By John S. Condakes
JUNE 17, 2008
COTUIT— The Kettleers returned to the confines of Lowell Park Tuesday evening and produced their most exciting win of the young season as designated hitter Jeff Schaus of Clemson delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning as Cotuit took a 5-3 victory over division rival Wareham Gatemen. Nate Garcia of UC-Santa Clara got the start for Cotuit and pitched four and a third innings of one run baseball along with three strikeouts.
Garcia cruised through the first two innings but ran into some trouble in the third as he surrendered two walks that led to a first and third situation with two outs but he was able to escape unscathed as Indiana’s Evan Crawford caught the final out of the inning in right field. The Kettleers opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from UC Berkeley’s Brett Jackson. Jackson continued his hot hitting from last night with a 2-4 effort and two 2 RBI to pace the Cotuit offense.
USC Catcher Robert Stock scored the second run of the inning on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Kettleers after three. Garcia was forced from the game after allowing two Wareham runners to reach and Alex Sogard (NC State) came on in relief. Sogard was welcomed to the game by Wareham’s Connor Rowe (Texas) who cracked an RBI double to put the Gatemen on the board. Sogard then threw a wild to pitch which allowed shortstop Shea Vucinich (Washington State) to score from third and right fielder Brett Eibner of Arkansas capped off the Wareham rally with an RBI single to make the score 3-2 in favor of the visitors.
Jackson did his best to manufacture a run in the bottom of the fifth as he swiped two bases after his second single of the game but was unable to score. The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when the Kettleers broke through with the tying run. Schaus belted a leadoff double and Jackson knocked him home for his second RBI on the evening to tie it at 3. Danny Meszaros (College of Charlston) was called upon to retire the Gatemen with the help of a double play turned by Cotuit’s middle infield of shortstop Robbie Shields from Florida Southern and second baseman Dallas Poulk (NC State) in the top of the eighth and the offense got back to work.
Shields and Patterson hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and then Schaus came up with one out and the go ahead run on second. “I was just gonna try to hit the ball hard and give the team the lead going into the ninth,” said Schaus. He connected for his third hit of the game (3 for 4 with an RBI) that put Cotuit up 4-3. First baseman Kevin Patterson of Auburn tacked on an insurance run as he scored on a wild pitch to make the final 5-3. Meszaros pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win as Cotuit improved to 3-0. Last Sunday’s rainout against Orleans has been rescheduled for Monday, June 30th at 7 p.m. The Kettleers will put their perfect record on the line as they travel to face the defending Cape League champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox tomorrow at 5 p.m.