story by Steve McCarthy
June 16, 2010
COTUIT – University of Utah catcher C.J. Cron ignited the Cotuit Kettleers’ offense with a solo home run and an RBI-double in a 4-1 home-opener win over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks Wednesday at Cotuit’s Lowell Park.
The Kettleers compiled just six hits in their first two games combined but pounded out eight hits Wednesday, with three going for extra bases.
Cotuit’s win was their first of the season, improving the defending Western Division champs’ record to 1-2. Hyannis lost its first game of the young season to fall to 2-1.
“We’re just glad to get a win, and certainly a win at home,” Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said.
Cron went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in from the fifth spot in Cotuit’s batting order while Kevin Patterson (Auburn) was 3-for-3 with an RBI from the sixth spot. Patterson is a third-year Kettleer.
“The transition from metal to wood is tough,” Cron said. “We knew we would come around. It was just a matter of time.”
Cron hit a towering shot into the trees behind the left field fence in the fifth inning off Hyannis starting pitcher Matteo D’Angelo (Winthrop).
“Fortunately I hit the mistake and got a good swing on it,” Cron said.
The Kettleers are taking advantage of Cron’s bat while they can, as the power hitter has a shot to make Team USA in July.
D’Angelo (0-1) took the loss after holding the Kettleers scoreless through the first four innings and surrendering just two hits before Cron’s homer. He left after five and two-thirds, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out two. All four of Cotuit’s runs were charged to him.
Matt Andriese (1-0, UC-Riverside) picked up the win in his first start for Cotuit, allowing the one earned run on eight hits and striking out three. He did not walk a batter. Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) pitched the final three perfect innings.
“We knew our pitching is solid, so we knew they’d keep us in the game,” Cron said. “We knew four runs was probably good enough.”
Hyannis’ lone run crossed in the second inning when Dan Sheppard (Iowa) plated Casey McElroy (Auburn) with a bases-loaded infield single.
After following Cron’s home run with double down the right field line, Patterson advanced on a groundout and scored on a Zach Cone (Georgia) double.
“When Cron got a hold of that one, that kind of woke us up a little bit,” Patterson said. “They always say hitting is contagious.”
“To get two first-pitch hits back-to-back definitely picked us up,” Roberts said.
Cron scored Chad Wright (Kentucky) from second in the sixth inning with a double that one-hopped off the center field fence. After a pitching change, Patterson drove Cron in with an opposite-field bloop single.
“You can’t look at stats this early and worry about doing too much,” Patterson said. “You just have to relax a little bit and put good swings on good pitches.”
Cody Stiles (North Carolina) finished the game in relief for Hyannis. He struck out two and allowed just Patterson’s hit.
Cotuit has an off day Thursday before hosting Orleans on Friday at 5 p.m.