Cotuit Keeps 7-point lead in Western Division standings
By Sean Walsh/Web Editor
July 26, 2006
COTUIT, MA — Cotuit won their second home game in a row as they were able to take down the Falmouth Commodores, who are fighting for their playoff lives, in a five to two victory. Throughout the season, good things seem to happen when the Kettleers score first, and that trend continued today as Cotuit jumped on Falmouth starter Bobby Bramhall (Rice, 3BB, 7K, 5H) in the second inning. Sean Gaston (Notre Dame, 2 for 3) got the inning started with a single, and then Kellen Kulbacki (James Madison, 2 for 4, 2 RBI) hit a high fly ball that carried over the right field fence to give the Kettleers a two run lead. Kulbacki’s bat, which came into the season facing serious pressure since he had led the nation in homeruns this year, has come on of late as he seemed to settle down after he hit his first homerun, and with today’s homerun he now has four homers on the season, which is good enough for second on the team behind Justin Smoak’s (South Carolina, 0 for 4) six.
Dave Duncan (Georgia Tech, 2BB, 2K, 4H), who evened his record to 2-2 on the season with the victory, ran into some trouble in the third inning as he walked the first batter and then allowed a single to put the tying runs on base. Brad Chalk (Clemson, 0 for 3) then hit a groundball to the shortstop Reese Havens (South Carolina, 0 for 2, 1 RBI), who overthrew Smoak trying to turn the double play, which allowed Aja Barto (Tulane, 0 for 2) to score to cut the lead to one. Falmouth continued to apply pressure, but Cotuit’s defense stiffened in response as the Kettleers fought to maintain their lead. With only one out, Mitch Canham (Oregon St, 1 for 3) doubled, but a brilliant relay throw from Kyle Russell (Texas, 0 for 3) to Eric Farris (LMU, 1 for 4) to Gaston cut down Chalk at the plate to save Cotuit’s lead. The next batter then grounded out to Farris to end the major threat that the inning had posed to the Kettleers.
After adding three more runs with the help of RBI’s from Havens and Tony Thomas (Florida St, 0 for 2, 1 RBI), Cotuit entered the ninth up by three runs. Dan Runzler (UC Riverside, 1BB, 1K, 0H) was called upon to close out the game for the Kettleers as their regular closer Cory Gearrin (Young Harris) needed a day off as he had pitched three plus innings for Cotuit in the marathon eleven inning game against Falmouth. Runzler was more than up to the task of preserving Cotuit’s lead as he put down the Commodores in order to pick up his first save of the season. With the win, Cotuit is now 23-10-1 on the season and still have a firm grip on first place in the Western Division. Cotuit travels to play the Chatham A’s tonight where they hope to continue their solid play as they look to keep their momentum going with playoffs fast approaching.