By Joe Pratt | Baylor University
The Cotuit Kettleers 75th season came to an end Saturday afternoon when the Harbor Hawks dominated the Ketts 15-5. Cotuit finished the year with a regular season record of 23-16-5 and came up short to Hyannis in the first round of the playoffs 2 games to 1.
“I thought they did a wonderful job of collectively wanting to play as a team,” coach Roberts said after the game. “And that takes a while for them to prove it to me, and I think the proof is definitely in the schedule, and the fact that when you tie for the most wins in the league, with as much turnover as we had, I think they proved that. They really came here to get better. They played as a team, and they played to win.”
The Hawks burst out of the gates with a 6 run top of the first inning. The Hyannis dynamic duo of Rikuu Nishida (University of Oregon), Mitch Jebb (Michigan State) got things started with a walk and a single, respectively. The pair advanced to second and third on a wild pitch to set up Cole McConnell’s (Louisiana Tech) sac-fly. Cotuit starter Daniel Brooks (College of Charleston) appeared to have stopped the bleeding until Drew Ehrhard (University of Tampa) blasted a 2-run homer to give the Hawks an early 3-0 lead. A couple more Hawks reached first and second prior to Brooks’ removal from the series finale. The first batter Cam Schuelke (College of Central Florida) blew the top off of the game with a 3-run bomb to left-center. The score was 6-0 and the Ketts had not even swung a bat yet.
When it was their time to bat in the bottom-half of the first, the first three batters attacked Hyannis starter Jake Berry (University of Virginia). Tommy Troy (Stanford) jumped at an empty count fastball and Ryan Ignoffo (Eastern Michigan) put a good bat on the ball but flew out to left field. Carter Trice (NC State) smacked Jake Berry’s third pitch over the left field fence to put the Ketts on the board 6-2.
The next inning, Hyannis knocked another homer off the bat of Cole McConnell to make it a 7-2 Hawks’ advantage. The eighth Hawks run came on a balk in the top of the fourth. The top of the sixth was another hitting spree for Hyannis as 2 hits in the frame produced 4 runs; 12-2 Hawks. The command from the pitching staff was not there for each of the 7 throwers who entered the game for Cotuit. As a team, Ketts pitching issued 10 walks and all but one Harbor Hawks starter spent time on the base paths in game 3.
Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston) drove in two in the bottom of the sixth to elevate the Ketts tally to 4. Both the Hawks and the Ketts added 3 more for a 15-5 final.
“Congrats to Hyannis, they really played well,” coach Roberts remarked, “they dominated us in the playoffs two of the three games so congrats to them.”
The Harbor Hawks will advance to play the Bourne Braves in round 2 of the playoffs in the West division, and the Brewster White Caps will battle it out against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the East. The winners of those two series will compete for the 2022 CCBL championship.
“I think we always leave wanting to have our integrity and make sure that we do things the right way,” Mike Roberts said. “I’m pleased for this opportunity. I’m pleased for our players, we will hopefully look forward to coming back in 2023 and having another good year.”