Story by Steve McCarthy and photo by Martha Johnston
June 24, 2009
FALMOUTH – Before Wednesday’s game against Falmouth, the Cotuit Kettleers pitching staff had the fewest strikeouts in the Cape Cod Baseball League with 55. After three days of rainouts, Cotuit’s hurlers found success in the uncharacteristic manner though, striking out 18 in a 2-0 win at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth.
The Commodores (2-5-1) countered Cotuit’s effort by striking out 14, but stranded base runners in scoring position in four of the last five innings. The Kettleers played error free defensively to protect their scarce offensive output, and are now 2-0 against Falmouth this season after winning the first meeting 3-2 in Cotuit on June 14.
“I don’t know if (hitting) ever catches up with the pitching in the Cape League, but you’re beginning to see the pitching get better and better,” Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said. “You’re going to have to finesse wins at times, and we were fortunate tonight to do that.”
Cotuit (5-3-1) scored both of their runs in the fifth inning. Chris Bisson (Kentucky) scored from second on a double by Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech). Plagman then advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a single by B.J. Guinn (Cal-Berkeley).
“(Falmouth’s) pitchers threw great tonight,” Plagman said. “They were spotting up, and throwing some good breaking pitches. They did their job. We luckily were able to scratch a few across.”
Chris Dwyer (1-0, Clemson) earned the win in his first appearance for Cotuit. He struck out nine in five plus innings of work, and allowed three of Falmouth’s five hits in the game. He also walked three and hit a batter.
Tommy Collier (1-1, San Jacinto CC) took the loss for Falmouth despite a quality outing. He struck out seven, and allowed three hits through five innings, but was responsible for both runs.
Dwyer left the first two batters he faced in the sixth inning on first and second when he handed the ball over to Daniel Tillman (Florida Southern). Falmouth’s Josh Adams (Jacksonville) moved the runners over on a sac-bunt, but Tillman struck out the next two batters to end the threat. Tillman struck out five in two and two-thirds innings of relief.
Left-hander Chad Bell struck out one batter to finish the eighth inning. He then hit Falmouth’s Ryan Jones (Wichita St.) with a pitch to lead off the ninth, and was replaced by right hander Drew Gagnier (Oregon). Gagnier allowed a base hit which advanced Jones to third before striking out Falmouth’s bottom three in order to pick up the save (1).
“I just tell (Gagnier), ‘Go pitch the way that you did at Oregon’, because he’s been in here three times and I still don’t really know anything except I like his make-up,” Roberts said of the recently added closer.
Gagnier had a team high seven saves for the Ducks this spring.
Falmouth’s Patrick Cooper (Des Moines CC) struck out the side in the sixth, and added one more strikeout in each of the next two innings. Cecil Tanner (Georgia) then retired Cotuit in order in the ninth.
Falmouth’s 1-2 hitters Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville St.), and Scott Lawson (Miami), accounted for four of Falmouth’s hits with two singles apiece. No Cotuit player had a multi-hit game. Plagman and Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) were the only Kettleers with extra base hits.
If the weather cooperates for a second day in a row Thursday, Cotuit will host the Hyannis Mets at 5 p.m. at Lowell Park.