By John S. Condakes
JUNE 27, 2008
FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Commodores got a taste of Cotuit’s red-hot bats last night, taking a 9-2 defeat on the chin from the visitors as the Western Division-leading Kettleers added to their first place lead in the division standings.
The Kettleers cruised to an easy 9-2 victory over host Falmouth and once again Cotuit got on top early by plating runs in the first at-bat they received.
The recipe for offensive success has largely included the talent of two players in the last four contests: rightfielder Jason Kipnis (Arizona State) and centerfielder Brett Jackson (UC-Berkeley). The outfield tandem once again reached base for the middle of the order. First baseman Kevin Patterson of Auburn once again proved why he earned the right to hit cleanup by scoring Kipnis and Jackson on his first home run of the season. Patterson’s blast sailed over the fence in right center field and put Cotuit up to a quick 3-0 lead.
Matt Fairel of Florida State took to the mound for his first start as a Kettleer and after a few bumps in the first inning pitched six strong for the win. In the first he gave up a sacrifice fly to put the Commodores on the board but he wouldn’t surrender another run as he allowed only two hits, three walks along with five strikeouts. The first inning ended with the score 3-1 in favor of Cotuit.
The Kettleers bats looked poised for a big inning when left fielder Mike Bianucci of Auburn connected for his Cape League-leading fourth dinger of the season to make it 4-1. Catcher Robert Stock of USC joined the hit parade with a double but the inning ended when Falmouth turned their first of three double plays on the night.
Fairel was able to induce a double play turned by second baseman Dallas Poulk of NC State, Shields and Patterson to end a threat in the third inning. In the top of the fourth, the Kettleers turned it up a notch as they plated four more runs. Poulk led off with a single, Bianucci walked and Stock followed with his second hit of the night. Kipnis (3 for 4, 3 RBI, 3 runs, SB) then delivered the dagger to Commodore starter Jorge Reyes’s (Oregon State) outing as he cleared the bases with a double to put Cotuit up 7-1. Reyes was relieved by Quinnipiac’s Chris Gloor who was welcomed to the game with an RBI single by Jackson to make it an even 8-1.
Fairel continued to retire the Commodore hitters until he got into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff double to catcher Trevor Coleman of Missouri, Fairel walked third baseman Diego Seastrunk (Rice) and center fielder Ryan Jones (Wichita State) reached on an error to load the bases with one out. Fairel received some defensive help from Cal Berkeley third baseman Jeff Kobernus who forced Coleman out at home and designated hitter Justin Miller of Ohio State was retired on a flyout to Bianucci in left.
“It felt good tonight,” said Fairel after the game. “I wanted to go five but I went six and I got here last Saturday so I’ve been waiting to pitch for a while,” he explained. Fairel was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday night but was bumped back to Friday due to the rainout.
Kipnis scored the final Cotuit run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Kobernus to make the score 9-1. Alex Sogard of NC State came on in relief of Fairel and induced two more double plays turned by the Kettleer defense. He allowed five his and one earned run in an inning and a third of work and left with the score 9-2 in favor of the Kettleers. Danny Meszaros came on to throw in the ninth and shut down the Commodores 1-2-3 for the win. The now 8-2 Kettleers will return to Lowell Park tomorrow to host the Brewster Whitecaps at 5 p.m.