The Sandwich Enterprise
July 7, 2000
by Dan Crowley
The Kettleers finished a four game stretch last Sunday having played two games against both first place Harwich and Wareham. After dropping both games to Harwich, Cotuit managed a split with Western Division leader Wareham.Zack Minor went five innings last week in the first of two games against Harwich taking the loss in a 13-3 Mariner win. Minor allowed 12 runs, three of which were unearned, while striking out five and walking five. Jesse Harper came on in relief in the sixth pitching two scoreless innings striking out one. First baseman Rob Cafiero pitched the eighth for Cotuit allowing one run on two hits, while striking out two and walking one. Kevin Downes pitched five innings for Harwich and got the win. Cotuit left fielder Matt Singer reached base three times in four plate appearances on two base hits and a walk. Singer scored one of the Kettleer runs. Mike Hook stole his twelfth base to remain the league leader in steals and went two for four at the plate.
In the second game against the Mariners, played at Lowell Park in Cotuit, Harwich again came away victorious with a 4-1 win. Brian Sager went six innings for the Kettleers allowing four runs and giving up 10 hits. He struck out five and walked one. Brian Strelitz pitched two scoreless innings in relief giving up three hits and striking out one. Nick Glaser pitched the ninth innning striking out two. Rob Moravek went the distance for the Mariners allowing Cotuit just four hits. Hook notched his thirteenth stolen base and Daylan Holt led Cotuit at the plate going two for two. Singer and Chris Russ accounted for the other two Kettleer hits. Thirteen hits in both the first and second games powered the Mariners past the Kettleers who were able to muster a total of 13 hits in the two games combined.
Last Saturday Cotuit opened the first of two games against Wareham at Spillane Field. Coming out slugging, the Gateman posted nine runs in the first three innings to outdistance the Kettleers 11-3. Ryan Combs took the loss for Cotuit. He went two and a third innings, allowed seven runs on seven hits, while striking out one and walking one. Erick Threets came on in relief going a third of an inning and allowing two runs. Russ finished out for the Kettleers going five and a third innings allowing two runs on two hits, while striking out five and walking one. Rhett Parrott got the win for Wareham after five innings of work. The Kettleers got their three runs in the top of the fifth. Singer drove home two runs and Russ scored the third. Russ accounted for three of the seven Cotuit hits. He went three for four at the plate and reached on a walk. Cafiero was two for four on the day. Hook was one for three with a walk, was hit by a pitch and scored a run. John Nathans scored the third Cotuit run. The Kettleers stranded 10 base runners.
Sunday the Kettleers gave Wareham an early 4-1 lead, then battled back to take the win in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4. Jesse Harper got the start for Cotuit and gave up two runs in the top of the first on two hits and an error. Cotuit edged back in the bottom of the frame on a double by Hook, who then proceeded to steal third for his league leading 14th stolen base. A sacrifice fly to left by Holt brought Hook home. Three hits in the top of the second yielded two more runs for the Gatemen. Errors in both innings by Cotuit accounted for two of the four Wareham runs. In the third inning Cotuit brought in Glaser, normally their closer, who shut down the first place Gateman. A double by Nathans with one out in the fifth followed by a double by Hook, his second of the game, scored the second Cotuit run as the Kettleers began to chip away at the Wareham lead. A base hit by Holt with one out in the eighth followed by a walk to Singer put a runner in scoring position for Cotuit pinch hitter Brian Wright, who lined a single to right scoring Holt, chopping the Wareham lead to 4-3. Glaser continued to frustrate the Gateman at the plate, setting the stage for his teammates to launch some pre-holiday fireworks in the ninth. Pinch hitter Steve Ghutzman led off the inning with a single into centerfield. With one out Hook was hit by a pitch putting runners on first and second. Russ then grounded into a fielders choice leaving runners at the corners with two outs. Wareham pitcher Lance Cormier was called for a balk bringing Ghutzman home with the tying run and moving Russ to second. With the stage set Holt stepped into the box and laced a single into right field. Russ never hesitated as he rounded third and headed for the plate. The throw by Wareham right fielder Neal McCarthy reached the plate at the same time as Russ, who raised a cloud of dust as he slid beneath the tag of catcher Albert Concepcion with the game winning run. “He was just unbeliveable,” Coutts said after the game referring to Glaser’s performance. “He had that cut fastball working and it was effective against the left handed lineup.” Glaser went seven innings to pick up the win allowing just three hits, no runs and no walks while striking out seven. Wareham came into the game leading the league in team batting with a .275 average and a league leading 106 runs scored. Glaser’s fastball averaged between 85-86 mph with his off speed stuff coming in around 76 mph.
The ninth inning heroics had the holiday crowd of 1012 on its feet. “We did what we had to do,” Coutts said Even without the balk by Cormier that brought home the tying run, the Kettleers would have taken it on Holt’s drive to right. Three errors hurt Cotuit and accounted for two of the four Wareham runs, but the team demonstarted that they can bring runners in scoring position home. Over the four game series Holt has hit .462 Over the same four games Hook added three more steals to his total and scored four times.
With a record of 8-10 and coming off the ninth inning win over Wareham, the Kettleers headed east to face Brewster at Cape Tech last Monday and ran into a five hit pitching performance by Whitecap staff ace Michael Weel, who got the 6-0 win. Three of the five Cotuit hits came from the leftside of the lineup against the right-handed Weel. Brewster scored in the bottom of the first and third innings before adding three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A home run in the fifth by Whitecap DH Todd Faulkner rounded out the scoring giving Brewster the win. Shawn Weaver took the loss for the Kettleers going five innings allowing eight hits while striking out three and walking three. Brian Strelitz came on in relief going three innings and giving up just two hits. Cotuit dropped to 8-11.