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Chatham erases seven-run deficit in 10-9 thriller against Cotuit

by Peter Warren
Friday, July 20, 2018

Chatham erases seven-run deficit in 10-9 thriller against Cotuit

COTUIT — Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist) caught the lobbed pitch from Stephen Schoch (Maryland - Baltimore County). The Cotuit Kettleers had successfully walked Drew Mendoza (Florida State) intentionally.

After falling behind 7-0 after two innings, the Chatham Anglers had completed the comeback and tied the game at nine earlier in the eighth inning. Now, Chatham had Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington) leading off second base and Mendoza off first base with Jorge Arenas (Stetson) strolling to the batter's box .

“I was hyped,” Arenas said. “I eat that up. I love situations. I was hoping I got up to hit.”

On a 1-2 pitch Arenas blooped a single off of Schoch to score Jones and give Chatham a 10-9 lead.

Greg Veliz (Miami) shut down the Cotuit (14-16-3) bats in the bottom half of the inning and the umpires called the game due to darkness, giving Chatham (17-15-2) the 10-9 win.

“It was a circus,” Arenas said. “Lot of errors, lot of misplays, running mistakes. There was a lot that went wrong on both parts. I think the better team came out on top.”

Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) had previously tied the game in the eighth. After Deacon Medders (Alabama) dropped a curveball inside to the Chatham three-hitter in a 2-2 count that was called a ball to the chagrin of Kettleers manager Mike Roberts, Torkelson torched the first payoff pitch foul.

The second payoff pitch never returned to Lowell Park. Torkelson smoked the 3-2 pitch from Medders over the left-field for a no-doubt home run to tie the game at nine, completing a seven-run comeback for Chatham.

“I was running around those bases pretty good for a home run,” Torkelson said. “I was so happy we tied the game because I knew that was going to be the last inning.”

Cotuit got the scoring started from the get-go. Will Robertson (Creighton) started the inning with a leadoff single. Thomas Dillard (Mississippi) then roped a single to center, but took too wide a turn rounding first and was thrown out by Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington).

Mike Salvatore (Florida State) singled home Robertson during the next at-bat. Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist) then lined a single to right field and the ball skipped past Torkelson and reached the wall, allowing Salvatore to score with ease.

The second inning was not any better for the Anglers. After consecutive singles from Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) and Brady Smith (Florida), Zach Humphreys (TCU) laid down a sacrifice fly. Catcher Jake Taylor (Oklahoma State) fielded the ball, but airmailed the throw past Michael Busch (North Carolina) and into foul territory in right. Wood scored and the floodgates opened.

Robertson walked to load the bases. Michael Toglia (UCLA) and Dillard both hit grounders to score one runner each before Salvatore blasted a two-run home run to put the Kettlers up seven.

“Dan Hammer would have still been pitching in the fifth if we didn't make so many errors,” Anglers manager Tom Holliday said. “We made errors and we made errors they didn't give us.”

Chatham finally responded in the third. Blake Sabol (Southern California) lined a seeing-eye single past the shift with one out and John Rave (Illinois State) immediately brought him around to score with a two-run round-tripper over the right field fence.

The homer boosted the Chatham bats as the next three hitters all smoked base hits. Torkelson and Busch both roped singles before Colin Simpson (Oklahoma State) scored Busch with a one-bagger of his own.

“As soon as we scored three, I knew we could win that game,” Holliday said. “I never felt like we were going to stop scoring. I just didn't see a guy on the mound for them that was dominant.”

Cotuit added two runs in the third on a Smith two-run homer to re-extend its lead to six, but again Chatham countered in its next half inning.

Kyle McCann (Georgia Tech) singled and Sabol was hit by a pitch to put two runners on for Torkelson. As he has for much of the season, the Arizona State product delivered, roping a two-RBI double to left-center.

More runs come around in the next inning. Simpson crushed the first pitch he saw in the fifth into the woods beyond the Lowell Park fence to cut the lead to three. 

While the Chatham bats were chopping away at the Cotuit lead, Troy Miller (Michigan) was tossing up zeros. Pitching the three middle innings, the CCBL All-Star held the Kettleers bats hitless and only allowed two runners on base via walks.

When Miller was relieved in the seventh, Cotuit had a chance to rebuild its lead, but Zack Noll (Point Loma Nazarene) bunkered down. Wolforth led off the inning with a double before Duke Ellis (Texas) reached on a bunt, setting up runners on the corners, but it didn’t lead to a run. Noll got two popouts and a strikeout to leave the runners stranded.

“Miller gave us a chance to win,” Holliday said. “Noll gave us a chance to win. Veliz just slammed the door.”.