story by Steve McCarthy
August 4, 2010
BREWSTER – The Cotuit Kettleers had a chance to lock up a top-three finish in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Western Division against a Brewster team with nothing to play for. And they couldn’t do it. But with help from a Wareham loss to top-seed Bourne, the Kettleers still finished third and will play second seed Falmouth in the opening round of the playoffs, starting Friday.
Cotuit dropped a 4-2 decision to the Whitecaps at Stony Brook Field despite stranding 16 potential runs on base, including 10 in scoring position. Brewster was ensured the Eastern Division’s second seed before the game began.
It was the latest in a string of misfortune for the Kettleers, who lost six straight to close out the regular season, including two walk-off losses in the past week. Cotuit finished at 19-23-2, a record that would leave them in last place in the East. The league’s playoff format selects the top four of five teams from each division.
Cotuit will face Falmouth in the opening round, with the Commodores getting home field advantage for two of the the possible three games. All three playoff rounds are best-of-three series.
Brewster (26-17-1) ended up one point behind Yarmouth-Dennis and will entertain Orleans in the first round. The Whitecaps rested several of their regulars Wednesday and attempted to preserve their pitching staff.
All four Brewster runs came with two outs in an inning. Taylor Ard (Mt.Hood CC) drove in the first two with a double to right field in the first inning and Danny Oh (Cal-Berkeley) and Derek Jones (Washington St.) provided RBIs in the fourth.
“The game before playoffs, you always want to go out with some momentum,” Oh said. “We’ve been swinging pretty well, so it feels good for our team to win these last couple games.”
Oh finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. He has seven hits in his last nine at-bats.
“During BP (batting practice), I just try to focus on driving the ball the other way,” Oh said. “That’s one of my strengths.”
Cotuit came up empty after loading the bases with one out in the fourth and ninth innings. Both of their runs came with one out in the third, when Chad Wright (Kentucky) came in on a passed ball and Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) scored on a John Hinson (Clemson) groundout.
Luke Bard (Georgia Tech) was responsible for both Cotuit runs in his four-inning start for Brewster. Billy Soule (Minnesota) followed with three innings for the win (1-0) and Jake Barrett (Arizona St.) and Colton Murray (Kansas) each worked a frame. Murray picked up the save (8).
“Now we have our pitching working and our hitting, so going into the playoffs I think we should be pretty good,” Ard said.
Submariner Michael Frongello (Davidson) took the loss (0-1) for Cotuit after coming on in the fourth inning for starter Matt Andriese (UC-Riverside). Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) struck out three in two and two-thirds scoreless innings to finish the game.
Deven Marrero (Arizona St.) paced Cotuit with a 3-for-5 afternoon at the plate. The shortstop also made a pair of highlight reel plays defensively. Leyland and Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee St.) each contributed two hits.