By Jessica Isner, Staff Writer
July 20, 2007
LOWELL PARK, COTUIT, MA — It seems like every game lately has been a heartbreaker for the Cotuit Kettleers- and Friday night’s game was no different. After scoring first and then coming back to tie the game in the sixth, the Kettleers eventually gave way to the Wareham Gatemen, who snaked a 3-2 win. The Kettleers have now lost seven straight contests as Falmouth continues to embark on an eight-game winning streak to take control of second place in the East.
Cotuit faced the formidable task of going up against one of the best pitching staffs in the league. The Gatemen roster features just two pitchers with ERA’s over four; the one they sent to the mound today, Andy Oliver, boasted a 1.69 ERA over 32 innings. The Oklahoma State southpaw was every bit as good as advertised, allowing one run on two hits over five frames.
His opponent, South Carolina’s Mike Cisco, came in with the team’s third-best ERA at 3.28. Over his previous four starts, he has pitched extremely well but has fallen victim to a lack of run support and more errors than usual. The errors victimized him against on Friday, as he was limited to just five innings and two runs on three hits with four scattered errors. He got through just one inning in which he did not have to work around an error.
Cisco struggled a little through the first couple of innings, but kept runs off the board thanks to timely outs and, ironically, some good defense behind him. In the first, he worked around a one-out base hit by Beamer Weems and an error by South Carolina teammate Reese Havens but then got a double play to end the inning. Then, in the second, he allowed another one-out infield hit and had to deal with another error- this time by right fielder Caleb Joseph, who allowed a base hit to slide past him to the fence. Cisco then walked Mike Demperio on a full count to load the bases, but got Mike Cavasinni to groundout to second to escape the jam.
After going hitless through the first three frames, Cotuit struck first in the fourth, starting with a leadoff walk by Havens. Josh Harrison, after fouling off numerous pitches, drilled a double to the left field wall, setting up newcomer Matt Clark, who sacrificed a run home with a dribbler to second. With one out, Tony Delmonico popped up the first pitch back to the pitcher and then Ryne White flew out to left, stranding Harrison at third.
Unfortunately, the Kettleers couldn’t hold the 1-0 lead. Cisco issued a leadoff walk to nine-hole hitter Demperio. Then, Cavasinni bunted and Cisco botched the throw to first, which ended up in right field and allowed both runners to score on the play for the 2-1 advantage. Beamer Weems then doubled to right before Blake Dean flied to right for the first out of the inning. Cisco atoned for his earlier miscue when he picked off Weems at second, then got Luke Murton to fly out to end the inning.
Cotuit threatened in the fifth but could not get any runs out of Oliver. After Robert Stock grounded out to lead off, Aaron Baker walked and Jonathan Pigott shot a double to left center for his first extra-base hit of the season. Joseph hit a hard liner right to the shortstop before the Gatemen elected to intentionally walk Havens to load the bases. Pinch hitter Correy Figueroa struck out for the final out.
In the sixth, the Kettleers came back to push the tying run across the plate. Newcomer Matt Clark from Riverside Community College led off with a single that snuck over the first baseman’s glove, and Delmonico moved him along with a sacrifice bunt. Ryne White walked before Stock moved both baserunners along with a broken-bat groundout to second. Then, with Baker up, the Kettleers seemed to atone for their loss last night by scoring the tying run on- you guessed it- a wild pitch.
However, Wareham came right back in the seventh with a two-out rally to score what would be the winning run. Demperio worked a one-out walk and, after Pigott made a great diving catch on a sinking liner by Cavasinni, Weems singled to chase reliever Matt Costello from the game. Garrett Richards came in and surrendered an RBI single to bring home the go-ahead run, charged to Costello.