Cotuit Takes Record to 22-10-1 with 11 Games Left on Summer Slate
By Megan Kerr/Asst. Web Editor
July 25, 2006
COTUIT, MA — It took eleven innings, but eventually the Kettleers were able to triumph over the Bourne Braves in an exciting 4-3 victory. Cotuit lost the lead in the top of the ninth as the Braves continued to battle throughout the game, but the Kettleers were able to pull through in what was going to be the last at bats for them due to the approaching darkness. The Kettleers grabbed the lead in the second inning as Matt Angle (Ohio State, 1 for 4, 1 RBI) and Tony Thomas (Florida St, 2 for 3, 1 RBI) each picked up an RBI off of Braves starter Trevor Holder (Georgia, 2BB, 8K, 4H) to give the Kettleers a two-run lead. Bourne wasn’t intimidated by the Kettleers early display of offence as the Braves came right back in the third inning to cut Cotuit’s lead to one.
Shane Matthews (East Carolina, 2BB, 6K, 1H) pitched extremely well for the Kettleers as he was able to hold the Braves to only one run in the five plus innings that he threw. Bourne picked up that run in the third inning as a mental error by Cotuit third baseman Thomas, who decided to try to throw to second to get the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt, put men on first and second with no outs. The Braves were able to take advantage of this opportunity as Ty Wright (Oklahoma St, 1 for 4, 1 RBI) hit a sacrifice fly to score Drew Davis (Elon, 2 for 4), which trimmed the Kettleers lead to only one run.
Cotuit entered the ninth inning still winning by one run with the score at 3-2 as both teams had added another run. Bourne was down to its last at bats and facing Cotuit closer Cory Gearrin (Young Harris, 0BB, 5K, 4H) who already had six saves on the season and a staggering 1.80 ERA. Gearrin easily got the first Brave batter to ground out, leaving the Braves with only two outs left, but then things began to fall apart for Gearrin. The next two batters singled and then he hit the Braves ninth batter to load the bases for David Cash (Florida, 0 for 3). Cash then hit the ball sharply to second baseman Eric Farris (LMU, 1 for 5, 1RBI) for what appeared to be a possible double play ball, but Farris bobbled the ball, allowing the tying run to come home. Gearrin, who had just blown his first save of the season, was still in trouble as he still only had one out with the bases loaded, but he forced the next batter to hit the ball directly to the shortstop Reese Havens (South Carolina, 1 for 4, 1 RBI). Havens got the runner out at home, and then, because Davis didn’t slide at home plate, the umpire called interference since the catcher had no chance to attempt to turn the double play, allowing Cotuit to finally get out of that disastrous inning.
Extra innings would be needed to decide this affair as though Cotuit tried to respond in the bottom the ninth as Havens nailed a ball down the right hand line just foul that would have scored Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 1 for 3) to win the game for the Kettleers, Cotuit wasn’t able to win it in regulation. Both teams now had their closers in and both performed their jobs admirably. After Gearrin put the Braves down in the top of the eleventh, it was Andrew Carignan’s (UNC, 0BB, 2K, 2H) turn to try to shutdown the Kettleers offence as the game was going to come down to these at bats since the fading light made it clear that this was the last half inning. Justin Smoak (South Carolina, 1 for 5) led off the inning with a double and then moved to third on a bunt by Jeff Rea (Mississippi St, 0 for 5), who got to first off of an error on Carignan’s throw. Gaston was then given a free pass, which loaded the bases for Kyle Russell (Texas, 0 for 1), but Russel struck out on a pitch that appeared to be ball four, making the job much harder for Cotuit as a double play would now end the game. Havens worked the count to two and two, and then singled past a diving second baseman to bring in Smoak and win this exciting game for the Kettleers.
Cotuit and Bourne battled for eleven hard innings and thanks to Havens clutch hitting, the Kettleers were able to come out on top for their twenty-second victory of the season. Cotuit remains at home to play the Falmouth Commodores where hopefully they can pick up a victory in the regular nine innings of play.