By: James Middleton | West Chester University
Cotuit, MA — In a clash of the titans between the top two teams of the Cape League, there was no shortage of late-inning drama. With no outs in the ninth, runners on first and second, and the tying run in the on-deck circle, the ball was given to Chase Hopewell (Cincinnati). Hopewell took the ball and made quick work of the Red Sox, striking out the first three batters he faced to give the Ketts a 6-2 win over the eastern division leader.
"I knew he would throw strikes. You never know about the bat hitting it. In that situation, up four runs and giving up the leadoff home run in the ninth, we needed to throw strikes, and I knew he'd throw strikes, and he threw really good strikes," said Roberts on the decision to go to Hopewell.
Making his second start of the summer was Camron Hill (Georgia Tech). A couple of walks in the first loaded the bases, but the southpaw limited the damage to just one in the first. Hill coasted for the rest of his appearance allowing only one base runner. He punched out four and gave up the one run in his second start. In his last three outings, Hill has not given up a hit.
"For sure, it gave me confidence for the rest of my outing because it kind of set the tone that even though I didn't have my best stuff, I was still able to get outs everywhere," said Hill on getting out of that first inning.
A one-run deficit didn't deter the Ketts, as they put up two in the bottom of the first. After the first two batters reached, Cole Mathis (Charleston) grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. An errant pickoff attempt that sailed into left field by the YD catcher brought home the game's first run in Kalae Harrison (NC State). Finally, with two outs in the inning, Jacob Tobias (Arizona State) stepped into the box and singled to center to bring home the second run in Mathis.
"I think they've done a good job when we have given up runs early in the game, and I think they have responded really well. They picked it up and when we've been behind a few times, but we've bounced back," said Roberts on the quick first-inning response.
The Cotuit offense went quiet after the first, but the pitching made all of the noise carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Bryce Jenkins (Tennessee) and Zachary Joyce (Tennessee) picked up where Hill left off, as neither of them allowed a hit in their appearances. The first Red Sox hit came against Jacob Shafer (UNC-Wilmington), who pitched two and two-thirds striking out three in an outing of one-hit baseball. Shafer also walked away with the decision in tonight's game, his first win of the season.
The bats picked up in the fifth as the Ketts sent nine hitters to the plate. Carter Mathison (Indiana) picked up the big hit in the inning as the lefty drove the ball the opposite way for a double, bringing home Brock Wills (UNC-Wilmington). Tobias was the next batter and hit his second single of the night to bring home the second runner in the inning. To end the fifth, a bases-loaded walk to Caleb Lomavita (California) brought in the third and final run.
In the sixth the Ketts picked up the sixth and final run of the game on a two out knock by none other than Jacob Tobias. Tobias singled through the right side for the third time tonight to bring home the runner, the first baseman went three for four with three RBI's in the contest.
"I think Jacob [Tobias] being in there at first base kind of pumped the guys up, and the guys love him. He has worked really hard, and tonight they showed up. His hitting specifically came to life tonight that he had made some improvements on," said Roberts on Tobias.
Cotuit heads into the off day with a 14-6 record, good for a league-leading twenty-eight points. The Ketts will take on the Falmouth Commodores on Independence Day, which will be the first game of a home-and-home series between the teams. Falmouth sits at the bottom of the western division with a 7-11-2 record. Game time at Guv Fuller Field will start at 4:30 due to the July 4th festivities.