story by Steve McCarthy
August 3, 2010
COTUIT – The Cotuit Kettleers led by a run and trailed by as many as six. Either way, they couldn’t solve the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, who swept a doubleheader at Lowell Park Tuesday, 9-5 and 4-2.
The Eastern Division regular season champions needed only three pitchers to get through the 14 innings and everyone came to hit. Pinch-hit home runs by Matt Jensen (Cal Poly) and Ben McMahan (Florida) spoke for a blustery Game 1, and a three-run sixth inning rally from a 2-1 deficit gave Y-D the second victory.
“It definitely gives us momentum to go into the playoffs,” McMahan said.
The Red Sox (27-16) lead Brewster by three points heading into the last day of the regular season. The first round of the eight-team playoffs starts Friday.
Cotuit has lost five straight and will finish the season against the Whitecaps on Wednesday. Tuesday’s losses, combined with an extra-innings win by Falmouth, dropped the Kettleers from second place to third in the Western Division standings. Two points separate second place Falmouth from fourth place Wareham.
McMahan, a two year Red Sox veteran, had four hits and four runs batted in on the day to pace Y-D’s 17 hit attack. He doubled twice to go with his solo homer.
“Every time I get a chance up here, I just do what I can,” McMahan said.
Gabriel Shaw (Louisville) came one out from a complete game in the early contest and Derek Benny (Fresno St.) went four-plus innings in the second. D.J. Baxendale (Arkansas) closed out both games.
In the first game, the Red Sox tagged Cotuit starting pitcher Kyle McMillen (Kent St.) for six runs, three earned, resulting in a call to the bullpen after McMahan’s leadoff home run in the third inning.
Y-D needed just three hits the rest of the way to score three runs as Cotuit relievers Keenan Kolinsky (Vanderbilt) and Austin Dicharry (Texas) each walked three batters and Dicharry hit one with the bases loaded.
Jordan Ribera (Fresno St.) had a two-run double in the second inning.
Cotuit’s Chad Wright (Kentucky) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored, as the Kettleers out-hit Y-D 10-7 in the loss.
In the second game, Cotuit went up 2-1 on a pair of RBI singles by Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor), a lead which held until the sixth inning. The Kettleers worked three pitchers for a maximum of three innings and Y-D solved David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) in his second inning.
Matt Watson’s (Boston College) single to left induced a fielding error by Cotuit left fielder James Foster (Wofford), allowing McMahan and Dusty Robinson (Fresno St.) to score. Matt Vinson (Arkansas) then plated Watson with a single up the middle.
“We were just stringing quality at-bats together,” Watson said. “It was a team effort.”
Baxendale (2-3) picked up the win in relief, going two and two-thirds innings and allowing one hit.
Cotuit starting pitcher Brady Rodgers (Arizona St.) struck out four in his two innings of work.