Darien’s Richard Brereton helps Cotuit claim Cape Cod Baseball League crown
With each passing inning, Darien’s Richard Brereton was asked the same question by Cotuit Kettleers’ head coach Mike Roberts: “Do you want to come out?”
Each time, the answer was the same: “No, sir.”
After 93 pitches and six innings of relief from Brereton, Cotuit earned a 7-6, 15-inning victory over the Harwich Mariners in game one of the Cape Cod Baseball League championship series Thursday in Harwich. The Kettleers went on to beat the Mariners 10-3 in game two on Friday, completing a sweep and securing the league crown, but it was the game-one win which was the decisive moment.
Brereton said he wasn’t leaving the mound with the result still on the line.
“That was the most incredible pitching opportunity I’ve ever had and there was no way I was coming out of that game,” Brereton said. “I kept telling the coach that he wasn’t going to take me out until 100 pitches later when we got the lead and went up 7-6. Then we went to our closer, Kyle Nicolas from Ball State, and he shut the door.”
For Brereton, a senior at Emory College in Atlanta, playing in the legendary Cape Cod Baseball League was a dream come true.
“It’s baseball at its finest,” Brereton said of the CCBL.
With the help of Emory pitching coach David Anderson, who had played for Cotuit, Brereton joined the Kettleers on a temporary contact for two weeks earlier this summer. After getting a lock at the former Wave star’s play, coach Roberts extended the stay for the whole summer, which was Brereton’s goal.
“I met amazing teammates who are some of the most talented collegiate baseball players in the country,” Brereton said. “And I got to play against nine other collegiate all-star teams, which is basically what the Cape is. I learned a ton not only from coaches but from the players. It was everything I could have imagined and more.”
Cotuit went on a roll in the playoffs, winning three best-of-three series
The Kettleers lost their playoff opener 8-7 to Wareham, but rebounded to win 22-2 and 4-1 to take that series, before sweeping Falmouth 5-0 and 5-3.
In the championship series, Cotuit trailed Harwich 6-4 after eight innings of game one, but scored twice in the top of the ninth to tie the score.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Mariners put the first two men on base thanks to an infield single and a hit batter.
At that pressure-packed moment, Brereton was called in to relieve Cole Beavin.
“It was a short call to the bullpen and I had about a minute to warm up,” Brereton said. “He put me in there and I just tried to do my job. The catcher, Cody Pasic, and I have been on the same page all year, and he did a great job blocking the pitches that he needed to block and I don’t think I disagreed with anything he put down. I executed my pitches.”
Brereton got one out on a fly to left and then ended the inning when he got Joey Wiemer to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Brereton remained on the mound for six innings, allowing one hit and four walks with five strikeouts.
The Kettleers took the lead in the 15th when Nick Gonzales singled home Adam Oviedo with two outs, and Nicolas then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to get the save.
“Even though we didn’t score until the 15th inning, that (ninth) inning really fired us up and gave us some momentum when we went into extra innings,” Breteton said. “It was a pretty tiring game, mentally draining, but we deserved to win and when we won in the 15th, we all knew we were going to win the following day.”
Playing at home for game two, Cotuit rolled to a 10-3 win to secure the 17th championship in team history.
Of Brereton, coach Rogers told kettlers.org: “He is one of the most fundamentally sound young men that I have ever coached. Whoever taught him should be congratulated because of his fundamentals … he has the mechanics to be able to throw his pitches in any count and that’s what he did (in game one) and it was really his mechanics, his sheer, good mechanics, that he has such great control that allowed him to stay out there that long.”
Brereton, who was born in London, will turn his attention overseas as he gets set to play for Great Britain’s Senior National Team in the European Championships in Germany next month. It’ll be his sixth season with the program, as he’s also played for the U-18 and U-23 teams during the past five years.
The winner of the European Championship will move on to the Olympic qualifying tournament in Italy.
Brereton is also looking forward to his senior season with Emory’s baseball team, as the Eagles return a veteran roster, much like the one they had during his freshman season when they were 27-14.
“We’re good and we’re experienced,” Brereton said. “My freshman year, we had a really experienced team and we went to a (NCAA Div. III) Regional. It didn’t work out the way we want it to then, but this year we return a similar experienced team to the field. So we’re really excited for this year and the goal is to win a ring.”
Brereton, who pitches and plays shortstop for the Eagles, has been improving his numbers every year. A two-time All-University Athletic Association First Team selection, he led the team in batting average (.392), hits (56), RBIs (30) and stolen bases (18), while also going 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.
“I’ve played for a great head coach in Mike Twardowski, who’s been there for 20 years, and he’s had a lot of success,” Brereton said. “I’ve gotten to play at one of the nicest facilities and at one of the best schools in the country. I love Atlanta and Emory’s given me such great opportunities on and off the field. I’m really grateful for that.”