Cotuit offense sputters in loss to Orleans

Tanner Thach Fielding - Dennis

Cotuit, Mass. – Over the past 10 games, nearly nobody has been able to contain the Kettleer bats. Cotuit is top three in the league for home runs, hits, runs and batting average, However, on Tuesday night, the Orleans Firebirds were able to neutralize those powerful bats, as they came into Lowell Park and downed the Ketts, 4-3.

“I didn’t manage as well as I could have, today wasn’t my best job and I told the guys that in the huddle,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. "The players play the game, but in a one-run game like today, I feel I could’ve done a better job managing.”

Runs were very hard to come by, but Orleans came out ready to play and capitalized on some key mistakes by Cotuit, starting in the third inning.

Several costly errors by the Kettleers came back to bite them big-time. A throwing error and wild pitch allowed two Firebirds to cross home as Orleans would break the scoreless tie and go up by a pair of runs.

It would only take an inning and a half for the Ketts to strike back on those two Firebird runs. Jarren Advincula (Cal Berkeley) singled and then later came in to score on an error by the Orleans shortstop. That would be followed by a warning-track sac fly by Charles Davalan (Arkansas) that allowed Grant Jay (Dallas Baptist) to stroll home from third.

The very next inning, Tanner Thach (UNC Wilmington) decided that he was tired of a tie, launching a 400-foot home run over the right field wall, giving Cotuit the 3-2 lead.

Just a half-inning later, Lukas Pirko (Texas Tech) would finish his day after a solid performance. Going two innings while giving up one run and striking out two.

“I had never seen him throw before this game, but he’s very comfortable on the mound,” Roberts said. “I like him, I like all of our pitchers, but he came in and did a really nice job for us.”

Right after Pirko left, the Firebird bats would then start to get hot as they were able to get to Cam Schuelke (Mississippi State) and plate a run to tie it back up. That would be followed by a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning to put the Firebirds back in front.

Cotuit would have a shot to walk it off in the ninth as they found themselves with runners at the corners and two outs with Matt Klein (Louisville) at the plate. Klein would get a nice swing off but unfortunately, the wind would keep the ball inside the park as the near walk-off home run was caught at the wall. Ending the ballgame as the Firebirds were able to survive at Lowell Park, 4-3.

The Ketts will be back in action Wednesday evening when Cotuit will make the 12-mile drive to face the Falmouth Commodores. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

“Offensively I’m looking for us to move the baseball more, we did alright, but we could’ve been better today,” Roberts said. “Our pitchers have done a marvelous job this year, but I think I need to manage my pitchers better tomorrow than I did today.”

Lukas Pirko Pitching - Dennis
Art or Photo Credit: Lukas Pirko pitching. Photo by Dennis Theoharidis (Mass. College of Art & Design).