(Photo courtesy of Zach Foley)
By: Kieran Wilson
There was a large crowd on hand at “Red” Wilson Field for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox’s home opener on Sunday. But fans hoping for Y-D’s first win of the 2023 season went home disappointed, as the Red Sox lost the game to the Cotuit Kettleers by a score of 8-6.
Red Sox starting pitcher, Nick Juidice, got off to a rocky start in his Y-D debut. The right-hander gave up a walk and an RBI double to the first two batters he faced, before eventually settling down. That double would be the only hit he allowed in four innings of work. Juidice also struck out three batters while walking four others.
His Cotuit counterpart, left-hander, Joseph Whitman pitched well for the Kettleers. He worked five innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out nine Red Sox hitters. Y-D catcher, Will King, was the only player who managed to get to Whitman, hitting singles in the third and fifth innings.
In response to the slow start from the Y-D bats, manager Scott Pickler said, “I thought their starter was very, very good. Had nothing to do with our hitting, their pitcher was very good.”
The score was 1-0 Cotuit, going into the top of the fifth inning, when Y-D’s Parker Bard came on in relief. He retired the first two batters easily, before hitting two batters and walking another to load the bases.
This brought Cotuit designated hitter, Michael Carico, to the plate, who promptly belted a pitch to right field for a grand slam, putting the Kettleers up 5-0.
The score would remain that way until the top of the 7th inning, when Rodney Green Jr. came up to bat for the Kettleers with runners on second and third. He smoked a double into the outfield to increase the Cotuit lead to 7-0.
The Red Sox bats finally burst to life in the bottom of the 8th inning, scoring 6 runs. Mitch Voit began the inning with a single, followed by a Collier Cranford walk. Jack Goodman got the YD scoring started by driving in Voit and Cranford with a double.
Then, Nick Mitchell and Max Viera both had RBI singles, before Hunter Hines reached on an error, allowing another run to score. Brady Day hit a hustle double to left field to drive in Hines and make the score 7-6 Cotuit.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Red Sox would get. Cotuit leadoff hitter, Brock Rodden, hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning off of Dylan Simmons to increase the Kettleer lead to 8-6.
Y-D went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the game. The Red Sox finished with eight hits compared to the Kettleer’s five. However, Red Sox pitching also gave up seven walks, while the Kettleers only gave up one.
Defensively, Jakob Christian looked sharp in left field, making a diving catch on a sinking liner to go along with a few other nice grabs. Overall, the Red Sox defense was much cleaner game, committing no errors, after committing three of them on Saturday against Harwich.
Coach Scott Pickler said, “When you’re bringing a group in, they gotta get used to each other and understand the system, and you know, we’ve had a couple of mental mistakes that have hurt us. These guys are good players. We’re gonna be fine, we’re gonna be fine. We get to go again tomorrow.”
The Red Sox’s next game will come on Monday, June 12, when they take on the Brewster Whitecaps at 4:45 PM at “Red” Wilson Field.