Falmouth Picks up Two Huge Wins at Fuller Field, 7-6 and 2-1 Over Ketts
By Megan Kerr/Asst. Web Editor
July 28, 2006
FALMOUTH, MA — Falmouth ‘s Elmer “Guv” Fuller Field continued to be a frustrating place for the Kettleers as Cotuit lost both ends of a doubleheader by one run Friday.
Falmouth edged Cotuit, 7-6 in the first game and 2-1 in the second. In both games, Cotuit held the lead at one point, but their usually surefooted defense, made many costly mistakes in the two games that would come back to haunt them.
The first game started off extremely well for the Kettleers as they scored three runs off of two hits against Falmouth starter Sean Morgan (Tulane, 3BB, 2K, 6H) as both Kellen Kulbacki (James Madison, 2 for 3, 1 RBI) and Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 1 for 4, 1 RBI) picked up an RBI to put them at third and fourth on the team, respectively. After such a positive start, it seemed that Cotuit would be able to finally conquer Falmouth’s field, but starter Jay Brown (Young Harris, 1 BB, 2K, 5H) struggled in the first inning as well as he was a little shaky in his first start since having some tendonitis issues with his shoulders. Brown allowed Falmouth to score two runs in the first to cut the lead to one and then allowed another two runs in the third to give the Commodores their first lead of the game. Falmouth was helped by some Cotuit’s porous defense as errors by Brown and Reese Havens ( South Carolina , 0 for 3) helped sustain Commodores rallies to give them the lead.
Cotuit though, didn’t go down easily as they tied the game back up in the fourth inning off a sacrifice fly by Tony Thomas ( Florida St , 0 for 3, 1 RBI). The tie was short-lived as Falmouth answered right back with a two-run homerun by Warren McFadden (Tulane, 2 for 3, 2 RBI), who with the homerun, briefly passed Justin Smoak (South Carolina, 2 for 5, 2 RBI) for lead in homeruns with eight on the season. Smoak was more than up to the challenge as in the fifth inning with Cotuit down by two runs, he hammered the ball to deep right center to tie McFadden at eight homeruns on the season. Then, in the ninth inning with Cotuit again down by two runs and with two outs, Smoak hit his second homerun of the day off of Falmouth closer Sam Demel (Northeastern, 0BB, 2K, 1H). Smoak’s ninth homer of the season wasn’t quite enough as Demel then proceeded to strike out the next batter to pick up his tenth save of the season and give Falmouth their seventeenth victory of the season.
After an hour break, Cotuit and Falmouth squared off again in the second game of the double-header, and again, Cotuit started off strong. Justin Smoak ( South Carolina , 1 for 2, 1 RBI) took up where he left off as he sent the second pitch thrown at him by Falmouth starter Joe Paterson ( Oregon State , 1BB, 6K, 3H) over the fence for his third homerun of the day. With that homerun, Smoak picked up his tenth of the season, which ties the Cotuit record for most homeruns in a season when using wooden bats. Smoak shares the record with Nick Delvecchio of Harvard University (1991) and Bob Hamplo of Stanford University (1974), but as he has reached this mark prior to the all-star game, it is almost a sure thing that Smoak will before long, hold the record all by himself.
Even with Cotuit unable to muster any more offence after Smoak’s homerun, the Kettleers appeared to be in solid position to pick up a victory as their starter James Simmons (UC Riverside, 3BB, 9K, 3H) was pitching brilliantly. Simmons pitched seven great innings for the Kettleers, striking out nine to give him a team-leading thirty-nine on the season. Unfortunately, Cotuit’s defense again let its pitcher down as Falmouth was able to tie the game up in the fifth inning off of an error by shortstop Reese Havens ( South Carolina , 1 for 3). With a runner on second and two outs, Stan Widmann (Clemson, 1 for 3), hit a hard groundball that Havens was able to corral fairly deep in the outfield grass that would have stopped the runner from going home. Instead of eating the ball though to give Simmons the opportunity to get out of the inning, Havens attempted to make an outrageous throw to first off of his back heel, which soared over Smoak’s head, allowing the tying run to score. Simmons then proceeded to force the next batter to ground out weakly to the shortstop, but the damage had already been done.
After Cotuit was unable to get their offence going, Cory Gearrin (Young Harris, 0BB, 1H, 0K) was called upon in the ninth inning to give the Kettleers the opportunity to win the game in extra innings. Taylor Harbin (Clemson, 1 for 4) connected on the very first pitch that Gearrin threw him, sending the ball into the gap between the center and right fielder. Cotuit attempted to relay to get the speedy Harbin out at third, but a bad throw from second baseman Eric Farris (LMU, 1 for 4) got away from third baseman Tony Thomas (0 for 3) and went out of play. Harbin was then allowed to take the extra base to give the Commodores their eighteenth victory, which puts them at .500 on the season. With that one bad pitch, Gearrin picked up his first loss of the season as it was a fitting ending to a day that involved many poor defensive plays on the part of the Kettleers. Most of the team will now have a well deserved day off, but eight players, including Gearrin, travel to participate in the all star game taking place at Y-D.