story by Steve McCarthy
July 25, 2010
COTUIT – Maybe a break was all the Cotuit Kettleers’ offense needed.
Playing a complete game for the first time since Thursday due to rain, the Kettleers suppressed the memory of being one-hit by the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox by amassing 12 runs in the first five innings Sunday to beat the wet weather, and the Eastern Division-leading Brewster Whitecaps, 12-2.
The victory moved Cotuit (17-14-2) back into sole possession of first place in the West, while Brewster (22-13) lost its fourth straight and leads Y-D by just two points. The Kettleers will visit Orleans on Monday.
Entering Sunday’s game with just two RBIs in nine games on the summer, Cotuit second baseman John Hinson (Clemson) drove in three and went 4-for-5 with a double and a stolen base. Levi Hyams (Georgia) hit his first home run of the season and Michael Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
“Our whole team was seeing the ball well tonight and we just played all-around good baseball,” Hinson said.
Five Cotuit batters had multiple hits and four scored multiple runs. Overshadowed by the offensive outburst was Kettleers starting pitcher Bobby Shore (Oklahoma), who dealt five innings without allowing an earned run and struck out six. A.J. Achter (Michigan St.) pitched three shutout innings of relief and Michael Frongello (Davidson) surrendered Brewster’s second run in the ninth inning.
The Kettleers were relentless on the basepaths to capitalize on timely hitting. Michael Faulkner (Arkansas St.) walked to start the game and stole second and third before Yastrzemski and Hinson provided consecutive two-out RBI-singles.
“When we start running, I think that’s when we hit the best as a team,” Hinson said. “Having that confidence on the offensive side really helps, and the running game really improves that.”
Cotuit broke the game open with a four-run third inning, punctuated by Hyams’ two-run shot to right. It was Hyams’ first extra-base hit of the summer, despite carrying a .243 average.
“To be honest, I really didn’t take much of a hack on that,” Hyams said. “I was taking a two-strike approach and he put one knee-high and I flipped the wrists at it. It was lucky to get out.”
Five more runs followed in the fourth inning thanks to a two-run single by Yastrzemski and a two-run double by Hinson.
As Cotuit’s rally commenced, the rain intensified and darkness crept over Lowell Park. Fortunately for the Kettleers, the umpiring crew let the game go on, as five complete innings define a complete game.
Hinson drove in Chad Wright (Kentucky) from second in the fifth inning to cap the rout before Cotuit field manager Mike Roberts began inserting reserves.
When the game mercifully ended after two hours and 50 minutes, Cotuit had out-hit Brewster 15-9. Whitecaps starting pitcher Jake Floethe (CSU-Fullerton) allowed six earned runs in the first three innings and Matt Larkins (UC-Riverside) was tagged for the same over the next inning and two-thirds. Billy Soule (Minnesota) and Cohl Walla (Texas) combined to finish the game.
Taylor Ard (Mt. Hood) and Derek Jones (Washington St.) had two hits apiece for Brewster.
“To have a couple of rain-out days to just go home and chill, it’s helped out a lot,” Hyams said. “We came out pretty relaxed today and had some fun.”