The fans and players of the Cotuit Kettleers left Lowell Park on Wednesday, June 26 with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Hosting the East Division’s Orleans Firebirds, Cotuit saw the visitors erase a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh as the game ended in a 3-3 tie after the ninth inning due to darkness.

Orleans sent seven batters to plate in the seventh as two came home to score on Zach Daniel’s (Tennessee) two-RBI triple, followed by Zach Kokoska’s (Kansas State) sacrifice fly that knotted the game at three apiece. Following a scoreless eighth inning and the sun quickly disappearing behind the treeline, Cotuit had the winning run in scoring position before Christian Robinson (Stanford) struck out to end the threat, the inning and, ultimately the game.

Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) plated Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State), who doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth with a double play fielder’s choice that Chavers beat out at first base.

Two innings later the Kettleers padded their lead when Oraj Anu (Kentucky) cleared the bases with a two-RBI triple, scoring Gonzales and Casey Schmitt (San Diego State), giving the home team a 3-0 advantage.

Joseph Nahas (Georgia Southern) was strong on the hill for Cotuit, pitching four innings of one-hit baseball and striking out nine batters—a season-high for the right-hander.

Chatham 4, Cotuit 2

Three late-inning runs spoiled a potential road win for the Kettleers on Monday, June 24.

Visiting Veteran’s Field in Chatham, Cotuit gave up a run in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the bottom of seventh that broke up a 1-1 tie before ultimately losing, 4-2.

Left-handed starter Jackson Wolf (West Virginia) pitched well despite picking up the loss, going 5.2 innings and allowing two earned runs on three hits and one walk while fanning seven. Richard Brereton, a righty from Emory, finished out the game pitching the final 2.1 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Brereton also struck out four Anglers in that span.

The Kettleers jumped out in front in the top of the first inning, staking Wolf to a 1-0 lead when Robinson scored on a sacrifice fly from Coltyn Kessler (Kentucky). Robinson finished the game with a 2-for-4 performance from the lead-off spot, including a double.

Chatham responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the second when Kaden Polcovich (Oklahoma State) blasted a lead-off homer to knot the game at one apiece. The score remained in a 1-1 deadlock until the bottom of the sixth as Chatham’s Jamal O’Guinn II (Southern Cal) hit a solo home run of his own to give the Anglers a 2-1 advantage. The home team added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to stake themselves to a 4-1 lead.

In the top of the eighth, however, Cotuit began a last-ditch comeback effort when Robinson had a one-out double before coming around to score on a single from Gonzales to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. The Kettleers brought the go-ahead run to the plate twice after Schmitt walked, but a fly out to deep center field off the bat of Adam Oviedo (TCU) ended the threat and the inning.

Kettleers Wash Out Whitecaps

In a Sunday, June 23 home double header at Lowell Park, Cotuit swept the twin-bill with Brewster to jump into first place in the West Division.

In the first meeting of the two seven-inning games, Cotuit used three pitchers to combine for five strikeouts and just two runs on five hits. Reid Johnston (NC State) got the start, lasting three innings and allowing one earned run on two hits. His Wolfpack teammate, Nick Swiney, earned the win as he pitched for 1.1 innings and allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk. Holden Powell (UCLA) made his first appearance in the maroon pinstripes and finished out the game facing just one over the minimum in his 2.2 innings of work, walking one while striking out three to shut the door on the Whitecaps’ lineup.

The Kettleers jumped out on in front in the bottom of the first as Gonzales scored on an error by the Brewster third baseman after he reached base with a one-out double. Schmitt scored three batters after Gonzales (2-for-4, two runs, two RBI) when Oviedo (1-for-2, RBI, stolen base) singled to center.

Cotuit added two more in the bottom of the fourth to break a 2-2 tie when Gonzales left the yard with a two-run blast, scoring Kessler after he was hit by a pitch. Kessler earned himself a slow jog around the bases when he hit a lead-off solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to give the game its final score of 5-2.

In the nightcap of the double header, manager Mike Roberts pieced together a 6-2 win by using four pitchers to hold Brewster to just two runs. Relief pitching played a big role, as Beck Way (Belmont Abbey) allowed just one hit in his 1.2 innings of work, striking out three while earning the win. He gave way to Kyle Nicolas (Ball State), who faced just two over the minimum in his three innings of work. Nicolas did not allow a hit and struck out four as he picked up the save.

Oviedo followed up a strong first game with an even better performance in the back end, going 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBI. Schmitt also went yard, driving in his sixth run on the season. Duke Ellis (Texas) also stood out at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Cotuit (6-5-2, 14 points) travels to Eldredge Park on Friday, June 28 to meet Orleans again at 7 PM. The Kettleers return home on Saturday, June 29 to meet Wareham for a 5 PM start at Lowell Park.

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