By John S. Condakes
SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2008
COTUIT—The Kettleers and the Mets faced each other with the prospect of taking over first place in the West with a win and another game at stake for the Barnstable Patriot Cup. The boys representing Cotuit fell victim to yet another outstanding pitching performance Sunday evening against their rivals the Hyannis Mets and bowed to them 5-2 in front of a crowd of 1400 at Lowell Park.
Mario Hollands (UC Santa Barbara) took the start for Cotuit but fell into trouble with two outs in the first inning. After walking center fielder Marcus Jones (NC State), Hollands was torched for a two run homer by third baseman Chris Dominguez of Louisville. Scouts estimated that Dominguez hit the ball around 400 feet as it sailed over the left field fence for a 2-0 Hyannis lead after half an inning. The Cotuit bats tried to muster an answer in the bottom half of the inning but Alex McRee (Georgia) shut them down as he would for the majority of the next six innings as he scattered seven hits allowing one run and had three strikeouts.
Hollands would only last two innings in his outing but took the loss. Righty Zach Von Tersch (Georgia Tech) came on in the third inning and was also touched for a run with two outs to put Hyannis up 3-0. Cotuit answered back with the combination of second baseman Dallas Poulk (NC State) and left fielder Mike Bianucci (Auburn). Poulk led off the bottom of the third inning with a single and Bianucci drove him in with an RBI double to the gap in left center field to put Cotuit on the board for a 3-1 score after three innings.
The Kettleers threatened again in the bottom of the fourth with two on and one out but failed to score. Von Tersch got into some big trouble in the top of the fifth as he loaded the bases with a double, single and a walk. Coach Mike Roberts pulled him in favor of reliever Sam Brown (NC State) who got out of the jam but not before he gave up a 2 RBI single to first basemen Ben Paulsen (Clemson) to put Hyannis up 5-1. After the fifth inning, Brown settled down to pitch four strong innings giving up two hits, no runs charged, no walks, and five strikeouts.
“The ball was sinking a lot, I was coming inside on batters a lot more and didn’t throw that many sliders,” said Brown. Brown also mentioned that the mound had an issue and noted that he made an adjustment so it wouldn’t affect his pitching. “The right side of the mound had a little hole in it so I just moved over to the left,” he said.
Cotuit added another run on an RBI single by first baseman Kevin Patterson (Auburn) to make the score 5-2. Bianucci was hit in the leg with a Russell Brewer (Vanderbilt) fastball in the ninth but remained in the game as the Kettleers’ bats couldn’t move him along allowing Brewer to convert his ninth save in nine tries.