By: Sean Bailey, Writing Intern, Providence College
July 21, 2013
(Kettle Talk with Alexa Galloway PREGAME and POSTGAME)
(Video Highlights by Connor Sullivan HERE)
(Greg Mroz with Kettleers third baseman Austin Byler in KETTLEERS AUDIO EXTRA)
YARMOUTH – Baseball is a simple sport. The objective of it is to score more runs than an opponent to win the game. Yet, it is easier said than done, which the Cotuit Kettleers have been finding out of late, as they dropped their third game of their last four, this time at Yarmouth-Dennis 4-3.
“We just were inefficient offensively,” said Manager Mike Roberts following the game. “We are still trying to find some keys, because we just can’t get the ball into the outfield. Offensively we are just struggling right now.”
The Kettleers were able to push three runs in, but they did not take advantage of multiple opportunities presented to them. They could not score with one out and the bases loaded in the first. They left a runner on third base in the third. They stranded runners on second and third in the sixth. They left runners on second and third in the eighth, and stranded the tying run at second in the ninth.
Cotuit’s runs came in the third and fifth inning. It started with a one out double that hooked down the right field line by Austin Byler (Nevada). Then Jake Fincher (NC State) hit a high chopper up the middle that he legged out for an infield single. Fincher then attempted to swipe second, which forced an errant throw that sailed into center, scoring Byler. Fincher moved to third on a ground ball to second with two outs. But, a ground out to short would end the threat for the Kettleers.
The rally in the fifth was ignited by Danny Diekroeger (Stanford), who smashed a long fly ball that hit the base of the center field fence for a one out double. After a fly out to left, a wild pitch moved Diekroeger to third. Fincher drew a walk to perch runners at the corners. That’s when a pitch just popped out of the catcher’s glove, scoring Diekroeger from third, and giving the Kettleers a 2-0 lead over the Red Sox.
For Cotuit, two runs nearly proved enough to emerge with a victory. Chris Ellis (Ole Miss) was cruising through his first five innings. He then let up a run in the sixth after Jose Trevino (Oral Roberts) hit a single through the hole into right field scoring DJ Stewart (Florida State). But Ellis struck out the next two batters on wicked curve balls to dismiss the threat.
“I thought it (the start) went well other than the eighth inning,” said Ellis, “I just threw strikes and trusted my defense.”
The eighth inning is what cost Ellis the win. Cole Peragine (Stony Brook) drew a walk, only the second Ellis had allowed all game. Then Stewart smacked a double into deep left center, scoring Peragine who was off with the pitch from first. Ellis was pulled in favor of Joel Seddon (South Carolina). But Seddon couldn’t limit the damage, as Alex Blandino (Stanford) dropped a sacrifice bunt towards the mound, moving the runner to third. Then Trevino knocked in the go ahead run with a single under a diving Byler at third. After a strikeout, an errant pickoff from catcher Nolan Clark (Concordia) sailed over first base and into right field moving the runner to second. Then a throw from short scooted under the first basemen, and went out of play scoring Trevino and giving the Red Sox at 4-2 lead.
Cotuit nearly came back in the ninth. Diekroeger hit a one out single to right. After a strikeout, a wild pitch moved him to second. Fincher then hit a hard grounder to short, whose throw scooted past the first basemen scoring Diekroeger and moving Fincher to second. That was as far as he got though, as Mark Payton (Texas) struck out looking to end the ball game.
“You just got to learn to hit a fly ball, and it takes hard work,” said Roberts, “We have to go back and see if we can get the ball into the outfield.”
Cotuit will travel to Bourne to take on the Braves Monday at 6 p.m.