By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Bourne, MA — On June 16, Carter Trice (NC State) stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning at Bourne’s Doran Park and delivered a 2-run homer to give Cotuit a 2-0 lead. The Ketts ended up scoring four more in that frame to take a 6-0 and Cotuit eventually came out on top in a 7-0 victory. Sunday night at the same site, Carter Trice did it again — sending a shot in an almost identical place as his one in June, for a 3-run bomb. The Ketts jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the top of the fifth.
“I like how it’s a big open field in the back, it’s a good backdrop unlike some other places so … it’s fun,” Trice said.
For the first time in three games, the Kettleers struck first on the scoreboard. While the Ketts loaded the bases in both the third and fourth innings, it wasn’t until the top of the fifth when Cotuit put a crooked number on Bourne. Before Carter Trice smashed a bullet into deep right-center, Tommy Troy (Stanford) singled, stole a base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Calvin Harris (Ole Miss) was in first after his walk and there was one out in the top of the fifth.
“Everybody in the country knows that Carter can hit and we hope that his bat gets hot for us and that’ll help a lot,” coach Roberts said.
Although Cotuit etched the first tally, Bourne immediately flipped the momentum back over to the home side. The Braves started off the bottom of the inning with a single, followed by a strikeout, followed by a fielding error in the infield. They had runners on first and second with one out when the lineup card flipped to the top of the order. Braves’ leadoff man Bryce Elbin (Alabama) got one back for Bourne with an RBI single to put runners on the corners. Matt Shaw (Maryland-Lafayette) then tied the game on a double over the head of Cotuit left fielder C.J. Kayfus (Miami) and I’m just 5 at-bats, Bourne had knotted up the ballgame at three.Cameron Wagoner (Eastern Michigan) was replaced after facing four batters for right-hander Ben Johnson (Georgia Southern). Johnson forced a fly out but could not stave off the Braves as they scored two more runs on a single and triple. Bourne regained the lead at 5-3 after hitting through the order in the bottom-half of the fifth.
It appeared to be a promising night for the Kettleers after dropping three straight and five of their last six. Daniel Brooks (College of Charleston) threw four scoreless frames and gave up just one hit against fifteen Bourne batters. Out of twelve recorded outs, eight of them were strikeouts for Brooks. Cameron Wagoner only retired one of the four batters he faced and gave up three runs, two earned. Ben Johnson finished up after five outs and nine batters faced. While Johnson gave up two runs, none of them were earned due to a fielding error and runners put on by Cameron Wagoner. Daniel Brooks, usually a bullpen guy for coach Roberts, still looked stellar in his first start in over a dozen weeks.
“I haven’t started in like three months,” Brooks said, “But it’s the first time I’ve thrown over 55 pitches in three months, but I think my longest outing was 7.2 innings this year.”
With one out in the top of the seventh, Carter Trice again barreled a ball to deep left in an attempt to get one back on the Braves. But Bourne’s left fielder Evan Sleight (Rutgers) raged to his right and leaped at the wall to rob Trice of his second bomb of the contest. Other than the home run in the fifth, Trice failed to reach base and went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
The Braves notched one more in the seventh and eighth against Cotuit’s Will Jacobsen (Harvard). The bottom of the seventh started with a lead-off walk, followed by a double to right-center. With no outs, Bourne turned on the sacrifice bunt play to advance the runner to third and executed on it perfectly. There was one out with the potential seventh run looming at third. But the defense clamped down and snared the two remaining outs as the score did not exceed 6-3 after seven.
Bourne ended up getting that seventh run that they stranded in the bottom of the seventh. A walk and a couple of singles brought home the second batter of the inning. Another walk loaded the bases with two outs but Jacobsen was able to escape without allowing another run. But the Braves had already put the game out of reach, and the Ketts went 1, 2, 3 in the top of the ninth.
The Ketts now fall to 14-8-4 and have an off-day Monday. Tuesday, Cotuit welcomes Hyannis for their third matchup of the season — the Ketts winning both of those.
“We have to become more competitive. We’re in transition … we play six days in a row this week,” Roberts said. “I told the team we’re gonna find out really what kind of team we have now, by the end of that six day period we’ll know a lot more.”
Reporter’s Notebook: Takeaways from the game
by Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
- Daniel Brooks (College of Charleston) anchored the start of the Ketts and immediately settled in. He struck out five of his first eight batters, showing an effective fastball and breaking ball combination that struck out eight. He also landed his slider consistently in the first inning when he left his changeup up. He only allowed one hit in his outing, an improvement from his previous start against Wareham, where he allowed four hits in two innings.
“Robert’s teaching us to be more direct,” Brooks said about what he’s learned over the past few months. “I have a pitching coach, and he was just saying to be more mechanical. So that just made it more simple for me, and I just went right at the hitter instead of trying to pull off.”
Coming into summer ball, his velo was down after a small injury in his shoulder, so he’s been working on sharpening his slider to develop another pitch. That work in the bullpen seemed to pay off in his start against Wareham, as he threw 62 pitches and dropped his ERA to 3.65.
“After I got here in the early season, I just tried to get more comfortable,” he said. “It wasn’t 100% comfortable—I kind of rushed myself a little bit, but I got the job done.”
- Before today, Carter Trice hadn’t had a hit in ten at-bats. Today in the fifth inning, he netted 3 RBIs to score the only runs that the Ketts saw all day. Before this game, he had averaged .200 in 17 games played. Yet his slugging didn’t stop after his home run; in his fourth at-bat, he almost added a second home run with a shot to left field, but the defenseman reached an arm over the fence to rob him of the play.
Carter’s been intentional about making the changes he needs to have success at the plate. “Coach roberts also helps with making some adjustments to just help me feel good at the plate and get more hits,” he said. “I do feel like I can get hot right now, and if you’re not feeling hot, you’ve gotta fake it a little bit until you get hot.”