story by Steve McCarthy
July 16, 2009
COTUIT – A pair of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets led the Cotuit Kettleers’ offensive surge Thursday to beat the Orleans Firebirds for the second time in three days.
Tony Plagman and Jeff Rowland factored in five of Cotuit’s eight runs in an 8-5 darkness shortened win. The game was called after seven innings.
Plagman’s solo home run to lead off the sixth inning put the Kettleers on top for good. Plagman hammered a Tommy Kahnle (Lynn) offering into the visitor’s bullpen behind the right field fence for his first homer of the season. “I was looking for a fastball,” Plagman said. “I was ahead in the count and I got it over the plate.”
Plagman credited pre-game adjustments to his swing for the power stroke. “I came to early work, and me and Coach Gurss were working on my swing,” Plagman said. “It paid off.”
Rowland’s two-RBI single with two outs in the fourth inning tied the game 5-5, and he legged out a triple in his first at bat. He would score Cotuit’s third run on a sac-bunt by Cody Stanley (UNC-Wilmington).
“I just kind of got lucky,” Rowland said of the failed diving attempt by Orleans right fielder Steve Selsky (Arizona) that allowed his line drive to roll to the fence. “I just kept on running.”
The Kettleers have now won four of their last six games and tied the other two after ending a six game skid.
The pace of Thursday’s game was pedestrian in the early stages as both starters struggled. Neither factored into the decision as Cotuit’s Seth Blair (Arizona St.) and Orleans’ Cole Cook (Pepperdine) each lasted four innings and left the game tied 5-5.
Submariner Ben Rowen (2-1, Virginia Tech) made his team high fourteenth appearance (13 in relief) for Cotuit and pitched three innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. He allowed four hits, struck out three, and walked a batter.
“He’s impressed me a lot,” Plagman said. “The way he throws it in there and nobody seems to be able to hit it.”
Kahnle (1-2) was saddled with the loss. Plagman’s home run was the only earned run he allowed in two innings. Daniel Ottone (W. Carolina) allowed Cotuit’s eighth run in an inning of work.
Orleans roared back from a 3-1 deficit with a four run fourth inning. Kevin Muno (San Diego) went 4-for-4 for the Firebirds with a double and three singles. He also scored Orleans’ first two runs and stole two bases. Riccio Torrez lined a two-RBI double down the left field line that capped the Firebirds’ scoring.
Cotuit added some insurance in the final two innings as Chris Bisson (Kentucky) scored from first in the sixth inning as the result of a botched force out attempt that Orleans shortstop Devin Lohman (Long Beach St.) sent into right field. Stanley then scored from third on a squeeze bunt by Plagman in the Kettleers’ final at bat. Stanley scored the game’s first run as well on Cory Vaughn’s RBI-single in the first inning.
Kevin Patterson (Auburn) also contributed an RBI, lining a single up the middle in the third inning that drove Zach Cone (Georgia) in from second.