By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Media Intern
August 10, 2012
COTUIT – It was another wild game between the Bourne Braves and Kettleers Thursday. But as Cotuit has often pulled out a win, Bourne didn’t give up, and this time beat the Kettleers 12-7.
Cotuit climbed back from a 6-0 deficit to take the lead after two innings, but couldn’t hold on. Bourne accounted for two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to win game one of the first round of the playoffs. “They just took it to us, they just beat us,” coach Mike Roberts said.
Bourne was able to get to Cotuit’s starter Adam McCreery (Arizona State) early. The six foot nine southpaw threw just 1 1/3 innings giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits. “I thought he would go set the tone, a big guy with a good arm,” Roberts said. “You know when you’re in the first round of the playoffs and have to bring in a reliever in the second inning, it certainly is not a good situation.”
McCreery walked two and struck out one before submariner Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) came in to relieve him. The Braves held a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
Just as Cotuit has climbed back from early deficits this season, it did against Bourne. The Kettleers scored 7 runs of their own in the inning, quickly wiping away Bourne’s lead. Cotuit batted through the lineup and got on the board after a two-run shot by Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt). The homerun was Kemp’s fourth of the season, and jumpstarted the Kettleers’ hit train.
Two more Kettleers each walked, doubled, and singled to pile on the seven runs. Mike Ford (Princeton) went 4-5 on the day, and Kemp went 2-4.
But the Kettleers couldn’t hold on to their one run lead as Joe Jackson (The Citadel) hit a two-run homer to put the Braves on top 8-6. Second baseman LJ Mazzilli (UCONN) also had a strong offensive night for the Braves. He went 4-6 and was a triple shy of the cycle. Bourne never looked back adding two more in the sixth and seventh innings to go up by five runs. “Today we played like it was a playoff game instead of just a baseball game,” Roberts said.
Cameron Griffin (Stetson) and Jacob Stone (Weatherford JC) saw time on the mound in relief, both giving up two runs. The lefties combined for seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Braves continued to hold their five run lead after the seventh inning, and Cotuit couldn’t battle back twice. “I really give Bourne credit,” Roberts said. “They’re banged up worse than us. They just swung the bat all day long.”
Despite the loss, Cotuit and some of its players were awarded before the game in a special pregame ceremony. The team won the President’s Cup for having the best record in the league (30-14) as well as the Western Division Cup for being the regular season Western Division Champions.
Two players were also honored for their efforts on the field this season. The Thurman Munson Award was given to batting champion Patrick Biondi (Michigan), and the award for league’s best reliever went to Dan Slania (Notre Dame). Biondi’s batting average hovered over .400 for most of the summer, but he finished the regular season at .388, still atop the league. Slania was 2-0 with ten saves on the season and a 1.52 ERA.
The Kettleers play a do-or-die game two Friday in Bourne at 7 p.m. “We need to play better as a team and set the tone with our pitching staff and our defense,” Roberts said.
Cotuit must win to keep their playoff hopes alive and play game three back at Lowell Park on Saturday. The Kettleers have played better on the road all season, and looks to continue the trend at Doran Park. For more post game interviews, visit Official Kettleers on YouTube.