By John S. Condakes
JUNE 22, 2008
COTUIT —The Kettleers returned home to Lowell Park Sunday evening to host the Orleans Cardinals for a contest that began threatened by rain. There was some uncertainty as to whether or not the game would be played after last Sunday’s rainout that was supposed to be hosted by Orleans but the sky cleared and the teams were able to play without any delay. A crowd of 825 was treated to an 11-5 by the Kettleers upping their record to 5-2 in the competitive Western Division of the Cape League.
Paul Applebee made his debut for the Kettleers and pitched five strong innings allowing only one run on three hits and striking out five with one walk but wasn’t involved in the decision. The Cotuit offense got right to work in the bottom of the first as Arizona State’s Jason Kipnis and Brett Jackson of Cal Berkeley had back-to-back singles. Shortstop Robbie Shields of Florida Southern then dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt to move them into scoring position for the clean-up hitting first baseman, Kevin Patterson of Auburn. Patterson delivered them home with an RBI single to make it 2-0 Cotuit after one.
The Kettleers would get another run in the third thanks to a bit of pop in the bat of Shields. With the wind blowing out to left-center field, Shields took the offering from Princeton’s Brad Gemberling and deposited over the fence for his first home run of the season. The solo shot put Cotuit up 3-0 at the end of the third. The Orleans offense got to Applebee in the top of the fourth when they loaded the bases but the lefty from UC-Riverside got out of it allowing only one run on a sacrifice fly. Patterson would answer for the Kettleers in the fifth after Gemberling exited with four and a third innings pitched by knocking in his second run of the game on an RBI groundout off of new pitcher Elliot Glynn of Connecticut making it 4-1 Cotuit.
The Cardinals would tie it in the top of the sixth thanks to a double by Loyola Marymount’s Angelo Songco with the bases loaded off of new pitcher Daniel Wolford (Cal Berkeley) knotting the game up at 4. Cotuit would retake the lead in the bottom of the inning when left fielder Mike Bianucci of Auburn hustled his way to an infield hit and stole second base. He would later score on a walk by second baseman Dallas Poulk of NC State. Jackson added a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4 Kettleers after six.
Orleans would not go quietly as shortstop Cole Figueroa of Florida doubled, stole third base and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh off of new Kettleer Sam Brown to close the gap to 6-5. Brown had some difficulty with his footwork on the mound but was able to adapt to the steepness of the slope and had a very effective outing. “If I had a flat mound I would have thrown better,” said Brown who earned the save in three innings of work.
The Cardinals brought in Adam Wilk of Long Beach St. to pitch in the seventh. Bianucci would increase the lead for Cotuit as he blasted a grand slam for his third home run of the season making it 10-5 in favor of the home team. Bianucci would finish the night 2 for 4 with 4 RBI. Patterson added his fourth RBI of the night in the eighth inning to make it 11-5. The first baseman went 2 for 4 in the clean-up spot for the Kettleers. Wolford was awarded the win and Gemberling suffered the loss. The Kettleers will travel to Bourne on Monday to face the Braves for the second time this season and to improve their 5-2 record. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.