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Ketts Fall to Harwich in Extra Innings

By: Shane Petagna (The University of Tampa)

HARWICH, Mass. – There are a lot of things the 2023 Cotuit Kettleers do well. A balanced offense that can hit for power and get on base leads the CCBL with a team .732 OPS. On the pitching side, The Ketts are top-of-the-line in strikeouts and ERA as a staff.

However, Cotuit hasn’t yet figured out the inherited runner rule in extra innings as the Kettleers lost 3-2 in 10 innings to the Harwich Mariners at Whitehouse Field on Saturday.

Cole Mathis sets up a pitch Photo by Sarah Boeke (U. Of Michigan)

“I don’t have a regret,” said Cotuit manager Mike Roberts. “I just have to do a better job of preparing them for the 10th inning.”

As the visiting team with the score tied at 2-2 entering extras, Roberts was always going to play for the bunt. Emilien Pitre (Kentucky) stood at second base with no outs as pinch-hitter Brock Wills (UNCW) squared around.

The first pitch was taken inside for a ball. The second fouled back. By then, everyone in the ballpark knew what was going to happen, including Harwich first baseman Matt Scannell (Princeton).

By the third pitch, Scannell had crept up to be even with the pitcher’s mound and pounced on Wills’ bunt dropped in the grass between the rubber and home plate. Pitre was caught dead halfway between second and third base and was later thrown out.

The inning ended for Cotuit on the next batter with James McCoy (Kentucky) and Wills falling victim to a strike-‘em-out, throw-'em-out play that left the Ketts only able to play for a tie in the bottom of the tenth.

Before that, Cotuit had the offense going early and received another standout pitching performance from five arms.

The Ketts got on the board with a Caleb Lomavita (Cal) RBI single in the top of the first inning. After giving up two runs in the bottom half of the frame, Cotuit tied the game with a Ryan Galanie (Wofford) solo home run to left field.

After that, there were a ton of zeros on the board thanks to great pitching. Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida) manned the bulk of innings in relief and turned in his best outing of the season. The 2022 CCBL Reliever of the Year threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings and had his breaking balls working wonders as he struck out six between his submarine slider and overhand curveball. Schuelke allowed one hit and walked one.

“I felt good. It’s nice being healthy again,” Schuelke said.” Being able to repeat my motion is really what I’m working on right now.”

Ryan Galanie goes for a hit Photo by Sarah Boeke (U. Of Michigan)

The entire bullpen performed well, as Cullen McKay (Virginia) was able to work out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh inning with an unassisted double play by Tanner Thach (UNCW). Rafe Schlesinger (Miami) ended the eighth inning with a strikeout and Noah Ruen (Tyler Junior College) finished off the bottom of the ninth.

Ruen stayed out for the tenth inning as Harwich put its own inherited runner in Casey Saucke (Virginia) out at second base to start the frame. One hit would be all the Mariners needed as a Kennedy Jones (UNC Greensboro) bloop single to right field brought home the winning run.

“We go to the weird rules in the 10th inning and you never know what will happen,” said Roberts. “So I congratulate Harwich but I can't do anything but say our pitchers have been really good.”

Cotuit’s record dropped to 13-6 as the Kettleers lost their second extra-innings game and the second game to the Mariners this season. The next contest for the Kettleers comes at home on Sunday in a meeting of first-place teams when the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox travel to Lowell Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.


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