story by Steve McCarthy
July 24, 2009
COTUIT – The Harwich Mariners thrived in two out situations Friday to top the Cotuit Kettleers 3-2 at Lowell Park in Cotuit.
The Mariners scored runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings and never trailed. Cotuit came back to tie the game twice, but managed just five hits and had trouble advancing runners on the base paths. “That’s what we’ve been trying to stress the last few weeks – getting those big hits with runners in scoring position, and finally it’s panned out for us,” Harwich manager Steve Englert said.
Phil Gosselin (Virginia) hit the game winning single in the seventh inning to drive home Trent Mummey (Auburn) from second. Mummey reached on a fielder’s choice, then stole second. “I had two strikes on me, and I was just trying to put it in play,” Gosselin said. “Trent did a great job stealing second there to get into scoring position. I got my bat on it, and luckily it fell in.” Gosselin and Virginia teammate Daniel Grovatt each went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles for Harwich.
The Kettleers (15-14-4) fell into a tie for second place in the Western Division with the idle Bourne Braves, who did not play due do a wet field. Wareham continues to lead the division after a win against Orleans. Harwich (14-17-0) advanced into a tie for fourth in the Eastern division with Brewster, who was scheduled to travel to Bourne for a double header.
“We’ve got a good group of guys, and nobody’s giving up,” Gosselin said. “We’re still fighting until the end, and hopefully we can turn it around here and this can get us going a little bit and get some momentum moving forward into these last two weeks.”
Justin Wright (2-1, Virginia Tech) earned the win on the mound for Harwich, pitching three and one third innings in relief of starter Eric Jokisch (Northwestern). Each southpaw allowed a Cotuit run, before Brian Dupra (Notre Dame) came in for the ninth and picked up his first save.
“We gave a couple of soft runs away there, but they shut the door,” Englert said. “That’s a good hitting club, and to limit them to a handful of hits is pretty good.”
Seth Blair (2-2. Arizona St.) took the loss for Cotuit despite a strong outing. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits and struck out seven in six and two-thirds innings. He was relieved by Mike Nesseth (Nebraska), who finished the game in scoreless relief, allowing Harwich’s ninth and final hit.
After four scoreless innings, Harwich’s Connor Powers (Mississippi St.) scored the game’s first run from second on an RBI-single by Joe Loftus (Vanderbilt). A wild pitch by Wright in the home half of the inning allowed Cotuit’s Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech) to slide in safely from third and tie the game.
Cotuit third baseman Zack Cox (Arkansas) then made a fielding error in the sixth inning, which allowed Grovatt to come in from third and give Harwich their second lead. Cotuit’s Cameron Rupp (Texas) executed a textbook suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the inning to bring in Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina), who entered the inning as a pinch runner. Cotuit batters lined out five times and left five base runners stranded.
Harwich left eight stranded, including five in scoring position. The Mariners committed two errors, but neither proved costly.