Story by Steve McCarthy
July 8, 2009
COTUIT- The fielding blunders that have ailed the Cotuit Kettleers all season continued on Wednesday as the Kettleers extended their losing streak to three games with a 5-2 loss against the Harwich Mariners at Lowell Park.
In each of the three losses, Cotuit infielders have committed multiple errors. With two more on Wednesday, the jumbling of the lineup by manager Mike Roberts has not yielded defensive consistency.
“We pitched well enough to win the ballgame,” Roberts said. “But your pitching is only as good as your defense.”
Two of the four runs scored during Cotuit starting pitcher Jake Buchanan’s outing were unearned, as they were assisted by a pair of throwing errors by shortstop Paul Bingham (Indiana U of PA). Buchanan (0-1, NC State) took the loss, lasting four and one-third inning innings in his third start. He allowed four hits, struck out two and walked four.
Harwich (9-10-0) had defensive troubles of their own with three errors, but were able to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning and pull away before darkness shortened the contest an inning early.
Levi Michael (UNC) and Daniel Grovatt (Virginia) each scored two runs, and Connor Powers (Mississippi St.) hit a pair of RBI singles. Michael scored the go-ahead run, trotting in from third on an errant throw to first by Bingham.
Grovatt doubled in the seventh inning off Cotuit reliever Mike Nesseth (Nebraska) and capped Harwich’s scoring on a long single to left by Powers.
Stuart Tapley (Florida St.) scored on an RBI groundout in the fourth inning by Anthony Sosnoskie (Virginia Tech) to tie the game 2-2.
Harwich starting pitcher Aaron Meade (Missouri St.) improved to 2-0 with the win. He struck out eight through five innings of work, and was responsible for both of Cotuit’s runs. He allowed three hits and walked five.
Relievers Glenn Troyanowski (FAU), Justin Wright (Virginia Tech) and Mathew Price (Virginia Tech) each pitched a scoreless inning.
The Mariners executed a hit and run in the first inning to advance Michael to third after a walk. Michael then scored on an RBI single by Powers to give Harwich a 1-0 lead.
Cotuit (8-9-2) bounced back with two runs in the third to take their only lead of the game when Bingham and Kevin Keyes (Texas) scored from second and third respectively on a chopper up the middle by Zack Cox (Arkansas). Cox accounted for half of Cotuit’s six hits.
“It happened to us last year too at this stage of the season,” Roberts said. “We went 8-2, and then we went 2-8 because we couldn’t field a ground ball. I think as soon as we see that we can field routine ground balls, I think we’ll get ourselves back in the win column.”
The Kettleers will play a make-up game against Yarmouth-Dennis Thursday at Lowell Park starting at 5 p.m.