Kettleers’ Maintain Four-Point Lead Over Wareham Atop Western Div.
By Megan Kerr/Asst. Web Editor
July 10, 2006
COTUIT, MA — The Kettleers’ bats unloaded for one, incredible inning last night.
Backed by another stellar performance by righty James Simmons (UC-Riverside), the Kettleers unloaded on Bourne Braves’ pitching in the fourth inning last night at Lowell Park, plating eight runs to give Simmons enough breathing room to do his thing. All totalled, Simmons walked none, struck out four and scattered seven hits in the Kettleers’ 8-1 victory.
At first, it appeared the game was going to be a pitching duel as the first three innings took a little under thirty minutes with both pitchers swapping scoreless frames.
But Braves starting pitcher Eammon Portice (Highpoint College, 2BB, 5 K, 6H) fell apart in the bottom of the fourth.
Portice mowed down the Kettleers the first three innings, striking out five batters to give him twenty nine strikeouts on the season and appeared to be in complete control. Unfortunately, the second time through the lineup didn’t treat Portice well as Cotuit suddenly seemed to have his number. Jeff Rea (Mississippi St, 2 for 5, 2 RBI) started the inning off with a single and Justin Smoak (South Carolina, 1 for 5) followed Rea with a single of his own, which put a runner in scoring position for the first time in the game. Cotuit took advantage of Portice’s first signs of weakness as each batter came to the plate at least once, scoring eight runs, which was way too much for the Braves to overcome.
With the Cotuit offense performing admirably, James Simmons (Cal St Riverside, 0 BB, 4K, 7H) performance was overshadowed but he was in he was in complete control as he pitched eight solid innings for the Kettleers to pick up his third victory of the season. Simmons now has 21 strikeouts on the season to lead the Kettleers and until the eighth inning Bourne wasn’t able to put any pressure on him. In the eighth, with two outs Cat Everett (Tulane, 1 for 3) singled and then David Cash (Florida, 3 for 4, 1RBI) doubled to give Bourne their only run of the day.
After the Kettleers were unable to add any more runs in the bottom of the eighth, Dan Runzler (Cal St Riverside, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 H) came on in the ninth inning to finish off the victory for the Kettleers. Runzler had struck out the side to improve the Kettleers record to fourteen and six as they continue to lead the Western Division. Cotuit face the struggling Braves again tomorrow at home as they look to continue their current hot streak.