Story by Steve McCarthy
July 4, 2009
FALMOUTH – Cotuit Kettleers starting pitcher Seth Blair (Arizona St.) tossed a complete game Saturday, allowing one run on five hits while striking out six as Cotuit beat the Falmouth Commodores for the third time this season, 5-1 at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth.
Blair (2-0) needed just 102 pitches to record the 27 outs. He did not walk a batter, and from the third through the eighth inning allowed just one Commodore to reach base. And that was on an error. It was Blair’s second win in as many appearances for Cotuit this summer. He earned the first in four innings of relief on June 27.
“Once I got the rhythm of my change-up, my fastball I started locating it,” Blair said. “And it’s all about fastball location no matter what level you’re pitching at.”
The Kettleers posted two runs before Blair even took the mound, as Chris Bisson (Kentucky) scored on an RBI single by Zach Cone, and Zack Cox crossed on an RBI groundout by Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech).
“It was great,” Blair said of the offensive support. “You get two runs in the first inning, you’ve got to go out there and challenge guys, because if you can hold a team to less than one or two runs, you know you have a good chance of winning the game.”
Falmouth narrowed the margin to 2-1 in the next inning when Conner Mach (Missouri) doubled and scored on a bloop single by Matt Skole (Georgia Tech).
Cotuit’s Kevin Patterson (Auburn) launched a solo home run to straight away center field in the fourth inning, and now has the team lead with three. He emphasized the team effort though in earning a road win.
“What’s more important is we played so well as a team defensively, and the pitching was just top notch tonight,” Patterson said.
The Kettleers gave Blair a four run cushion to work with after scoring twice in the top of the ninth inning. Zach Maggard (Florida Southern) and Brandon May (Alabama) both beat the throw to home on a single up the middle by Bisson.
With two outs in Falmouth’s final at bat, the Commodores threatened with two base runners, but Brian Fletcher (Auburn) and Hunter Morris (Auburn) were left stranded on first and third as Mach sent a towering fly ball to left field that Cotuit left fielder Cory Vaughn (San Diego St.) caught on the warning track.
“I tip my hat to my defense,” Blair said. “They’re really what kept me in the game.”
Mark Pope (0-1, Georgia Tech) took the loss for Falmouth in his second start. He allowed three runs on six hits through six innings of work. He struck out four and walked two. Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt) pitched two innings of scoreless relief, before Mitch Morman (Des Moines CC) allowed Cotuit’s final two runs in the ninth.
The Kettleers pounded out nine hits, with all nine batters reaching base at least once. Cox was the only one with multiple hits. Five different batters took credit for Falmouth’s hit total. Mach’s double was the only extra base hit.
The teams will meet again Sunday, this time at Cotuit’s Lowell Park at 5 p.m.