Lopez Smacks Game-Winning Hit to Lead Cotuit to Victory
By Megan Kerr, Asst. Web Editor
June 21, 2005
COTUIT, MA – Roberto Lopez (USC) collected the game-winning RBI for the Kettleers last night in the early innings, as they hung on to beat Harwich, 2-1, for Cotuit’s (2-3-1) second victory of the season. The Kettleers remained tied for second place with the Bourne Braves in the Western Division.
Cotuit did all of its damage in the first inning against Tim Lincecum (Washington, 11 Ks, 1 BB), the starting pitcher for the Mariners, who gave Harwich 8 very strong innings, but the offense for the Mariners wasn’t able to do anything against the pitching of the Kettleers. The two runs scored in the opening inning would be all that the Kettleers would need as they subdued the Harwich attack. Lopez went 1-3 on the night with one RBI.
Cape League stolen base leader Emeel Salem (Alabama) singled to lead off the inning, and Shane Jordan (Stetson) followed with a walk to put immediate pressure on Lincecum. A sacrifice bunt by Bryan Harris (LSU) moved both runners over, which brought Todd Davidson (Delaware), tied for the team lead in RBI with six, up to the plate with only one out. Davidson though, grounded into a fielders choice when he hit the ball to the third baseman. Salem went 1-3 on the night with one RBI and is atop the Cape League’s stolen base leaders with eight bag thefts to date. Jordan is no slouch on the basepaths, either, following close behind Salem with six stolen bases.
Salem was going home on contact, and therefore the Mariners were able to get him out in the resulting pickle, but Jordan was able to make it to third base while the Harwich defense was occupied with Salem. A wild pitch got Jordan home, and moved Davidson over to third base. Then, Lopez came up, and his single scored Davidson to put the Kettleers up two to nothing. From that point forward, the game became a pitching duel as both starting pitchers pitched effectively. In fact, until the eighth inning, the Kettleers never had a base runner on base against Lincecum.
Clay Dirks (LSU, 6 Ks, 1 BB) collected his first victory of the season, pitching six strong innings and only allowing one unearned run. This run was scored in the bottom of the sixth inning after Joe Hough ( U. of Maine) reached on an error by the third baseman J.P. Padron (LSU, 1 E). A sacrifice bunt by Jake Dugger (UVA) moved Hough over to second base with two outs, and then Scott Sizemore (VCU, 2 for 3 batting) singled to bring Dugger home. Dirks got the third out of the inning when Chacd Flack (UNC) fouled out to the left fielder, and Jake McCarter (Navarro, 2 BBs), who came on in relief, kept the Mariners offense subdued for the next two innings.
After the Kettleers failed to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, Taylor Parker (Missouri) came on to try and close out the game for Cotuit. His first batter though, doubled and then reached third on an error by the center fielder Lopez. With no outs and a man on third, Chris Toneguzzi (Purdue, 2 Ks) then came on to try to get the save. The crowd was nervous because the tying run was on third base with no outs, but Toneguzzi proved to be equal to the task. He struck out the first two batters and then forced a fly out to first base to pick up his first save of the season.
The Kettleers pitchers subdued the Mariners attack, and though they were unable to get their bats going, the two runs scored in the first inning was enough to get the victory. With Brewster coming in tommorow, the Kettleers will look to bring their record up to five hundred with their second win in a row. If the pitching is as good tommorow as it was tonight, they should have no problems coming away with a victory before their day off.