By: James Middleton | West Chester University
Cotuit, MA – With the bases loaded in the sixth inning Coach Mike Roberts called upon left-hander Rafe Schlesinger (Miami) out of the bullpen. Schlesinger ran a 2-2 count and induced a ground ball to third baseman Jay Harry (Penn State), who threw it home to Caleb Lomavita (California) and then to Cole Mathis (Charleston) to get the 5-2-3 double-play and the Ketts out of the inning. The double play was all the momentum needed as they broke the game open immediately after and walked away with the 6-1 win.
"We definitely needed to get out of that situation, you know, bases loaded. It's always good to get a double play and especially get that out at home," said Jay Harry on the double play.
For the first time this season, the Kettleers trotted out Janzen Keisel (Oklahoma State), who threw five innings in the contest. The right-hander got up as high as ninety-five miles per hour on the radar gun. He punched out four Harbor Hawks while only letting up three hits and one run.
"It was just about throwing strikes, throwing quality strikes, getting weak contact, and that's what I went out and tried to do. Got a lot of quick outs, and that's kind of how it went from then on," said Keisel on his first start.
Cole Mathis was the big bat at the plate today for Cotuit. In the second inning, the righty sent a ball over the left field fence to plate the game's first two runs. Mathis again stepped to the plate in the sixth after Cotuit just got out of a bases-loaded jam and roped a ball down the left field line scoring Lomavita from first for the fifth run of the ballgame.
"It's always great to have a day like this. We'll see what happens the next day I'm in there, but you know it's just good to have a day like this," said Mathis on his three RBI day.
The Harbor Hawks quickly responded to the home run, scoring a run in the top of the third. After a two-out double to left field to put a runner in scoring position, the Harbor Hawks brought home their lone run on a base hit to right field. Keisel would get out of the inning, allowing just that one run. The Cotuit staff kept the Hyannis lineup relatively quiet, as they only had six hits and nine baserunners on the night.
Brett Bateman (Minnesota) continued his Cape League dominance with a two-hit night. In the fifth, Kalae Harrison (NC State) got it going with a two-out single, which he advanced to second on an error by the third baseman. Bateman then hit the first pitch he saw back up the middle to bring Harrison home.
Schlesinger entered the game in the sixth and pitched three solid innings for Cotuit. The Miami product struck out one in his appearance but got lots of help from the defense behind him, with the infielders making some outstanding plays to get him out of innings.
"I trust those guys, which is why I don't go out there trying to strike out everyone. They not only came up for me today but my two previous outings," Schlesinger on the Kettleer defense.
Teo Banks (Tulane) started the bottom of the sixth by wearing one on the elbow to be the first base runner of the inning. Banks worked his way to third as Lomavita entered the box for the third time on the night. After being unable to bunt the runner home, the California product blooped a ball into shallow center field to bring home Banks. Brock Rodden (Wichita State) then smacked a ball into left field to start the bottom of the seventh and got to third by way of a stolen base and sacrifice ground out. Jay Harry then gave a ball a ride into the right-center gap, but it wasn't enough, as it ended up being a sacrifice fly to score the Ketts' sixth and final run.
The win marks the first win over Hyannis this season and the first win toward the Patriot Cup. However, the Ketts won't have to wait long as they will play Hyannis tomorrow night at McKeon Park at 6 o'clock. This is the Ketts' eighth win, bringing them to sixteen points in the division, which is good enough for first place in the west. Hyannis falls to five and five but sits directly behind Cotuit in the standings.