It All Comes Down to the Final Day at Lowell Park
By Megan Kerr, Asst. Web Editor
August 7, 2005
COTUIT, MA — If Cotuit defeats Hyannis today at 2:00 p.m., it will clinch second place in the Western Division and achieve a bid in the 2005 Western Division playoffs. If Hyannis proves the spoiler and Wareham defeats Bourne, then Cotuit’s 2005 season is over. If both Cotuit and Wareham lose, then Cotuit will maintain its second place ranking and move on to the playoffs. It’s as simple as that.
But things sure did not look simple for Cotuit yesterday afternoon at Lowell Park as Wareham edged the Kettleers, 4-3, in front of a near-capacity crowd.
Cotuit made it a close game as they rallied in the eighth, but they were unable to fully comeback as they lost to Wareham four to three in an important game with playoff implications. Josh Johnson (Mississippi St, 5 Ks, 1 BB) lost his first game of the season as he only lasted four and a third innings, throwing eighty-six pitches in the process. Unfortunately for Cotuit, Johnson faltered in an inopportune time as the Kettleers really needed the game as the playoff hunt is coming down to the wire, making every game important. Wareham jumped on Cotuit from the very beginning, with a faulty defense giving the Gatemen an unearned run, and at first it looked as if the Kettleers were going to be embarrassed at home. Cotuit though, fought back to make it interesting heading into the ninth inning.
A sacrifice fly by Jordan Dodson (Rice, 0 for 5 batting, 1 RBI) scored the first Gatemen run to put them ahead and instantly put the Kettleers on their heels. It seemed as though Cotuit would be able to respond quickly off of eventual winner Jeff Mandel (Baylor, 3 Ks, 2 BB) in the second inning when they loaded the bases with no outs, but unfortunately, they didn’t get any runs out of the inning. This seemed to deflate Cotuit and energize the Gatemen as Wareham continued to press the attack, finally adding onto their total in the fifth inning. Three runs off of four hits appeared to ice the game for the Gatemen as they now held a four to nothing lead with a pitcher who the Kettleers couldn’t touch, but Cotuit never quit, and their persistence paid off in the eighth.
With Mandel tiring, Cotuit was finally able to get back on the attack as Brad Boyer (Arizona, 2 for 5 batting) singled and Todd Davison (Delaware) walked to put runners on with no outs. Julio Borbon (Tennessee, 3 for 4 batting, 1 RBI), who had one of his better games of the season, singled to bring in Cotuit’s first run of the game and to start the comeback. The coach was then forced to make a move to remove a tired Mandel and he brought in Justin Masterson (Bethel College, 1 K, 0 BB) to try to get the Gatemen out of the inning without further damage. Masterson first had to face Bryan Harris (Cal State Fullerton) and he immediately hit Harris in the hand, which would eventually take him out of the game, to load the bases. Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 2 for 4 batting, 2 RBI) then singled to bring in two more runs, cutting the once comfortable Wareham lead to one. Unfortunately, a base running error by Harris got the first out of the inning, and it proved to be a critical play that helped Wareham to get out of the inning with their lead intact.
After the Gatemen went down in order to Chris Toneguzzi (Purdue), Masterson again came out in the ninth inning, looking for his tenth save of the season. With little fight left in them, Cotuit went down fairly easily, giving Masterson his save and Wareham the victory they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tomorrows outcomes of the games featuring Cotuit, Wareham, and Falmouth will be the deciding factor in who will face Bourne in the playoffs. The season is coming down to the wire, and hopefully everyone will be there at Lowell Park tomorrow to support the Kettleers as they look to beat Hyannis in order to advance to the playoffs!