story by Steve McCarthy
July 17, 2010
COTUIT – The Cotuit Kettleers took the season series with the Falmouth Commodores in a 5-1 win Saturday night, stealing six bases and pounding out double-digit hits for the second straight game.
Cotuit won the final three games of the five game series against its Western Division rival, including a 5-2 decision at Guv Fuller Field on July 4.
Saturday’s result pushed the Kettleers (13-13-2) three points ahead of third-place Wareham in the division race. They remain two behind Bourne. Cotuit will travel to Wareham on Sunday.
Falmouth (12-17) fell into a tie for last place with Hyannis heading into a Sunday home game against Orleans. Hyannis will host Bourne.
Cotuit starting pitcher Austin Wood (3-0, St. Petersburg JC) held the Commodores scoreless through the first six innings and the Kettleers’ scoring came early. They scored twice in the first and third and for a final time in the fifth.
“I didn’t really have my best day today,” Wood said. “Unfortunately, my curveball wasn’t working very well, but I went mostly changeup-fastball and it worked out.”
Wood struck out three and walked five, but allowed just four hits. A.J. Achter (Michigan St.) helped him out of a no-outs jam in the seventh inning with the lone run charged to Wood. Achter earned the three-inning save (2).
“It’s nice having (Achter) behind you,” Wood said.
The Kettleers chased Falmouth starter Matt Stites (2-2, Jefferson County JC) after three innings. Seven Cotuit batters stepped in in the first. Leadoff hitter Michael Faulkner (Arkansas St.) came in on a Levi Hyams (Georgia) sacrifice fly, and Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) plated Chad Wright (Kentucky) with an RBI single.
Deven Marrero (Arizona St.) drove in two with a line drive single to left in the third inning. Marrero, Leyland, and Wright had two hits each of Cotuit’s 10 total. Leyland also swiped three bases.
“I feel like we’re getting the confidence back in our swings,” Wright said. “We’re finally starting to pull things together offensively.”
Leyland singled off Falmouth reliever Nick Maronde (Florida) in the fifth inning and stole second and third. His second attempt induced a low throw by Falmouth catcher Andrew Susac (Oregon St.) that skipped into left field and allowed Leyland to score.
“We’re finally starting to realize what Coach (Mike Roberts) has been teaching us all along,” Wright said of the Kettleers’ baserunning.
Susac and K.C. Serna (Oregon) each had two hits to pace Falmouth. Serna singled in Kyle Bluestein (Jacksonville St.) in the seventh inning, during which the Commodores left the bases loaded.
Falmouth stranded three baserunners in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, as Wood was able to escape damage with two outs each time.
“I kind of like getting in pressure moments like that,” Wood said.
Steven Gruver (Tennessee) and Rob Chamra (NC State) combined to allow just one Cotuit hit over the final three innings.