Harrison, Bianucci and Havens Collect Team’s Only Hits
By Jessica Isner, Staff Writer
June 20 , 2007
LOWELL PARK, COTUIT, MA — The Kettleers knew what they were getting when South Carolina sophomore Mike Cisco returned to Cotuit for a second straight summer. They knew he’d fight through a lot of innings without giving up a lot of runs. What they didn’t know is that he’d be facing someone like Corey Young in his 2007 debut and lose the decision, 3-1. The Seton Hall lefty upstaged Cotuit’s starter, despite a strong line of four hits, two runs, and two walks- nothing to be ashamed of- but Cisco still couldn’t measure up to Young, who went eight innings and surrendered one run on three hits.
“I wasn’t getting ahead of guys,” Cisco said after the game. “And [Young] pitched a really good game. In this league, with the wood bats, you can’t expect runs to pile up. I wasn’t expecting a lot of runs.”
Still, Cisco was effective through the first few frames because he varied his pitches to get guys out, despite the fact that his velocity may not have been as high as other pitchers.
“I try to keep hitters off balance,” he said, “and [mixing up your pitches] helps you do that.”
“I take a lot of pride in close games, and it’s my fault when the team loses,” said head coach Mike Roberts. “It means I haven’t prepared them well enough. It means we need to bunt more, bunt for base hits more. When we don’t swing the bats, we need to find other ways to get on base.”
Cotuit was playing without both of its catchers, Robert Stock and Yan Gomes, who were out with injuries. Aaron Baker, an All-American first baseman at Oklahoma, started in their place.
Cisco came out strong from the get-go, pitching around a leadoff walk and a double in the first two innings. He notched a quick 1-2-3 inning in the third that consisted of a flyout and two groundouts, aided by a great lunging throw from South Carolina teammate Reese Havens. In the fourth, he allowed a one-out single that snuck just under the glove of Tony Delmonico, but induced the next batter into a fielder’s choice and finished the inning with a strikeout.
He ran into a little more trouble in the fifth inning, when he allowed a one-out double to JB Paxson, then allowed a single to Ryan Lockwood. Lockwood stole second with two outs, and with runners on second and third, Cisco induced Cole Figueroa- twin brother of Cotuit’s Correy- into a flyout to center.
The Mariners finally got to Cisco in the top of the sixth frame. He allowed a leadoff walk to Steve Strausbaugh, who then stole second before Alex Avila singled to center for his second hit of the afternoon. Then, with Jared Bolden popping up a bunt attempt down the first baseline, Cotuit first baseman Ryne White made an awesome diving catch that saved a run with men on first and third. Johnny Giavotella then singed home Harwich’s first run of the day, a shot in between first and second that kicked high off Delmonico’s glove. Jake Opitz hit an RBI groundout to give the Mariners some insurance before JB Paxson flied out deep to right field to end the inning and Cisco’s afternoon.
Young cruised through the first five innings, allowing only a walk in the second, and a two-out bloop single to Mike Bianucci in the fourth. Through five, Young only faced one batter above the minimum. He faced some trouble in the bottom of the sixth, when Havens singled on to lead off the inning. After Ryan Lollis grounded out, Josh Harrison singled up the middle, took a wide turn at first, and was almost caught in a rundown but slid under the first baseman to get back safely. While he was causing a commotion at first, Havens snuck around from third to score Cotuit’s first run. Aaron Baker then grounded into a double play to keep Young out of trouble.
For the bottom of the seventh, Young was back to his original form. He led off with a walk to Mike Bianucci but then retired the side in order, punctuated by a strikeout to Curtis Dupart, who was left looking at a called third strike. In the eighth, Young got Jeff Ussery to pop up in foul ground, then induced Havens into a groundout before allowing a two-out walk to Ryan Lollis. Lollis stole second before Harrison grounded out to short.
The Mariners added another run in the top of the ninth, with Chris Fetter of Michigan on the mound, when catcher JB Paxson hit a leadoff home run. Ryan Lockwood popped out to third and outfielder Curtis Dupart made a great running catch of a sinking shot to right field before Fetter allowed a single to Figueroa. Harrison saved a run when he backhanded a grounder down the third baseline and fired it to first for the third out of the inning.
“I like to say that we didn’t finesse that game the way I would’ve liked,” Roberts said. “I have to give credit to their pitcher- he pitched a great game- but we didn’t finesse the way I would’ve liked to in close games.”