story by Steve McCarthy
July 8, 2010
COTUIT – Starting pitchers Nick Tropeano (Stony Brook) and Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech) dueled through eight innings Thursday, but neither came away a winner as darkness decided a 1-1 tie between the Cotuit Kettleers and Wareham Gatemen after 11 innings at Lowell Park.
Both runs were scored in the second inning and both teams left potential winning runs stranded on second and third in the final inning of play. Cotuit’s Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee St.) thought he had ended it in the 10th, but his long drive to left was snared just shy of the fence.
“I think it says a lot about us,” Bradley said. “We fought hard all day.”
“Those late innings, we’re still battling, so I like that about this club,” Tropeano said.
Neither team moved in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Western Division standings, as Cotuit is second at 9-11-2 and Wareham is last at 7-13-1. The Kettleers are home again Friday night, hosting division-leading Bourne.
It was the first meeting between the teams since each lost top hitters to the Team USA trials. Cotuit’s C.J. Cron (Utah) and Wareham’s George Springer (UConn) left tied for the league lead in home runs (3).
Tropeano (0-2) made his third start against the Gatemen of the summer Thursday and endured his longest of five outings. Through eight innings, he allowed four hits and struck out six while walking two. Bradley and Tropeano are first and second in the league in strikeouts, respectively.
“I know the hitters better (facing them for the third time), but they know me better,” Tropeano said. “I just tried to mix things up, keep them off balance.”
Bradley went an inning longer than Tropeano and struck out the side in the ninth to finish with nine. He allowed seven hits and walked two.
“I spotted my fastball really well,” Bradley said. “I had a good slider, good change-up. Just kept guys off balance.”
A bases-loaded groundout plated Wareham’s run, and Cotuit’s Curt Casali (Vanderbilt) came in from third as the Gatemen turned a 4-6-3 double play with no outs.
Tropeano faced the minimum over the next six innings and did not allow a baserunner past first. He threw 119 pitches, with 66 for strikes.
“I just kept on attacking the hitters, just trusting the ‘D’ behind me,” Tropeano said.
Bradley allowed eight Cotuit baserunners to advance into scoring position but recovered each time. He needed 111 pitches to get through his outing.
“Pitch count isn’t a big thing with our team,” Bradley said. “As long as you’re getting the job done, they usually leave you in.”
Chad Wright (Kentucky) went 3-for-4 to lead Cotuit. Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) was the only other Kettleer with multiple hits, going 2-for-5.
All but two Wareham starters contributed a hit. Zach Wilson (Arizona St.) and Adam McClain (Memphis) each had two.
Matt Murray (Georgia Southern) spelled Tropeano for two innings and allowed five hits and struck out three. Ryan Duke (Oklahoma) walked a batter in the 11th after inheriting a baserunner on second.
Keith Bilodeau (Maine) finished the game for Wareham. He allowed one hit and walked two.