Story by Steve McCarthy
June 29, 2009
BOURNE – In a matchup of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s top pitching teams, a low scoring game was not surprising. A game winning walk was not what the Bourne Braves expected to receive though in topping the Western Division leading Cotuit Kettleers 2-1 Monday at Doran Park.
Cotuit reliever Daniel Tillman (Florida Southern) intentionally walked the first batter he faced after replacing Mike Nesseth (Nebraska) with two outs in the eighth inning, as Bourne’s Chris Wallace (Houston) was on second. He then lost battles with Zack MacPhee (Arizona State) and Scott Woodward (Coastal Carolina), allowing Wallace to score and break the 1-1 tie.
“We just had to keep battling,” Bourne designated hitter Kyle Roller said. “It was a great pitching duel all day. Just to get things started and kind of build on it, and let everything happen for itself.”
Nesseth (0-2) was saddled with the loss for Cotuit, as he allowed Wallace to reach on a single.
The Kettleers held a 1-0 lead after their half of the eighth inning, before Roller drilled a Nesseth offering to the warning track in left field that Cotuit’s Zach Cone (Georgia) appeared to have a read on, but lost control of as he went crashing into the fence. Cone said his cleat got caught in the fence during the collision, forcing center fielder Jeff Rowland (Georgia Tech) to retrieve the ball and throw it in, but not before Roller was standing on third base with a one out triple. Roller scored two batters later on an RBI single by Wallace.
“I kind of wasn’t sure if he’d caught it or not,” Roller said. “But I just kept on running and slid into third.”
Cotuit (7-5-1) scored the game’s first run when Chris Bisson (Kentucky) rounded third base from second on a single by Zack Cox (Arkansas) and slid around the tag at home by Wallace, Bourne’s catcher.
The Kettleers were relieved to not see Braves starting pitcher Bryan Morgado (Tennessee) come out of the dugout for a sixth inning of work. Morgado struck out 13 Cotuit batters in the first five innings, including 10 of the first 11 of the game. A third round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, Morgado said he was restricted by an 80-90 pitch limit.
“I just felt like I had all of my stuff going,” Morgado said. “It’s just my second start so far, so they don’t want to rush things. They want to take it slow, and as the season progresses I think I’ll get more innings.”
Stephen Harrold (1-0, UNC Wilmington) earned the win for Bourne. He replaced Kevin Munson (James Madison) after Munson walked Cotuit’s Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech) to lead off the eighth inning. Cotuit pinch-runner B.J. Guinn (Cal-Berkeley) was left stranded on third base after advancing to second on a sac-bunt by Rico Noel, and to third on a pitch in the dirt by Harrold. Harrold recorded a strikeout and forced a groundout to end the game.
Week one Cape League Pitcher of the Week Eric Cantrell (George Washington) pitched three innings in relief of Morgado. He allowed Cotuit’s lone run, and five of their six hits.
Cotuit starting pitcher Jake Buchanan (NC State) held his own in his first start since facing the Braves on June 15 in Cotuit. Buchanan threw six shutout innings, allowing five hits and struck out three. Left-hander Matt Grace (UCLA) allowed two singles and recorded the first out in the seventh inning, before Nesseth came in for an inning and one-third.
“(Buchanan) is a good pitcher,” Roller said. “He’s going to do great things on down the road. That was just the key- to get in their pen early, and try to get some runs off them guys.”
Bourne (6-5-2) had 10 hits in the game, led by Woodward, who reached base safely in all four plate appearances, twice on base hits. Along with the walk in the eighth inning, he reached on an error in his first at bat. Woodward also had three stolen bases, and leads Bourne with eight on the season.
Cotuit will travel to Yarmouth-Dennis Tuesday for the first meeting of the season with the Red Sox. They will then play a make-up game against Y-D on Wednesday in Cotuit. Both games are scheduled for 5 p.m.