their week-long stretch of baseball on the right note. The Kettleers return home to Lowell Park on Wednesday to face the Harwich Mariners, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.