Story By John S. Condakes
Thursday, August 7, 2008
COTUIT — Drew Storen is used to pressure. The stakes were high in his most recent appearance as a save against the visiting Hyannis Mets would clinch the Western Division regular season title for the Kettleers. The Stanford hurler inherited a jam created by teammate Daniel Wolford (Cal Berkeley) with runners on first and third with one out in the top of the ninth but escaped allowing only one run. Storen and his teammates celebrated on the mound as they defeated the visitors by a score of 3-1 to punch their ticket to the post-season Thursday afternoon in game one of their double header.
Cotuit turned to Seth Blair (Arizona State) with the playoff spot on the line and Blair, although shaky at times, turned in another shutout performance through seven innings. Blair turned in his third consecutive strong outing and has allowed only two runs in his last three starts as he improved to 4-1 on the summer. His final line was six hits in seven innings with an uncharacteristic four walks, five strikeouts and hit two batters.
On the offensive side, the Cotuit bats came through in the clutch for Blair on three occasions. In the bottom of the third inning, first baseman Kevin Patterson of Auburn led of the inning with a double. With two outs, shortstop Michael Gilmartin (3 for 4, 2 RBI) of Wofford delivered Patterson home with an RBI single to put the home team up 1-0 after three. Two innings later, third baseman Jeff Kobernus of Cal Berkeley led off with a double. With one out, catcher Robert Stock (USC) contributed to the Cotuit lead with an RBI single to plate Kobernus to put Cotuit up 2-0 after five. In the bottom of the seventh, the Kettleers added another insurance run with two outs on Gilmartin’s second RBI single of the day to plate Stock for a 3-0 lead.
Blair exited the game at the end of the seventh inning and gave way to Wolford who made quick work of the Mets in the eighth. “The Wolf” got himself into trouble in the top of the ninth and with one out gave way to Storen. Storen slammed the door on Hyannis to clinch the top spot in the West for the Kettleers. The win also clinched the Barnstable Patriot Cup for the home team as they won that honor for the third time in five years even though the series was tied at 3. One of the tiebreakers was used to determine the Kettleers as winners. The tally of runs allowed was used and the Kettleers came out on top having allowed only 19 runs compared to 26 by Hyannis.
Cotuit’s local nine travelled to South Yarmouth to face the Y-D Red Sox for their final game of the season at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon. The Mets will need to beat Falmouth Thursday night in order to have a shot at making the playoffs as the Commodores and the Bourne Braves are still in the hunt for second place. Prior to the contest, Patterson was awarded the Daniel J. Silva Sportsmanship Award for his outstanding sportsmanship over the course of the season. Patterson was selected out of five finalists for the award and was presented with a plaque. Patterson was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player and Blair was named the team’s Top Pitcher after the completion of the game.
“The team chemistry makes it easier to play your game well when everybody’s playing well as a team,” said Patterson of his MVP Award. “I didn’t know that I was in the running for the sportsmanship award,” he said.
The Western Division regular season Champion Kettleers will await their opponent for a home game at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Lowell Park.