The Sandwich Enterprise
July 28, 2000
by Dan Crowley
On July 12 the Kettleers defeated the Cardinals by the score of 3-1. Zack Minor got the win going seven innings allowing just three hits. Nick Glaser got the save for Cotuit. Since that long ago Wednesday night at Lowell Park, the Kettleers have suffered a string of defeats. With a record of 11-18 the Kettleers hosted Falmouth last week mustering a meager five hits. Matt Longo went three for four at the plate and drove in catcher John Nathans with the only Cotuit run. The loss increased the Kettleer losing streak to five games.
A trip to Whitehouse Field in Harwich followed where the Kettleers ran into a strong pitching performance by Mariner Jason Slanina, who went seven innings allowing just three hits. Clemson reliever, Mike Proto from Peabody, Massachusetts followed with two innings of no hit pitching to give Harwich an 8-2 victory and hand Cotuit it’s sixth straight loss. Kettleer third baseman Jeff Eure drove in both Cotuit runs with a double in the second inning.
The All Star game on Saturday gave all but the three Kettleer representatives, Ryan Combs, Glaser and Daylan Holt, a break. But, after the ninth inning Eastern Division heroics to clinch a 7-6 win, Cotuit, with an 11-20 record and 20 points behind Western Division leader Wareham, got back to business facing Eastern Division leader Brewster at Lowell Park. Two Whitecap runs in the top of the first was all the scoring until Brewster posted three more in the top of the sixth for a 5-0 lead. Brewster left fielder Paul O’Toole hit a three run home run in the eighth to increase the lead to 8-0. Cotuit fought back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs. Mike Hook went two for four for the Kettleers with two RBI. Eure accounted for the other RBI and also scored a run. A run apiece in the ninth brought the contest to an end at 9-4. Ryan Olsen (2-1) held Cotuit scoreless for eight complete innings giving way to closer Peter Dunkle. Brian Sager took the loss for the Kettleers dropping his record to 0-3.
Suffering their seventh straight loss and dropping to 11-21, 22 points behind division leading Wareham and 10 points away from second place Falmouth, Cotuit traveled to Veterans Field in Chatham to make up a game canceled earlier due to fog. Four innings into the game that was canceled, Chatham pitcher Chris Young had already notched eight strikeouts, striking out the side in both the third and fourth. Typical of the way the season has gone for the Kettleers, when they arrived in Chatham last Monday, they were greeted from the mound by none other than Young (3-2), who went seven strong innings for the Athletics giving up no runs on just two hits while striking out eight in a 4-2 Chatham win. Dave Bush got his eighth save of the season for the Athletics. Both teams recorded just five hits apiece with Zack Minor (1-4) taking the loss for Cotuit. The Kettleers committed four errors in the field. Hook led the way on the base paths with four stolen bases raising his league leading total to 21. Dallas McPherson doubled in the top of the eighth for the Kettleers. He took third on a wild pitch and came home on a passed ball to put Cotuit on the scoreboard. Hook scored from second, after a walk and stolen base, on a single by Longo with the second Kettleer run. The loss, the eighth in a row for the Kettleers, dropped them to 11-22 and 10 points behind second place Falmouth in the Western Division with 11 games remaining.
Tuesday night offered an opportunity to close the gap on the second place Commodores. Cotuit sent McPherson (1-1) to the mound for just his second start of the season. A junior from The Citadel, McPherson faced the league’s home run leader, Falmouth right fielder Luke Scott who has seven dingers and is also tied for third in runs scored with 23 and Doc Brooks, the power in the Commodore line-up who boasts six home runs, is second in the league with 15 extra base hits and leads in runs scored with 28. Dave Mattle and Phil Ghutzman are also capable with the bat. McPherson, who has played either first or third base for most of the season lost his first start of the season back on the 15th, a 6-4 decision to Yarmouth Dennis. In five innings he allowed eight hits and managed just two strikeouts. But Tuesday McPherson was masterful. After eight innings the Cotuit pitcher had still not allowed a hit. An unearned Falmouth run in the fourth inning gave the Kettleers a 5-1 lead going into the ninth. Falmouth first baseman Phil Hartig, the first batter McPherson faced in the bottom of the ninth, singled to spoil the no hit bid. McPherson stranded Hartig, ending the inning and breaking an eight game Cotuit losing streak. Hook once again tore up the base paths with a second four steal game and leads the league with 25. Matt Singer has been steady with the bat, going two for five with a run scored. Eure, Holt and Steve Ghutzman also had hits for the Kettleers. Ghutzman and Holt had two RBI each. The Commodores committed four errors behind Preston Larrison (2-2) who took the loss.
The long awaited win moved the Kettleers out of the cellar and into fourth place in the Western Division, one point ahead of Bourne. With only the top two teams in the division qualifying for the playoffs, Cotuit trails Falmouth and Hyannis, who are both tied for second, by just eight points with 10 games remaining.
The Kettleers play Hyannis twice and Falmouth once more this summer. They also have to face league leader Wareham on the road next Friday. Hopefully winning will become contagious.