By John S. Condakes
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2008
BOURNE — The Kettleers once again traveled to Doran Park in Bourne and the result against the Braves was the same as they pounded out twelve hits and ten runs to defeat the host Braves 10-5. The win was Cotuit’s second in a row and third straight at Doran Park as they upped their record to 12-10 and flung themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the West Division with the Braves and cross-town rival Hyannis Mets.
The Cotuit bats got right to work in the first inning as second baseman Jason Kipnis (Arizona State) led off with a walk. Third baseman Mike Bianucci of Auburn once again filled in for Jeff Kobernus (Cal Berkeley) and played solid defense after he singled in the first. Kipnis and Bianucci advanced to second and third on a passed ball and first baseman Kevin Patterson of Auburn knocked in Kipnis with an RBI groundout for the early 1-0 lead. Designated Hitter Robert Stock of USC knocked in Bianucci with a single and shortstop Michael Gilmartin (2 for 5, HR) of Wofford followed with a single as well. Right fielder Dallas Poulk of NC State hit into a fielder’s choice to plate Stock for the 3-0 Cotuit lead after half an inning.
Seth Blair got the start on the hill for the Kettleers and mastered the Braves until the third inning when they threatened with runners on second and third but were unable to score. Centerfielder Brett Jackson of Cal Berkeley stroked a double into the right field corner and scored on left fielder Jeff Schaus’s (Clemson) sacrifice bunt. The bunt was a bit of a crazy play as Schaus reached first on an errant throw and made his way towards second but was cut down as Jackson crossed the plate.
Gilmartin launched his first home run of the season to deep left field in the third to put the Kettleers up 5-0. “It feels good to get that first home run, I’m really happy to be back,” said Gilmartin. “I drove back down to South Carolina and then flew to California, it was a nice couple weeks of travel but it’s good to be back,” he said.
The Braves got on the board against Blair in the fourth on a leadoff double by shortstop Dusty Coleman of Wichita State. Catcher Brandon Bantz of Dallas Baptist grounded into a 5-4 double play to score Coleman and make the score 5-1 after four. The Kettleers responded with three more of their own sparked by a one out double by Bianucci (3 for 5, 3 runs) who would later score on an error. Patterson and Stock also reached base to put Poulk up with the bases loaded and he delivered a hit to score two on another error. Bourne committed three miscues in the inning and Cotuit went up 8-1.
Blair gave up a home run with one out in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-2 and was pulled from the game by Coach Mike Roberts after leaving runners on first and second with two outs. Brandon Cumpton of Georgia Tech relieved Blair but was greeted with a 2 RBI double by Marc Kraus. The runs were charged to Blair so he finished with a line of four and two thirds innings pitched with four runs, two earned, three walks and two strikeouts. The score was 8-4 after five.
That would be the closest Bourne would get as Jackson greeted relief pitcher Victor Black (Dallas Baptist) to the game with a solo homer over the right field fence for Cotuit’s ninth run. Bianucci singled and scored on a throwing error after a single by Patterson for the tenth and final run making it 10-4 going into the bottom of the sixth. NC State’s Sam Brown came on with one out in the bottom of the seventh and steamrolled through the Bourne lineup until the ninth inning.
Brown gave up a dinger to Bourne designated hitter Kyle Roller (East Carolina) that got caught up in the wind to make the score 10-5. Brown finished his outing with two and two thirds innings, two hits, one earned run, a walk and five strikeouts. The five strikeouts are an indication of how well he hit his spots with catcher Joey Lewis of Georgia.
Wednesday night’s game was the first time Roberts used the exact same lineup on consecutive nights all season. The win was the second in a row for Cotuit and they will return home on Thursday to tangle with the Wareham Gatemen in hopes of avenging almost being no-hit last time. Game time is set for 5 p.m.