story by Steve McCarthy
July 10, 2010
COTUIT – Cotuit Kettleers starting pitcher Austin Wood (St. Petersburg JC) celebrated his 20th birthday on the mound at Lowell Park on Sunday. Brewster Whitecaps hitters were not invited to the party.
Wood allowed just two hits over six and two-thirds innings as the Kettleers shut out the Cape Cod Baseball League’s top team 3-0.
“I think it was a pretty good present to get the win,” Wood said. “I’m starting to feel better in a starting role.”
Cotuit has been the hottest team in the Western Division through the first part of July, going 7-2-1 in its last 10 games. They remain two points behind the Bourne Braves for the division lead.
Brewster fell to 17-8 but still heads the East by six points.
Wood allowed his second hit in the third inning and only two other baserunners reached by walk after that. Wood struck out six and was still touching 97 miles per hour on the park’s radar gun during his final inning of work. He threw 61 of his season-high 99 pitches for strikes.
“I was throwing fastballs early, so they were sitting fastball,” Wood said. “Once I started mixing it up a little bit, throwing the slider and my curveball and change-up, I was keeping them off-balance a lot better.”
Wood (2-0) has won his last two starts and his 0.36 earned run average is second-lowest in the league.
Cotuit reliever David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) was perfect for the remainder of the game and picked up the save (1).
“I wanted to go another (inning),” Wood said. “But we knew Colvin was going to come in and do well and shut them down.”
Brewster right-hander Jake Floethe (CSU-Fullerton) was equally effective in his start, scattering four hits through seven innings. Cotuit’s only run during that span crossed due to an interference call during a rundown between third base and home.
Cotuit’s speedy leadoff hitter, Michael Faulkner (Arkansas St.), beat out an infield grounder, which moved Deven Marrero (Arizona St.) over from second base to third. Marrero rounded third before third base coach Mike Roberts had second thoughts about sending him home and came to a halt halfway down the baseline. Brewster catcher Mike Dowd (Franklin Pierce) obstructed Marrero’s path back to third without the ball, drawing the interference call.
“(Dowd) was right in front of me and he wasn’t calling for the ball,” Marrero said. “So I just kind of stuck my arm out and hit him and kind of fell over a little bit. I kind of acted right there.”
Luke Bard (Georgia Tech) came on in relief of Floethe for the eighth inning and allowed Cotuit to open up a cushion. Marrero doubled and stole third before scoring on Faulkner’s bunt single. Faulkner came all the way around from first when Michael Yastrzemski’s (Vanderbilt) base hit induced a fielding error by Brewster right fielder Chris Ellison (Oklahoma).
Faulkner and Marrero were the game’s only players with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Cotuit out-hit Brewster 7-2.
The Kettleers are home again on Monday to face Hyannis at 5 p.m.