story by Steve McCarthy
July 18, 2010
WAREHAM – The Cotuit Kettleers visited Wareham’s Spillane Field for the third and final time of the regular season Sunday night. During the trip the Kettleers went to a place they have not been all summer: Above .500.
The Kettleers held on for a 3-2 win over the Gatemen and remain two points behind the Bourne Braves for the lead in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Western Division race. Cotuit (14-13-2) is 3-1-1 against division foe Wareham on the season with the lone loss coming in the season opener.
Wareham (12-17-1) ranks third in the five-team division.
The Kettleers will enjoy a rare off day on Monday while carrying a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at Hyannis.
Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) launched his first home run of the season Friday, a two-run shot over the right field fence off Wareham starting pitcher Josh Urban (Texas), to give Cotuit a 2-0 advantage in its first at-bat. An unearned run in the seventh inning was the difference as the Kettleers bullpen held for starter Bobby Shore (Oklahoma).
“Striking first is what you always want to do,” Pinckard said. “That way you don’t have to worry about coming from behind.”
Urban was saddled with the loss despite allowing just three hits over seven innings. Two came in the first inning and John Hinson (Clemson) doubled in the seventh. Hinson broke for third with two outs as James Foster (Wofford) grounded to Wareham third baseman Tyler Bream (Liberty). Bream’s throw to first touched down two-thirds of the way across the diamond, allowing Foster to reach and Hinson to score on the error.
Shore was responsible for both Wareham runs in six innings of work and allowed six hits while striking out four. He walked just one batter in earning his first Cape League win in his second start.
“I felt good right from the start of the game,” Shore said. “I was throwing strikes and that was important. We were able to not show my curveball until the last couple of innings.”
Cotuit reliever Matt Andriese (UC-Riverside) allowed an inherited runner in scoring position to cross in the seventh inning, but induced three groundouts before handing the ball over to closer Ryan Duke (Oklahoma). Duke made his third appearance of the summer and earned his first save, striking out three batters in an inning and two-thirds.
Nico Rosthenhausler (Oklahoma St.) hit a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning as Wareham’s potential tying run, but could not advance.
Wareham’s seventh inning effort made it a one-run ballgame for the second time. Bream singled home a run in the fourth to make it 2-1.
An inning-ending double play squelched Wareham’s hopes of changing the tide in the three-hit fourth inning. A baserunner left on third was the first of four Gatemen stranded in scoring position in the game.
“Double plays are momentum killers and that’s what it did right there,” Shore said. “That was a big pitch for me.”
Urban’s Texas and Wareham teammate Andrew McKirahan fanned four Cotuit batters in the final two innings and forced two groundouts.
Zach Wilson (Arizona St.) paced the Gatemen with three singles.