By: Jimmy Middleton (West Chester University)
Orleans, MA — With runners on first and second, Rodney Green JR. (California) stepped up to the plate and launched the first pitch over the right field wall to give the Kettleers a four-run lead over Orleans. The home run would break the game open as Cotuit won 6-1.
“I mean, with Coach getting tossed, that’s got to spark something. I thought I was going to see a first-pitch fastball, and he throws a fastball, and I’m trying to hammer it,” said Rodney Green JR. on his homer.
Tanner Thach (UNC-Wilmington) started off the home run parade with a solo home run in the second. The left-hander put another one over the right-field wall in the seventh inning. His first solo shot gave the Ketts a one-run lead, and his second gave Cotuit a four-run lead.
“In this league, the pitchers are great, and just getting the barrel to the ball, getting the bat on the ball, the ball is going to go for sure,” said Thach on his two home-run games.
On the mound for Cotuit was right-hander Jake Gigliotti (Northeastern) for the first time this season. Gigliotti twirled three and a third innings of two-hit ball, adding three strikeouts to his line.
“To finally get down here was awesome, and then being able to get out there and get the first out and carrying on from there was just really awesome,” said Gigliotti on his first start with Cotuit.
The Cotuit bullpen came in and continued to shut the Firebirds down. Chase Hopewell (Cincinnati) took the mound after Gigliotti’s day was done, and he tossed an inning and a third, which was good for two hits and three strikeouts.
Submariner Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida) stepped on the bump with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. The right-hander forced a pop-out and struck out the nine-hole hitter to get the Ketts out of the jam.
“I was just trying to get outs; let my movement do the work. Stay down in the zone, especially with the bases loaded,” said Schuelke.
Schuelke remained in the game until he was removed at the end of the eighth. The right-hander didn’t let up a hit and struck out four in his appearance.
“I felt good; they made a good adjustment having their lefties super close to the plate, which is a little uncomfortable for me. I was able to backdoor my slider all night, and that was really my money pitch,” stated Schuelke on his outing against the Firebirds.
Noah Reun (Kansas State) came in to close out the ninth and struck out the side to close out the game.
The win over Orleans brings the Ketts to a record of 5-1, holding first place in the western division. Next up for Cotuit is the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, as they will host them at Lowell Park. This will be the first time the teams have met since last year’s opening round of the playoffs.