story by Steve McCarthy
August 9, 2009
COTUIT – The suddenly slick fielding Cotuit Kettleers infielders that turned five double plays to hold the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox off the scoreboard in Game 1 of the Cape Cod Baseball League best of three semi-final series Saturday re-acquired their Achilles heel Sunday and committed four errors in a 10-5, series-tying loss at Lowell Park.
Three Red Sox runs were unearned, and two were walked in. Cotuit shortstop Chris Bisson (Kentucky) was charged with two errors, one went to third baseman Kevin Patterson (Auburn), and the other to starting pitcher Seth Blair (Arizona St.). The Kettleers will be looking to wipe the slate clean before Game 3 scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth.
“They capitalized on our errors in the ninth yesterday, and we capitalized on theirs today,” Y-D manager Scott Pickler said. “It comes down to tomorrow. If you can’t get fired up to play in a game like tomorrow, you’re in the wrong business I think.”
In the opening game of the series, Y-D’s Blake Kelso (Houston) and Mickey Wiswall (Boston College) combined to produce all six Red Sox hits. Their teammates came out swinging in support Sunday to tally 11, and run production game from all levels of the batting order.
“That’s how it’s been all year,” Pickler said. “I don’t have an MVP on this team. I’ve got a bunch of guys that just play hard.”
Jonathan Jones (Long Beach St.) scored three times from the bottom of the order Sunday, and had two doubles and a single. One of the doubles drove in a run. Kelso notched three hits from the leadoff spot for the second game in a row and scored twice.
Y-D starting pitcher Austin Ross (LSU) came out on top in the pitching matchup with Blair. Ross allowed four earned runs in six plus innings but did not walk a batter. He struck out seven.
“Austin Ross came out and did a fantastic job,” Jones said. “Had good tempo, got us on and off the field quick, and at the plate today that’s what we always do.”
Six Red Sox runs crossed during Blair’s 5 1/3 inning outing but just four were earned. Blair walked four and struck out three. He left runners on first and second in the sixth inning for reliever Mike Nesseth (Nebraska), who proceeded to walk two runs in and allowed a third on an RBI-single by Austin Wates (Virginia Tech). Two of the three runs scored during Nesseth’s inning and one-third were earned.
“We were just picking our pitches,” Jones said. “We know when a guy is not throwing strikes, and if they’re not throwing strikes and getting deep in counts, then let them make the mistakes.”
The Red Sox built leads of 7-1 and 9-3, but Cotuit responded with consecutive two run innings in the sixth and seventh to bring the game within four runs. A Steve Chatwood (San Diego) solo shot off Cotuit reliever Matt Grace (UCLA) in the ninth inning capped Y-D’s scoring.
Cotuit took the game’s first lead in the second inning with a high solo home run by Cameron Rupp (Texas) that barely cleared the left field fence.
Y-D scored their first run in the third inning when Kelso drove in Jones with an RBI-single, then scored in each of the next four innings while Cotuit stalled for three innings after Rupp’s drive.
Drew Hayes (Vanderbilt) relieved Ross for two innings. The lone Cotuit run not charged to Ross was unearned. Kevin Rhoderick (Oregon St.) retired the Kettleers in order in the ninth.