story by Steve McCarthy
June 25, 2010
FALMOUTH – Something had to give Friday night when the two worst hitting teams in the Cape Cod Baseball League squared off at Falmouth’s Guv Fuller Field. The host Commodores were able to generate a spark in the middle innings and pull away from the Cotuit Kettleers for a 10-3 win.
Falmouth used a four-run sixth inning to distance themselves from a 6-3 margin, just as Cotuit was starting to build some momentum. The win moved the Commodores (6-5) into first place outright in the Western Division.
Last place Cotuit fell to 2-8-1.
“We were all kind of just on edge, not really swinging it too great,” Falmouth’s Nick Martini (Kansas St.) said. “We just wanted to have a breakthrough night and I think tonight was it.”
All but one Falmouth starter recorded a hit and eight different players scored. Martini led the way, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Matt Skole (Georgia Tech), K.C. Serna (Oregon), and Kevin Medrano (Missouri St.) each had a pair of hits.
“We talked about always picking each other up,” Martini said. “Tonight we picked each other up, whether someone failed or not.”
Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee St.) and Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) both went 3-for-4 for Cotuit, but the Kettleers left eight baserunners stranded.
Both teams put up double-digits in the hits column, with Falmouth taking a 13-11 edge.
“We had a couple guys get us going early with a couple of big hits, and everybody kind of relaxed up there and we started hitting,” Skole said.
Falmouth capitalized on two Cotuit errors, making two of the six runs scored off Kettleers starting pitcher Nick Tropeano (Stony Brook) unearned. Tropeano (0-2) took the loss, needing 97 pitches to get through four innings. He allowed eight hits, struck out six, and walked three.
“You face a good guy every night on the Cape,” Skole said. “Getting these guys to throw a lot of pitches makes them more vulnerable to make mistakes.”
Falmouth starting pitcher Miguel Pena (San Jacinto) went four and two-thirds innings and held the Kettleers scoreless through the first three, but did not factor in the decision. All three of Cotuit’s runs were charged to him. Pena scattered seven hits, stuck out four, and walked one.
Nate Kaneski (1-0, Holy Cross) worked two-plus innings in relief to earn the win. He allowed two hits and struck out one.
“(Kaneski) is a great reliever, and he’s been doing really good things for us,” Martini said.
Rob Chamra (NC State) pitched the final six outs.
The Commodores took a 3-1 lead into the home half of the fourth inning when Medrano rewarded two runners in scoring position with a two-out opposite field base hit into left field. Martini followed with a triple into the left field corner that got under the glove of diving Cotuit left fielder Michael Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt).
Hoilman hit an RBI-double and pinch hitter Jordan Leyland (UC Irvine) executed a sac-fly to plate Pinckard in the fifth inning and end Pena’s outing. Pinckard stole second and third during Yastrzemski’s at-bat. Yastrzemski walked and advanced on a wild pitch and ground out to set up Hoilman.
Cotuit reliever Michael Devine (VMI) struck out two of the three batters he faced in the fifth inning, but ran into trouble in the sixth. He was touched for four runs on three hits and David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) had to come on to stop the bleeding.
Martini and Serna each hit RBI-singles in Falmouth’s breakout sixth inning and Skole doubled off Colvin to drive in the game’s final run.
Cotuit will host Yarmouth-Dennis on Saturday in a 5 p.m. game at Lowell Park.