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The Streak Ends, Ketts Fall to Orleans

By: James Middleton | West Chester University

James McCoy high fives with Coach Roberts, photo by Sarah Boeke (U. of Michigan)

Orleans, MA – It was a chaotic bottom of the ninth Sunday night in Orleans as a leadoff home run tied the game, heavy rain was falling, cases for lighting delays were made, and the Firebirds were trying to end the Kettleers win streak all at the same time. After the home run, the Ketts got two outs with one runner on the base paths, but back-to-back walks loaded the bases.

The Orleans batter was able to work a 3-1 count in his favor, with Teddy Brennan (George Washington) on the bump. Brennan just missed the outside part of the plate as Orleans would win on a walk-off walk. The 6-5 loss to the Firebirds marks the end of the eight-game win streak as Cotuit moves to 22-8 on the season.

The Kettleer offense jumped on the Firebirds early, scoring two in the second. Jacob Tobias (Arizona State) started a two-out rally by beating out a ball to the shortstop and advancing to second on a throwing error. Second-year veteran Trotter Harlan (Charleston) stepped in, doubling into the right-center gap to bring Tobias home, his first of two hits on the night. A single down the right field line by Carter Mathison (Indiana) would bring home Harlan and the second run of the inning.

"I had two strikes, so I tried to simplify it a little bit. Take the stride out and throw the hands at it, and it worked out for me. Helped the team out; that's what I'm trying to do," said Harlan.

Cotuit tacked on three more runs in the fifth by way of a three-run home run by James McCoy (Kentucky). Caleb Lomavita (California) and Grant Norris (Penn State) got on the bases with a single and fielders' choice to set up McCoy. The switch-hitter, batting from the left side, drove the ball to the opposite field to give the Ketts a five-run lead at the time.

"Yeah, I faced the guy about a week and a half ago, and he got me on a similar pitch. So I knew he was going to get back to it eventually; it was just a matter of when and making sure I didn't miss under it like I did before," said McCoy on his three-run homer.

Players bump helmets to celebrate, photo by Sarah Boeke (U. Of Michigan)

For the first time this season, Cullen McKay (Virginia) got the starting nod for Cotuit. McKay didn't rack up the strikeouts, but he got outs. He punched out one in three and a third innings while giving up zero hits and zero runs during his time on the mound.

After the top half of the fifth, which saw Cotuit putting three runs on the board, Orleans responded, putting up a four spot of their own. The Firebirds sent nine to the plate, with the versatile submariner Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida) being called upon to get the final two outs. Schuelke induced a flyout and struck out a batter to leave runners on second and third and limit the damage to four. The right-hander came up big again in the seventh as runners were on second and third again. In a 2-2 count, he got the Firebird swinging to leave the runners stranded and keep the Cotuit lead at one.

On Monday, Cotuit will welcome the Bourne Braves to Lowell Park at five o'clock. Bourne currently sits in third place in the west division, as Cotuit still holds the top spot. The Braves come into Lowell Park on a three-game losing skid, as Hyannis walked them off in their last game. The teams have matched up three times already in this 2023 campaign, as the Ketts hold a 2-1 lead over the Bravos.


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