story by Steve McCarthy
July 4, 2010
COTUIT – The Cotuit Kettleers have yet to lose in July and extended their winning streak to four games Sunday with a 5-2 win over the Falmouth Commodores at Lowell Park.
The Kettlers (8-10-1) closed to within one point of the Commodores and the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, who are tied for second place in the Western Division standings, two points behind the Bourne Braves.
Falmouth has lost two in a row and fell to 9-10. Cotuit and Falmouth will meet again on Monday, with the Commodores hosting.
C.J. Cron (Utah) hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning of his final game with the Kettleers before leaving for the Team USA Trials. His opposite-field shot was the difference in the game as all of Cotuit’s scoring came in the third and fourth innings.
“A reliever out of the pen usually comes first pitch fastball, so I was sitting it and fortunately he threw it somewhere where I can hit it,” Cron said.
Falmouth scored in its first and last at-bats.
Cron left as the Cape League’s leader in RBIs (13) and tied for the lead in home runs (3). He batted .275 in 19 games and had eight doubles.
“The transition from metal to wood is definitely a big deal,” Cron said. “The reps I got out here was great and I’m really glad I got to do it.”
Falmouth’s Nick Martini (Kansas St.) laced an RBI single into left field to give the Commodores the early advantage. The lead was surrendered two innings later when Falmouth catcher Chris O’Brien’s (Wichita St.) throw down to second on a double steal attempt came up short and skipped into center field, allowing two runs to score.
Falmouth starting pitcher Taylor Wall (0-2, Rice) walked James McCann (Arkansas) and Zach Cone (Georgia) in the fourth inning before reliever Nick Brown (Iowa) came on to face Cron. Wall took the loss, allowing four runs on one hit and walking five. He struck out one.
Right-hander Matt Murray (1-0, Georgia Southern) went six innings in his fourth start for Cotuit to earn the win. It was his third time facing Falmouth and first win against the Commodores. He allowed a run on four hits and walked two, while striking out four. The outing matched his longest of the summer.
“I just sped up the tempo a little bit, tried to throw more first pitch strikes, and tried to work more off-speed,” Murray said. “I was just trying to blow it by them and it wasn’t working.”
Cotuit received a solid effort from it’s bullpen for a third consecutive night. David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) struck out four through an inning and two-thirds and Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) finished the game. Pinckard allowed a pair of hits and an earned run in the ninth inning.
“We’ve had faith in out bullpen the whole year,” Cron said. “They’ve always done a great job for us, and lately they’ve just been shutting the door.”
The Kettleers notched two of their four hits off Brown, who followed Wall for two-plus innings. Jarred Hippen (Iowa) allowed a hit and a walk over the final two frames.
Falmouth out-hit Cotuit 7-4, and was led by B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Miss.), who had a double and a single. Deven Marrero (Arizona St.) and Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee St.) both doubled for Cotuit.
“We’re getting a lot better, and I’m excited to see how far we can go,” Murray said.