By John S. Condakes
JULY 3, 2008
BREWSTER — Matt Fairel took the mound for the Kettleers looking for his second win in as many tries. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for Fairel as he surrendered seven runs over five innings on eleven hits with two walks, four strikeouts and a hit batter. The Kettleers’ defense didn’t prove to be much help for Fairel as they made five errors on a questionable surface at Stony Brook Field.
Brett Jackson (Cal Berkeley) returned to the top of the lineup but Coach Mike Roberts decided to move him from his usual center field spot to right field. He led off with a double to start the game against Whitecaps starter Buddy Bauman of Missouri State and scored on an RBI single by first baseman Kevin Patterson of Auburn to put Cotuit up 1-0. Fairel followed up his offense by holding the Brewster offense to no runs on two hits in the first.
The Kettleers’ lead was short-lived as the Whitecaps came back with three runs on a four hit attack in the bottom of the second to give them the lead that they would never relinquish. Catcher Robert Stock came back to play the entire game after being used as a pitcher for an inning and having one at-bat against Bourne on Wednesday night to have a productive night. The USC Trojan led off the top of the third with a double as he went 2-2 on the night with 2 walks and a run scored. Left fielder Mike Bianucci added to his league-leading RBI total with an RBI single to knock in Stock and cut the Brewster lead to 3-2.
Fairel ran into some serious trouble in the fourth as he allowed a leadoff walk to shortstop Derek Poppert (San Francisco) and back-to-back singles to James Meador (San Diego) and Brent Millville (Stanford) which loaded the bases for third baseman Connor Powers of Mississippi State. Powers launched a towering grand slam off of Fairel’s offering into the woods in left field to put the home team up 7-2.
The Kettleers clawed back for one run in the sixth as Evan Crawford of Indiana hit a deep fly ball that fell in for a hit but was ruled an error on Brewster center fielder Jason Nappi (Mississippi State) and wound up on second base. Second baseman Dallas Poulk of NC State drove in Crawford with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 7-3. The Brewster bullpen trio of Evan Bronson (Trinity University), Garett Claypool (UCLA) and Rory McKean (Mississippi) held the Kettleers scoreless through the final three innings and allowed only three hits and one walk.
The Kettleers’ bullpen on the other hand had some difficulty after Danny Meszaros (College of Charleston) threw a perfect sixth inning. Lefty Mario Hollands of UC Santa Barbara allowed two more runs after giving up back-to-back singles to begin the seventh but the story of the game was made by everyday third baseman Jeff Kobernus. Kobernus made his way to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and caused a stir among the Kettleers’ fans when at first they noticed that Jason Kipnis (Arizona State), who had started the game in center field, was playing third base.
“I haven’t pitched since high school,” said Kobernus. “He just said he needed somebody to throw strikes because a lot of our pitchers’ arms have been sore.” Kobernus also noted that he would be back at third base tomorrow. Kobernus struck out the first batter he faced looking but allowed three runs to score with his strike throwing method but only two of them were earned after Poulk’s second error of the game. He ended the eighth with a double play turned by Michael Gilmartin (Wofford) who returned to the Kettleers for his first regular season game after being released during the exhibition season.
The Kettleers will partake in the annual Fourth of July parade in Cotuit on Friday and then will host the Falmouth Commodores at 5 p.m. Cotuit handed the Commodores a loss in their first meeting of the season and will hope to improve upon their now 9-6 record.