story by Steve McCarthy
July 14, 2009
ORLEANS – A telling sign that the Cotuit Kettleers are having a good base running night is when Cameron Rupp steals a base.
The Texas sophomore has only attempted one stolen base in his two seasons with the Longhorns, and that one was unsuccessful. His seventh inning swipe of second base Tuesday night brought a hearty reaction from the Kettleers dugout and was one of seven steals for Cotuit, who beat the Eastern Division leading Orleans Firebirds 6-2 at Eldredge Park.
“Coach Roberts’ little base stealing program he has us on definitely paid off tonight,” Left fielder Cory Vaughn (San Diego St.) said.
The Kettleers (10-12-4) received another outstanding outing from a starting pitcher. This time right-hander Jake Buchanan (1-1, NC State) tossed a complete game, allowing one earned run on six hits and did not walk a batter. It was his longest start of the season.
“I know I had a couple of really short innings,” Buchanan said. “I think I threw four pitches in the seventh, so that helped a lot.”
Not being a high velocity pitcher, Buchanan relies on ground balls and mixing pitches to get batters out. Tuesday he was able to fan eight firebirds though with a two-seam fastball and change-up combination.
“It’s hard for (batters) to see the spin I think here,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan helped himself early in the game, assisting on four of the first twelve outs. He also had a reliable middle infield of shortstop Brian Guinn (Cal-Berkeley) and second baseman Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) behind him who made multiple diving plays to keep balls in the infield.
“The defense was really good tonight,” Buchanan credited.
Guinn had his best offensive night of the season as well, recording two hits and two RBI’s. He also stole three bases and reached on a fielder’s choice in his fourth plate appearance. Rupp had two hits to go along with a run scored.
Buchanan’s offensive support started in a four run second inning, in which Cory Vaughn blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence off Orleans starting pitcher Matt Hiserman (San Francisco). Rupp scored the first run on an RBI-single by Guinn, and Tony Plagman’s sac-fly brought in Chris Bisson (Kentucky) from third for the second run.
“I’m just really focusing on trying to square balls up and hit the fastball,” Vaughn said.
It was Vaughn’s second home run of the season.
Hiserman (1-1) lasted five innings in his third start for the Firebirds. He has normally appeared in relief, and has made seven total appearances. He allowed the four second inning runs and five hits and struck out six. He did not walk a batter but hit two. Brock Stassi (Nevada) and Daniel Ottone (Western Carolina) each allowed a run in relief.
Orleans (15-10) took their only lead in the first inning when Alex Hassan (Duke) scored on a Michael Olt (UConn) RBI-single for the game’s first run. Buchanan then held them in check until speedy Gary Brown (CS Fullerton) reached on an error in the eighth inning and worked his way around the bases before scoring from third on a groundout.
Cotuit scored their final two runs in the seventh and eighth innings when Guinn’s grounder to third allowed Kevin Keyes (Texas) to score, and Keyes provided an RBI-single in the following inning.
The Kettleers return to Lowell Park Wednesday to begin a three game home stand, the first game starting at 5 p.m. against Yarmouth-Dennis.