By Clara Richards | Washington University in St Louis
Yarmouth-Dennis, MA — Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina) stepped up to the plate for the first time as a pinch hitter, dusted off his shoes, and did what he’s done all season: pushed a hard-hit ball in the trees. With a 2-2 count, Johnson was credited with the only run put on the board for the Ketts, a solo blast to center field. It came at a potentially momentum-changing point in the game as the tying run in the fifth inning. Yet as he trotted around the diamond, he looked almost nonplussed — it’s nothing new for the senior, who leads the Cape League in dingers.
But Johnson’s RBI alone couldn’t salvage this game for the Ketts. The first three innings of the game were locked down and scoreless, Harrison Cohen (UVA) starting on the mound for the Ketts. Cohen showed the unstoppable command of his pitches, filling the strike zone, and the balls that did get hit were for soft contact. He pitched 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run.
“If I can be in command of pretty much all my pitches, then I’ll be in a good spot,” Cohen said. “Just trying to do everything I can to kind of keep us in the game.”
But after Johnson brought in the tying run, the Ketts’ pitching struggled to keep the game alive for Cotuit. Cohen let up one run in his last inning pitched, a single bringing home a walked runner to score. Max Meier (Stanford) closed the game and saw immediate traffic on the base paths. He put the first runner on with a walk and then allowed three earned runs to score, two of those on a two-out home run in the shallow Red Wilson outfield. In one inning pitched, he gave up three hits. The four-run lead put the game out of reach for the Ketts, who were unable to avenge themselves before darkness closed out the evening after the top of the seventh. Despite having runners in scoring position in every one of the first three innings, the offense struggled to put the ball in play in the latter portion of the game.
“I thought [YD] did a marvelous job of taking advantage of our mistakes and carrying them through the ballgame,” head coach Mike Roberts said.
The Ketts next play the Chatham Anglers at home on Friday, July 22 for red shirt Friday. Chatham is currently on a five-game win streak, Cotuit looking to add one more to the win column from the lower Cape team.
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the game
By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
- Cotuit was handed its fourth road loss of the season in 18 games played outside Lowell Park. The Ketts have earned 11 wins at other ballparks compared to 7 at home, with 3 ties. A blanket of clouds dominated the skies above Red Wilson field in South Yarmouth, making it difficult to track fly balls in the field, and the ballgame ended after 6 ½ innings.
- Harrison Cohen made his seventh start Thursday night, four more than any other pitcher on the Kettleers active roster. He has also thrown over 12 innings more than anyone else on the team with 31.2 IP. Tonight, Cohen put together a five-frame performance while allowing 2 runs, 1 earned. Compared to his last outing, Cohen was able to pound the zone a bit more than when he issued 5 walks in 4 innings at Brewster on July 15. “I had a bit more ability to repeat my delivery with pretty consistent action on all my pitches,” Cohen said, “and so I think that was the main difference last week was that I was a little bit inconsistent with my release [and] with my delivery itself. Even though it wasn’t as crisp [last week], I still was able to minimize and keep guys off the bases and limit any damage from any hitting.”
Despite a Ketts loss, the starting pitching was once again a strong point for Mike Roberts’ staff. Just as Ben Johnson (Georgia Southern) had done at Bourne on Wednesday night, Cohen was able to limit the damage to just a couple of runs, but the offensive output that was there against the Braves was absent against the Red Sox. Cohen matched a season-high of 5 IP as a starter, a feat that he has accomplished three other times this summer. On top of that, the 6-foot right hander has never allowed over 3 earned runs in an outing throughout over 30 innings that he has thrown for. During his third year with Cotuit, Cohen has developed an effective 3-pitch punch of a fastball, changeup and slider.
“Especially with the lefties and with throwing changeups … since my confidence in my changeup it’s going up since being here, I use that pitch whether it’s going to be a swing and miss or just to get someone out in front,” Cohen described. “Early on in the count it seemed like they were swinging and missing and then making a little bit of an adjustment towards the end. Then to the righties, most of the ground balls that the righties hit today were on sliders.”
After a fifth year at George Washington, Harrison will exercise his sixth year of eligibility at the University of Virginia after not being selected in the 2022 MLB Draft. While there is still a possibility for a contract to be signed as an undrafted free agent, Cohen will look to improve his prowess on the mound with the Cavaliers.
“My family and I basically just thought that a change needed to happen,” Cohen said, “and we thought a change of scenery would be the best idea for me if I had to be back in school. UVA is a great opportunity with a great conference and a great program that I’m super excited to join, provided that a contract doesn’t come my way in the next couple weeks.”
With 9 games left in the season and the postseason right around the corner, Harrison Cohen is a player to pay attention to as the home stretch 2022 season approaches.
- Cotuit is now 3 points behind Hyannis in the West division after their 5-4 win against the Falmouth Commodores. The Ketts play against the Chatham Anglers 5 p.m. Friday night at Lowell Park. Daniel Brooks (College of Charleston) will be on the bump for Cotuit in his fourth start of the year.