By: James Middleton | West Chester University
Chatham, MA – Sixteen days later, the final matchup between the Kettleers and Anglers was finally played. With Cotuit facing a three-run deficit early on, the bats needed to wake up, and that they did, scoring seven in the fourth behind a bases-clearing double by Sean Keys (Bucknell). Paired with a lights-out bullpen performance, the Ketts walked away with a 12-6 victory over the Anglers.
"Earlier in the count, I was looking fastball, but he threw me a nice changeup low that got me. So I was kind of expecting that next pitch and got it and was able to get the bat on it," said Keys on his double.
On the mound Friday night was Janzen Keisel (Oklahoma State), making his fifth start of the summer. The Angler offense was able to get the bulk of their runs off of Keisel in the third, where they scored three, but the right-hander only allowed two more tallies in his appearance. Over three innings, he punched out seven hitters and didn't allow any free passes.
Cotuit posted their first run of the game in the third when the first two batters reached base on a pair of singles. Trotter Harlan (Charleston) started it with a single up the middle, then Jack Scanlon (Miami) followed it up with his own. With runners in scoring position, Cole Mathis (Charleston) brought in Harlan with a groundout.
With Chatham putting up a three-spot in the bottom of the third, the Kettleer offense needed to respond. A single to left by Jacob Tobias (Arizona State) and two walks loaded the bases. The Chatham pitcher threw a ball in the dirt that rolled to the wall to bring home the first runner. With the bases still loaded, Scanlon was plunked to score another. Brock Wills (UNC-Wilmington) roped a ball to left field for an RBI single for the third tally. After Keys cleared the bases, Carter Mathison (Indiana) was able to reach on an error by the shortstop, to score Keys and the final run of the inning.
"I think he's a mature player, a very mature player in every aspect of the game. When you're fundamentally sound, and you're a big strong guy like he is, he was prepared when he got to the Cape League to be a good player, and he is a good player," said Roberts on Keys' early success.
The big fourth inning was all the pitching staff needed as they tossed four scoreless innings keeping the Anglers at bay. After Keisel's day was done, the Ketts turned to Aidan Hunter (Charleston). Hunter tossed three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits while punching out two. Brock Peery (Arizona State) was the next arm out of the 'pen, pitching one inning of perfect baseball. To close out the game was the right-hander from Clemson, Robert Hughes. Hughes pitched the eighth and ninth, allowing one run on one hit on a solo homer; he also struck out three in his appearance.
"I just have unbelieve respect for the pitching staff. This league can hit; I mean, this is a hitters league, without a doubt. I'm just so appreciative of the ways these guys battle. I can't say anything but wow, thanks for giving us an opportunity to win every day," said Roberts.
After the Ketts had three scoreless innings of their own, they put up a four-spot in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. A walk to the nine-hole hitter brought Wills, who also walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Mathis followed with a single up the middle to load the bases. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Keys brought home the first tally. With Tobias at the plate and the bases still loaded, a ball skipped away from the catcher to score Wills, but a throwing error by Chatham's catcher allowed Mathis to score all the way from second. Tobias then singled right up the middle to score the final runner of the game for Cotuit.
With the win, Cotuit moves to 26-11-1 on the year, riding a three-game win streak into Saturday's contest against the Falmouth Commodores. In Falmouth's last time out, they lost to Orleans by a score of 13-3. Cotuit holds a 3-1 season series lead over the Commodores with two games left to play. Saturday's matchup could also be the preview of a potential playoff matchup, as the Ketts will likely face Falmouth or Bourne in the first round of the playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 at Lowell Park.