Story By John S. Condakes
Monday, July 21, 2008
COTUIT — There have been some stellar pitching performances for the local nine lately but they have all gone for naught in the win column. Unfortunately, ace Nick Hernandez (Tennessee) fell victim to a lack of run support Monday night as the Kettleers once again failed to pick up two points against a Western Division opponent and remained mired in their recent slump as they dropped to 15-17-1.
Hernandez pitched much better than in his last outing but still suffered the loss. The Tennessee lefty didn’t get into a groove until the fourth inning but that was after a shaky first three including a solo blast of a home run by Wareham leadoff man Raynor Campbell of Baylor to put the Gatemen up 1-0.
The Kettleers responded in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Brett Jackson of Cal Berkeley but that was all the Cotuit bats could do against Wareham’s Brandon Workman of Texas. Workman was once again stellar against the Kettleers as he scattered five hits allowing the one run with no walks, seven strikeouts and hit a batter in seven innings of work.
Hernandez’s final line on the evening was a solid five and a third innings pitched with six hits and he was charged with two more runs as Nate Garcia (Santa Clara) allowed two inherited runners to score after Hernandez loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. The first of those two runs would prove to be the difference as Hernandez took the loss.
“I was locating my fastball today, I thought I was locating it somewhat well,” he said. “Workman pitched an unbelievable game so I knew I had to get some outs since I was going up against him,” explained Hernandez. Unfortunately, there was no margin for error as Workman picked up another win against the struggling Kettleers.
Garcia’s appearance out of the bullpen was his first of that type all season as he had been previously used as a starter. He hit a batter and gave up a sacrifice fly to let up the two runs charged to Hernandez but didn’t give up a hit to Wareham. He finished with a line of an inning and a third pitched allowing three walks, two strikeouts, two inherited runners to score and hit a batter. Alex Sogard of NC State finished the game for the Kettleers and allowed a run in the ninth that put the nail in the coffin for Wareham’s victory for a 4-1 final.
The Kettleers will host the resurgent Bourne Braves Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Lowell Park in hopes of breaking out of this four game losing streak.