By Matt Feldman
July 16, 2016
BOURNE — Cotuit lost a division game Saturday night to the Bourne Braves, 6-5, at Doran Park in Bourne, in 11 innings. It was Cotuit’s first loss in the last five games, and the team’s second straight game that has gone into extra innings, coming just 24-hours after an 11-inning victory in Harwich Friday.
Matt Ruppental had control issues Saturday; still lasted 5 innings
Matt Ruppenthal (Vanderbilt) got the start for the Kettleers Saturday, and though his low-90s fastball was tough for the Braves’ hitters to catch up to, he threw very few strikes early. Ruppenthal walked three batters Saturday, and kept floating his fastballs above the letters.
“First inning, he seemed to be rusty,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “He gave up a single (on an 0-2 count) to the first hitter in the game.”
But Roberts said that other than Ruppenthal’s first inning, where he visibly struggled, he thought the young hurler was otherwise strong.
Ruppenthal settled in on the rubber later in the game, allowing just two runs and was tagged with the no decision in his longest start of the season. His previous long was just four innings June 22 against Harwich.
Extra innings again; what that means for the pitching staff
Just one night after an 11 inning game at Harwich, the Kettleers once again went 11 innings on Saturday in Bourne.
In Friday’s win at Harwich, Roberts used just three pitchers. On Saturday, he used three again.
These late-inning games come just days after Cotuit lost two pitchers from its staff, starter Cal Becker (Sonoma State), who was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and reliever Jared Padgett (Mississippi State), who was sent home with arm soreness.
“I guess we’ll find out (what will happen),” Roberts said. “The guys know who’s fresh, and I guess we’ll find out.”
Justin Hooper (UCLA) is set to make the start for the Kettleers Sunday against Falmouth.