Kettleers use improbable comeback to steal game from Hyannis

Hyannis, Mass. – Two outs, runner at third and down by a run with Jarren Advincula (Cal Berkeley) at the plate, all the Kettleers needed was a wild pitch or base hit to send the game to extras. The Hyannis pitcher gets set, throws the pitch, and it’s through the catcher’s legs. Brandon Compton (Arizona State) sprints home and the Ketts have tied it up at 4 apiece.

Advincula grounded out to end the top of the ninth, but nobody on the Cotuit side would care. Their Ketts had rallied down two in the ninth to send it to extra innings where they would rattle off three runs, allowing Cam Schuelke (Mississippi State) to come in and close the door as the Cotuit Kettleers reigned victorious over Hyannis on Sunday night, 7-4.

“I think that bunt in the ninth really turned the tide for us, it got both of our runners in scoring position and it’s history from then on,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “Then the [Matt] Klein single that drove in the first run in the 10th was what got us going. It was a tremendous win for our guys. I thought they really competed today.”

It only took Cotuit two batters to take the lead in the first, as Tanner Thach crushed a two-run shot way over the center field wall, his sixth of the year.

The Harbor Hawks would come back with a run of their own in the second inning, but from then on, both pitching staffs would dominate. From the third to the sixth, both teams combined for six strikeouts, three hits and no runs given up.

However, Hyannis would end that scoreless drought with a single that plated two and placed the batter on third base due to several Kettleer errors on the relay throw. The Hawks would fire back with another run in the eighth on a Kane Kepley (Liberty) solo home run that would put Hyannis up 4-2.

Entering the ninth, Cotuit was down by two runs with Casey Hintz (Arizona) on the mound. Hintz came into the ballgame with a 1.59 ERA, so getting two runs off him would be incredibly difficult.

Devin Taylor (Indiana) and Compton both reached safely to bring up Max Belyeu (Texas). Belyeu used the Roberts Special, a bunt, to put both runners in scoring position with only one out. Taylor would come around to score on an RBI groundout, and then Compton on a wild pitch to erupt the Cotuit faithful as they had just tied it up against one of the best relievers in the CCBL.

Advincula grounded out to end the half-inning, but Cotuit would send Schuelke out to take care of business and send them to extras. The submarine pitcher would do exactly that, going 1-2-3, bringing the Cotuit bats back up.

Klein would be one of the many heroes of the game, placing a bloop single right in between the infield and center fielder, plating Advincula as the Ketts would take the lead in the 10th.

“I wasn’t exactly supposed to play today, but whenever you’re in that dugout you’ve got to be ready,” Klein said. “He came at me with some fastballs, and I missed the first one but the second time around I got a good swing and was able to drive in a run for the team.”

That would be followed by two more runs scored by a single and an RBI groundout. Schuelke would come back in for his second inning of work that was just as dominant as the first one. Finishing his day with four strikeouts, no base runners allowed and no runs through two frames, as Cotuit fought and clawed its way back to a 7-4 win at Hyannis.

“I felt like I really competed better today,” Schuelke said. "I usually bring a certain demeanor to the mound, and I was lacking that early in the year. I’m back to that now and I’m going to keep it mentally tough on the bump.”

Looking ahead

Cotuit will have the day off on Monday, then be back in action at Lowell Park on Tuesday at 5 p.m. On Wednesday, the Ketts will be in a heavyweight matchup against the division-leading Wareham Gatemen, followed by the June 30 makeup game against Hyannis on Thursday.


With the first-inning home run from Thach, he now moves into the top four in the league for RBI, No. 2 in home runs.

Joey Volchko (Stanford) made his first start since May 22 and turned in a solid performance, going three full innings of work with five strikeouts and no earned runs allowed.

Advincula recorded a hit Sunday, taking his league-leading average to .424 while sitting top three in runs scored and on-base percentage.