Cotuit Maintains Grip on First Place in Western Division Standings
By Megan Kerr/Asst. Web Editor
July 22, 2006
COTUIT, MA — Cotuit’s bats stayed red-hot last night as the Kettleers routed the Harwich Mariners, 7-1, at Lowell Park.
The scoring started early once again for the Kettleers as in the first inning, Justin Smoak (South Carolina, 2 for 4, 1 RBI), who has been swinging the bat well of late, jacked an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence to give Cotuit a one run lead. P.J. Zocchi (Clemson, 3BB, 2K, 6H) settled down after giving up the early homer to Smoak, not allowing Cotuit to build on their lead, which gave the Mariners offence the opportunity it needed to tie the game up.
James Simmons (UC Riverside, 0BB, 6K, 5H) pitched another solid game for the Kettleers as he struck out six over eight innings to increase his team-leading strikeout total to thirty-three on the season. In the third, Simmons showed some signs of weakness as the Mariners were able to get a run off of him as Devin Thomas (Brown, 1 for 4, 1 RBI) had an eleven pitch at bat that resulted in an RBI single to tie the game up at one apiece. After Thomas’ single, Harwich wasn’t able to get anything going as Simmons tightened up and took complete control of the game, picking up his fourth victory of the season in the process.
Cotuit regained the lead in the seventh inning off of Harwich reliever Joel Brookens, (NC State, 1 BB, 2K, 2H) who picked up his first loss of the season. Brokens loaded the bases, giving up a single to Jeffrey Rea (Mississippi St, 2 for 4), a double to Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 1 for 5), and a walk to Reese Havens (South Carolina, 1 for 3, 1 RBI). Josh Ellis (Wake Forest, 2BB, 0K, 1H) then came on in relief to perform some damage control, but Cotuit was able to score four runs in the inning, two of them off of wild pitches. After the seventh, Cotuit had the game fully in its control as they had a four run lead and with Simmons holding down the Mariners attack, it seemed a virtual lock that Cotuit would pick up its twentieth victory of the season.
Cotuit added another couple of runs in the eighth inning of RBI’s by Havens and Matt Angle (Ohio State, 1 for 5, 1 RBI). Shane Matthews (East Carolina, 0BB, 1 K, 1H) then came on in the ninth inning and closed the game out for the Kettleers. With the one inning of scoreless work, Matthews has now pitched 23.2 innings for the Kettleers and only allowed five earned runs to score. With the victory that Matthews helped to secure, Cotuit continues to lead the Western Division with a 20-9-1 record on the season. Cotuit now travels to play Hyannis who is currently in third place in the West where hopefully the Kettleers will continue their hot hitting.