By John S. Condakes
JULY 4, 2008
COTUIT — The confines of Lowell Park have fared the Kettleers well this season. This proved to be true yet again as Cotuit’s local nine got back on track and defeated the visiting Falmouth Commodores for the second time this season by a score of 3-2. Seth Blair of Arizona State got the nod on the mound from Coach Mike Roberts and didn’t disappoint as his efforts earned him his first victory of the season.
The top of the first inning resembled the play that the Kettleers have exhibited over the passed week as two more errors by second baseman Dallas Poulk (NC State) led to an unearned run and a 1-0 Falmouth lead after a half of an inning. After back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the first to leadoff hitter and left fielder Mike Bianucci (Auburn) and right fielder Jason Kipnis (Arizona State), third baseman Jeff Kobernus (Cal Berkeley) dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to advance the runners into scoring position. Evan Crawford of Indiana benefited from hitting fifth in the order and delivered a clutch two-out, two run base hit to center field to put Cotuit up 2-1 but he was tagged out trying to advance to second base on the throw to the infield.
Blair settled down in the second inning and retired the side in order but the Cotuit offense kept on clicking in the bottom of the inning. Recent addition shortstop Michael Gilmartin (Wofford) led off with a sharp single up the middle to get the Kettleers’ bats going. They then loaded the bases and Gilmartin scored on a wild pitch to put the home team up 3-1 after two.
Blair then cruised through the next five innings as he threw very few pitches in game that took only two hours and ten minutes to determine a winner. “Last week I had a hard time getting the ball down and this week I worked hard in the bullpen at getting the ball down,” said Blair of his first win. “Beating anybody’s good,” he added. The righty gave up his only earned run on an RBI single by Falmouth second baseman and clean-up hitter Jimmy Cesario (Houston) after A.J. Pollock (Notre Dame) reached on an infield hit to cut the lead to 3-2 in favor of Cotuit.
The Commodores threatened in the eighth and ninth but the Cotuit bullpen contingent of Daniel Wolford (Cal Berkeley), Danny Meszaros (College of Charleston) and closer Drew Storen (Stanford) shut the door on both Falmouth rallies. Storen struck out Pollock to end the game and seal the victory and earned his second save of the season. It was the second one run win for the Kettleers on the season and improved their record to 10-7 on the season and broke their two game losing streak. Cotuit is currently two points behind their cross-town rival Hyannis Mets for first place in the Western Division and will look for two more points on Saturday as they travel to Wareham for a contest with the Gatemen at 7 p.m.