By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Cotuit had its first postponement of the 2022 season Friday as a passing rain and thunderstorm deemed Lowell Park unplayable for the scheduled game against the Chatham Anglers. The rain ceased, but the clouds still hung above in the June sky at McKeon Park for the Kettleers’ matchup with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
As they did in three of the first four games this summer, the Ketts were the first to put a tally on the board in the top of the third as Brooks Balwin (UNC Wilmington) drove home Ryan Ritter (Kentucky) after the shortstop led off the frame with a double. The Hawks evened the score at one in the bottom-half of the frame when Hyannis’ eighth batter Dominic Pitelli (Miami) hit a solo shot to right-center.
Ryan Ritter tied a personal benchmark with his second four-hit contest across both collegiate and CCBL games. The draft-eligible infielder was a triple short of a cycle, starting the night with a double. “That [home run] felt good, I knew it off the bat, I don’t hit too many home runs so I enjoyed this one,” Ritter said. Ritter then knocked a single in the fifth and a 3-run home run in the sixth to extend the Ketts’ lead by four runs as Cotuit led 7-1 after six innings of play. He slashed hits in each at-bat and totaled four RBIs and cashed in at home twice on the night. Ritter’s fourth RBI came on a single which scored Kade Kern (Ohio State) who walked to start the inning, and that elevated the score to 8-1.
The Ketts ripped a total of 13 hits Saturday night, the most in one game this season. The eight-run total also trumps the recent season-high of seven runs against the Bourne Braves.
Kade Morris (Nevada) made his second start on the bump Saturday night after a scoreless outing in the season-opener against Chatham. It was more of the same for the right-hander against Hyannis as he pitched into the seventh inning giving up just one run on four hits. In game one, Morris didn’t allow any runs across the plate and just three hits but only lasted four and one-third frames. After firing 97 pitches and forcing eight groundouts, Roberts made the call to the ‘pen for left-hander Isaiah Coupet (Ohio State). Coupet handled the remaining two and one-third innings, allowing one hit and one run.
“I just wanted to work on my fastball, put it where I wanted to, which I wasn’t able to do last last outing,” Morris said, “so just being able to locate my fastball was a huge plus.”
Kyle Karros (UCLA) made his Kettleers debut batting in the third spot and guarding the hot corner against Hyannis. Karros had two singles in five at-bats and was the third Kettleer to cross home. After his sophomore season at UCLA, Karros looks to improve in all facets of his game, including a category which he never achieved this past year for the Bruins.
“I’ve definitely never played in the Cape before,” Karros said, “the competition is good, but after I got my first [hit] out of the way, I kind of settled in there and was seeing the ball a little bit better and happy to walk out of there with a few knocks … I was talking to Coach Roberts and he actually said that we’re gonna try to do a few bags this summer. So I got that to look forward to and didn’t get any tonight but you might see me trying to steal some bags here and there.”
As the Ketts walk away with their fifth straight win, they now shift their focus to a Fathers’ Day doubleheader with the Brewster Whitecaps. Game one is slotted for 2 p.m. ET, and game two will then begin at 5 p.m. ET – both games will be seven innings in length.
By Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
- This team’s defensive abilities have been on full display for the past four games, previously tracking only one earned run in 36 innings. They’ve consistently been strong at the small ball, giving a baserunning clinic in almost every outing, and tonight, that was displayed again. Justin Minkis (Kent State) laid down a sacrifice bunt that trickled just inside of the foul line in the second inning, and once again, Kade Kern advanced to steal, showcasing the outfielder’s speed and aggression in stolen bases. Yet this is perhaps the most prolific exhibition of the Ketts’ offense that we’ve seen, with thirteen hits and Ryan Ritter tanking a three-run homer.
If there were any doubts in the top of the fifth, with the teams tied up 1-1, there were none when the ball cracked off of his bat. Ritter now leads all of the Cape in batting average, batting .444. “I love watching him play,” said head coach Mike Roberts. “I’m not gonna say anything about different aspects of his game — I just love watching the young man. ‘Cause I think he’s a future big leaguer.”
- Kade Morris had another unbelievable outing on the bump, throwing 97 pitches and hammering his fastball. Morris’s effectiveness wasn’t necessarily a performance of only strikeouts— the Harbor Hawk Batters sent several balls to the warning track to be scooped up by Cotuit’s outfielders. He didn’t let that rattle him, though. He worked his fastball to get ahead in counts, which he felt was a huge plus for him. “I was just trying to get in and out as quick as possible, so I felt like I did a pretty good job with that,” he said.
- While this club has notched several victories against competitive teams, it’s a relatively new group together in the infield. Kyle Karros (UCLA) and CJ Kayfus (Miami) were both activated in the past four days, and they held down the corners of the field at third and first base respectively. With another errorless game, the Kettleers haven’t faltered after their additions, and that’s also thanks to their consistent second baseman and shortstop. Graham Pauley (Duke) had a stellar night defensively, throwing flawless 4-3 plays from second again and again. At Duke, Pauley primarily played third base, but he has showcased his versatility on the Cape. The broadcasting table commented that it seemed like he had a magnet in his glove, and he was an effective dam against a barrage of line drives and fly balls.