By: James Middleton | West Chester University
Cotuit, MA — It was another night of ninth-inning drama in the game tonight between the Ketts and Wareham Gatemen. With two outs and the tying run at the plate, Coach Roberts called upon Cullen McKay (Virginia) to get the last out. The freshman, making his first Cape League appearance, struck the batter out on four pitches to get the save as the Ketts won 6-3.
“I’ve never seen him pitch, but it’s one of those things, as Coach Shreiner reminded me, you never leave a fresh arm in the bullpen. He threw to one hitter, but he threw it really well,” said Roberts on McKay’s save.
Jake Gigliotti (Northeastern) was on the mound tonight, picking up his third summer start. The right-hander was lights out through four, striking out seven, letting up one hit and one run in his appearance.
“My third time out here, I’m starting to get more and more comfortable, not really caught up in the lights now, just trying to shove and grind as much as I can. Since this third start now, I think it just keeps rolling,” said Gigliotti on his start.
At the plate tonight, it was the story of free bases, as the Gatemen staff walked eleven batters as a whole. Four free passes happened in the first inning, and two of those came around to score, giving the Ketts an early 2-1 lead that they never relinquished.
“You have to take when you get free passes; you hope you can capitalize. It’s tough to win ball games when either side walks too many people. We have a motto here of less than two walks and no error, and we think we’re going to win every game,” said Roberts on capitalizing on the free bases.
The Kettleer bats were quiet in the second and third, but a leadoff walk to Emilien Pitre (Kentucky), single by Josh Pyne (Indiana), and walk to Carter Mathison (Indiana) loaded the bases in the fourth. On the next batter, there was a controversial double-play call where the Ketts scored two runs but were called back due to interference. This brought Kalae Harrison (NC State) to the plate, and he beat out a ball to the shortstop to bring the tally to 3-1 in favor of the Ketts. Harrison came up big again in the sixth when a single to right scored Mathison, his second RBI of the night.
“I’m just trying to do the best I can in the box and compete on every pitch and do what I can to help the team,” Harrison said.
After Gigliotti, a trio of Kettleer arms picked up right where he left off. Bryce Jenkins (Tennessee) was first out of the pen, striking out two in an inning and a third. The southpaw from Miami, Rafe Schlesinger, was next and came in and punched out three hitters. Then it was another lefty, Izaak Martinez (UC San Diego), who struck out three giving up one before being pulled in the ninth.
“Schlesinger competes, I love him on the mound, and we’ve already learned in two outings that Martinez is a great competitor, and he’s going to throw strikes and give you a chance to win,” Roberts said.
Cotuit put the game out of reach in the eighth after Mathison and Harrison both reached by a walk. With two outs, Ryan Galanie (Wofford) hit a routine fly ball to right, but the Wareham outfielder lost it in the sky, allowing both runners to score.
The Ketts will travel to face the Harwich Mariners on Saturday night. Harwich sits at 10-7 on the year, holding second place in the east division. Cotuit will ride a four-game win streak as they head over to Whitehouse Field tomorrow night. This will be the first time the teams have faced off since the middle of June, when the Mariners took home a 9-4 win at Lowell Park.