Cotuit Still in First Place with Five Games Left in Regular Season
By Megan Kerr/Asst. Web Editor
July 31, 2006
WAREHAM, MA — In a game where pitching was overmatched for both teams, Cotuit fell to the Wareham Gateman 9-6 to move to 25-13-1 on the season. It was an important game for the Gateman as with the win, Wareham was able to distance itself from the charging Falmouth Commodores; while Cotuit seems to be firmly entrenched in first place in the Western Division, the Gateman are fighting for their playoff lives. Wareham jumped on Cotuit starter Graham Godfrey (College of Charleston, 5BB, 5K, 7) from the very beginning as the first player Godfrey faced, Brandon Glover (Texas A&M, 1 for 2, 1 RBI), sent the ball sailing over the right field fence for his first homerun of the season to give the Gateman an early lead. Cotuit entered the top of the sixth down by three runs, but it was there that the Kettleers began to make their push to get back into the game.
Josh Hula (Ohio State, 0 for 3) led off the sixth inning with a walk, and then Eric Farris (LMU, 2 for 4) did the same to put a runner in scoring position for Cotuit for the first time in the game. Cotuit took advantage of this opportunity as Justin Smoak (South Carolina, 2 for 5, 1 RBI) then singled to load the bases and then Jeff Rea (Mississippi St, 0 for 5, 1 RBI), who was to fast to be doubled up by the Gateman, hit a fielders choice to score Hula. Another hit batter by Gateman starter Jeremy Bleich (Stanford, 3BB, 2K, 3H) loaded the bases, where Bleich then proceeded to walk Reese Havens (South Carolina, 0 for 3, 1 RBI) to cut Wareham’s lead to one. The Gateman manager had seen enough at this point, as he yanked Bleich out of the game and put in reliever Tim Matthews (Baylor, 0BB, 2K, 1 H) to stop the bleeding. Matthews was unable to preserve the Gateman’s lead as he hit Matt Angle (Ohio St, 0 for 3, 1 RBI) to tie the game and then an easy groundball to the shortstop went under his mitt to the give the Kettleers their first lead of the game.
Cotuit was unable to hold onto their one run lead though as reliever Shane Matthews (East Carolina, 3BB, 1K, 2H), who picked up his first loss of the season, was lit up in the seventh inning by Wareham for four runs. Matthews gave up three walks in the inning and two doubles as when he finally threw a pitch within the strike zone, the Gateman jumped all over it. After this disastrous inning, the Kettleers were too far behind to come back, though a homerun by Kellen Kulbacki (James Madison, 2 for 3, 1 RBI) in the eighth inning gave the Kettleers fans some life. It wasn’t enough though, as though in the top of the ninth the Kettleers were able to add one more run off of an RBI single by Smoak off of Gateman reliever Connor Graham (Miami of Ohio, 0BB, 1K, 2H), it was to little to late.
Cotuit returns home today to face the Chatham A’s where hopefully the Kettleers’ league-leading pitching will be able to bounce back from its tough outing against the Gateman.