By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
Cotuit, MA — The Kettleers have not won a game at Lowell Park since July 2 in a 3-1 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Cotuit’s 9-8 loss to Falmouth marks their eight loss at home, a record of 7-8-2.
On the road, the Ketts sit at an impressive 10-2-3 mark.
Cole McNamee’s (Georgia Tech) performance appeared to be promising by striking out the first batter he faced on three swinging strikes. The next man McNamee met took the sixth pitch of the game to deep center for a solo shot. The righthander proceeded to walk two batters and give up an RBI-double in the first inning. McNamee was replaced by Ty Johnson (Ball State) after the first frame and struck out three of the seven batters he faced.
The lead-off man in the top of the second, the speedy Travis Chestnut (Texas A&M) walked and ultimately scored after stealing two bags and crossing home on a dazzling diving stop by Caleb Ketchup (Lipscomb University). Ketchup layed out, fully extended for the sharp grounder and fired a strike over to first for the second out of the inning. Sunday marks the first time Ketchup had played third at school and on the Cape.
“I’ve always been a defensive shortstop or defensive infielder, so when I’m when I’m not really doing that, that’s kind of a loss for my identity,” Ketchup said, “but that’s a huge confidence boost and kind of helped me throughout the game to the next couple games. If I’m at third or at short, I know that I have that in my bag.”
Falmouth held a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the second. On the second pitch of the frame, Caleb Lomavita (Cal Berkeley) saw a 90 mph fastball and stroked it to right field off the end of the bat. It ended up carrying 10 feet over the right-field corner for a 330-foot solo home run. Lomavita entered game 32 having recorded no RBIs in 17 games and left LP with 3 RBI on Sunday.
“So the first first day I got here, coach changed my swing, [I was] hitting my toes up, and he didn’t look like my hands were so high,” Lomavita said, “so since day one, he changed it, and I’m finally putting things together and it’s finally working out for me.”
Lomavita’s second run driven in came in the very next inning in a 3-run rally for Cotuit. Colby Wilkerson (University of North Carolina) led-off the third with a double to the left-center gap. The lineup card turned over to Tommy Troy (Stanford) who drove a liner just past Commodores’ shortstop Alex Mooney (Duke), and Wilkerson went to third. Carter Trice (NC State) smacked the third straight base knock to kick off the bottom-half of the third. Wilkerson scored as Trice and Troy trotted into second and third. The bases were then loaded when C.J. Kayfus (University of Miami) worked a full count walk. The league-leader in home runs Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina) stepped up to the plate with no outs. Johnson pulled a ball to the first baseman, they got one out at second and Tommy Troy scored and Carter Trice advanced to third. Caleb Lomavita sailed another ball to right field, not far enough for a second homer, but enough distance to bring home Trice for a sacrifice fly. Cotuit took a 4-3 lead after three innings.
In the fourth inning of this tug-of-war contest, Falmouth came charging back with 4 runs in the next half-inning. The Commodores hit through the lineup, and the first five batters reached the base paths. Carson Swilling (Auburn) came in for Ty Johnson after he elevated a count to 3-0. Swilling entered and delivered a strike on his first pitch, but loaded the bases the next. With the bases loaded, Swilling managed to earn a vital 4-6-3 double play at the expense of one run. But before the conclusion of the frame, he walked a batter and gave up an RBI-single to give Falmouth a 6-4 advantage.
Cotuit went three up, three down in the fourth, but the bats got hot again in the bottom of the fifth. It all started at the top of the lineup with Tommy Troy’s single. Almost identical to the third inning, Carter Trice followed with a double and C.J. Kayfus walked to load the bases with no outs. Tyler Johnson once against dug in in a situation that corresponded with his second at-bat. Johnson suffered a strikeout which brought up Caleb Lomavita looking for another extra base hit. Lomavita topped a bounding ball to third which was sent to second for one out and Tommy Troy scored once again. Trice came home when Eddie Park (Stanford) zipped one through the five-hole of Falmouth’s third baseman to inch one run closer to the Commodores’ lead of 7-6.
The Ketts tied the score at seven in the sixth when a costly error carried Colby Wilkerson home after his second lead-off two-bagger of the game. Tommy Troy’s sac-fly to center transferred Wilkerson to third. With the infield in, Carter Trice on a 2-2 count spiked what appeared to be a simple play for Alex Mooney. But Mooney had a delayed reaction and the ball dove underneath his backhanded glove into shallow left field. The Ketts aimed to add one more when runners were on the corners by way of C.J. Kayfus’ single through the right side, but Mooney recovered from his blemish and was able to corral and grounder from Tyler Johnson to turn a double play.
Falmouth loaded the bases in the seventh and had two back-to-back singles to notch two more runs and inflate the lead to 9-7. The Ketts had one final chance in the eighth as darkness began to creep in. Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston) pinch-hit for Caleb Ketchup and worked a four-ball walk. Harlan moved into scoring position on Wilkerson’s groundout and Tommy Troy’s swinging bunt single put runners on the corners. Carter Trice beat out a critical, potential game-ending double play on a grounder to short. Wilkerson was across home and Trice was the lone runner standing on first for C.J. Kayfus. The designated hitter scorched a ball down the first-base line but not too hot for Commodores’ first baseman Jacob Walsh (University of Oregon) – the game ended at 9-8.
Six more pitchers saw action Sunday including Cole McNamee who made his first Cotuit start. Him and Ty Johnson took up three innings of work in the eight inning matchup while Carson Swilling, Adam Boucher (Duke), Cam Schuelke (Central Florida) and Max Gieg (Boston College) split up the latter four innings. Swilling gave up no runs on two hits in three innings. Boucher and Schuelke threw for the seventh with Boucher getting two outs and letting up two runs, and Schuelke got the third out after giving up two hits. Max Gieg rounded things out and got three straight batters after walking the first one.
The Kettleers now have a day off on Monday and prepare to face division rival Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Hyannis is one point behind Cotuit in the standings and a win for the Hawks would move them into the top spot of the West. Game 33 is slated for 6 p.m. in Hyannis.
by Clara Richards | Washington University in St. Louis
- The 2022 All-Star picks were announced today, with five Ketts announced to the roster. Caleb Lomavita (California), Tyler Johnson (Coastal Carolina), Tommy Troy (Stanford), Harrison Cohen (Virginia), and Ben Johnson (Georgia Southern) will travel to Wareham on Saturday, July 22 to play against the top players in the Cape League. Admission will be $6.00. The day, which stretches from 2 p.m. to 6:05 play-ball, includes autograph signings and a home run derby before the game. After the game, the Ketts have an off-day before nearing the final stretch of games.
- Today was Ladies’ day at Lowell Park, an event that celebrated women and their contributions to sports. The day started early, with Samantha Leonard and Corrie Mays throwing two first pitches. Leonard and Mays are the co-owners of the Plum Porch in Marson’s Mills, a female-owned business in the community. Even after the game, the Ketts had a special movie night to celebrate the contribution of women in sports, showing A League of Their Own at Lowell Park, a 1992 movie about an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
The Kettleers are an organization that prioritizes representation every day of the season. “It makes me proud to work for the team,” said Nola Gallagher, a community relations and media intern who organized Ladies Day at the Park. “It means that not only the Ketts, but more teams across the league, support women in sports.”
- The Cotuit bullpen has a secret weapon: Shelley Tomyl’s watermelon. She delivers it to the bullpen as a pregame snack for the pitchers. Before the game, Caleb Lomavita (California) told Shelley that he was going to hit a homer after her lucky watermelon. An hour after housing the fruit, he popped a ball 330 feet, just past the fence for a homer. It was both his first dinger of the season and his first RBI since arriving in Cotuit.
“When you’re at the bottom in the trenches, you have nothing to lose,” he said. “I started to think less and just realize that I needed to pick and choose what I learned from Coach; some things will work for me some things won’t. As long as I am comfortable, I know I’ll be good that day.”