story by Steve McCarthy
July 29, 2010
COTUIT – Just over a week ago Bourne Braves starting pitcher Austin Stadler (Wake Forest) held the Cotuit Kettleers scoreless for six innings at Lowell Park, but the Braves still ended up on the short end of a 2-1 decision. Last night, Stadler two-hit the Kettleers in a 4-0 victory at the same venue.
Stadler and Kevin Brady (Clemson) combined on the three-hitter and Jason Coats (TCU) went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs batted in as the Braves closed to within two points of the Western Division leading Kettleers.
Bourne (18-19) ended a four-game losing streak and is 4-6 in its last 10 games. Cotuit fell to 18-16-2 with seven wins in its last 10.
Seven of southpaw Stadler’s season-high eight strikeouts came between the second and fifth innings and he faced just two batters over the minimum. He did not walk a batter.
“After we got a few runs, (Cotuit) got a little bit more aggressive,” Stadler said. “I think that’s what (Cotuit) Coach (Mike) Roberts’ approach against me is, because I’m not an overpowering type of guy. I just try and get a little movement and hopefully get some ground balls. My ball was moving a lot today and I could control it.”
Stadler’s ability to go deep in the ballgame was important for the Braves as set-up man R.J. Alvarez (Florida Atlantic) and closer Tony Zych (Louisville) both pitched an inning of Wednesday night’s All-Star Game.
“Our coach came up to me before the game and said, ‘We need a lot of innings out of you today.’,” Stadler said. “Luckily they swung at a lot of first pitches.”
Brady Rodgers (Arizona St.) took the loss for Cotuit, allowing three runs – two earned – over six and two-thirds innings while walking three and striking out six. Kyle McMillen (Kent St.) finished the game and allowed the final run on three hits.
The Braves recorded a hit in all but one inning and finished with 10. Tommy LaStella (Coastal Carolina) and Creede Simpson (Auburn) joined Coats with multiple hits, each going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
LaStella’s double led off the third inning and was followed by a pair of sacrifice flies to bring him in.
In the fifth inning, Nick Ahmed (UConn) reached on a fielding error by Cotuit third baseman Levi Hyams (Georgia) and advanced on a walk and a groundout before Coats lined an RBI single that dropped just in front of diving center fielder Zach Cone (Georgia).
Coats laced a two-out double up the right-center field gap in the seventh to plate Zach MacPhee (Arizona St.) and chase Rodgers from the game. Coats is tied for second in the Cape League with eight doubles despite arriving late due to TCU’s appearance in the College World Series.
“They thought he got himself out of the jam, and for any team it’s a letdown when somebody gets a two-out hit to drive in a run,” Coats said.
McMillen struck out the first batter he faced to get Cotuit out of the inning but hit MacPhee in the helmet with the bases loaded in the eighth. MacPhee was not injured.
Brady allowed a base hit to pinch-hitter James Foster (Wofford) in the ninth inning but struck out the other three batters he faced to end the game.