By Megan Kerr, Asst. Web Editor
July 27, 2005
BOURNE, MA — Cotuit was in another close game, but this time it was unable to come away with a win as Bourne defeated the Kettleers 3-1 in game one of the 2005 Western Division playoffs.
With the loss, Cotuit must now win two in a row in order to advance past the Divisional and into the Championship series. Coach Mike Roberts decided to stick with his regular pitching rotation from the regular season, which meant that Nathan Culp (Missouri, 6 Ks, 1 BB) was the first one called to throw in the playoffs. Culp pitched extremely well for the Kettleers, but unfortunately, he was out-dueled by the Braves starter Brad Lincoln (Houston, 5 Ks, 2 BB) who got the job done even though he struggled to do it. Lincoln came away with the win having to work almost every single innings that he threw, but it’s not how you get the job done, but the fact that you do it.
Before the game started, three awards were given out in recognition of the regular season for players and teams in the Western Division. Tim Norton (UConn) of Falmouth took home the Lighthouse award and was on hand to pick up his award even though his season is now done. Then, the home team received some love in the form of awards as the team as a whole was given the Commissioner Cup, which stands for the team that exudes professionalism, and the starter for the game Brad Lincoln was given the tenth player award. Also, Key Span representatives attended the game for the formal presentation of their check for ten thousand dollars that will go to Housing Assistance Corporation. Throughout the season, Key Span donated one hundred dollars for each home run hit in their charity Homeruns for Housing, as they have done now since 2002, and we all applaud their generosity.
After the pre-game ceremonies, the game got under way and it was Cotuit who stuck first in this playoff series. Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 2 for 4 batting) doubled to begin the inning, but he was fortunate that he wasn’t thrown out as if the shortstop hadn’t cut off the throw from right field he most likely would have been the first out of the inning. As it was though, he was safe and then moved to third when Devin Thomas (Brown, 1 for 3 batting) grounded to advance the runner. Shane Jordan (Stetson, 1 for 4 batting, 1 RBI) then got the only Cotuit run of the day across when he singled with no outs to get Gaston home. Things looked good for Cotuit, but unfortunately, some bad breaks allowed Bourne to pull ahead and with their offence unable to produce anything else, the Kettleers couldn’t pull off an away victory.
In the third inning with two outs and one man on, it looked like Culp was going to get out of the inning still with the lead, but an unlucky bounce allowed the Braves to tie the game up. Mike Hernandez (Oklahoma St, 2 for 4 batting, 1 RBI) hit a ground ball towards second base, and Brad Boyer (Arizona, 2 for 5 batting) was unable to come up with it as a bad bounce sent the ball sailing over his head to score the runner from second. This wasn’t the only lucky break for the Braves though as in the sixth inning Bourne benefited from another unfortunate play on the part of the Kettleers. With two men on and one out, it looked like Culp was again going to pitch out of a jam as Brett Bartles (Duke, 0 for 3 batting, 1 RBI) grounded right back towards the mound. Unfortunately, after the runner on third hesitated when he saw the direction of the ball, Culp couldn’t field the ball, with the ball hitting him and getting by him. Ty Wright (Oklahoma St, 2 for 4 batting) saw this and raced home, scoring the winning run as the shortstop only had a play at first.
After Bourne added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Daniel Moskos (Clemson, 3 BBs, 0 Ks) walked in a runner, Romas Hicks (Georgia St, 3 Ks, 0 BBs) came on in the ninth for the save. Hicks put the Kettleers down in order and sent Cotuit home having to swallow a tough road loss. Cotuit must now win the next two and a row against the Bourne Braves in order to advance, and though the task appears to be daunting, the Kettleers can do it. Come support the team tomorrow as they return home and look to get the first of the two wins that they will need!