Story by Steve McCarthy
June 19, 2009
COTUIT – The crowd that stuck around at Lowell Park Friday knew well enough that this year’s Cotuit Kettleers club should never be counted out of a ballgame on their home turf.
For the second time in three home games, the Kettleers won in walk-off fashion. This time they steadily chipped away at a 9-3 deficit and executed a suicide squeeze in the ninth inning to win 10-9 against the Brewster Whitecaps.
“It certainly wasn’t a very polished game.” Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said. “I’m certainly thankful that we won, without a doubt. You probably have one of those games a year.”
With the game tied 9-9 entering the ninth inning, Cotuit’s Cody Stanley (UNC-Wilmington) brought the win into sight when he roped a pitch by Brewster reliever Kyle Regnault to the fence in right-center field and legged out a leadoff triple.
“He’s always trying to get an edge in regards to what his ability will allow him to do,” Roberts said. “He turned a single into a double earlier in the game; turned a double into a triple right there.”
Stanley also hit the walk-off double in a 3-2 win against Falmouth in Cotuit’s home opener.
Brewster intentionally walked Cory Vaughn (San Diego St.) and Kevin Patterson (Auburn) to load the bases with nobody out. After pinch hitter Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech) struck out, Zach Maggard (Florida Southern) placed a bunt down the first base line that was mishandled as Stanley slid in safely.
“It’s the best play in our offensive repertoire,” Roberts said of the strategy.
Brewster roughed up Cotuit starting pitcher Mike Nesseth (Nebraska), scoring all nine runs (8 earned by Nesseth) in four and a third innings, before the Kettleers came to life with a four run eighth inning.
“We were keeping up with them. We just weren’t scoring runs,” Chris Bisson (Kentucky) said. “I feel like we had the pressure on the whole game, it just wasn’t going our way. We were just waiting for a break like we did in the eighth and the ninth.”
Cotuit finished with fourteen hits, their highest total of the season. Stanley, Bisson, and Patterson each had three apiece. Patterson homered to lead off the eighth inning rally.
“We just went up there with the mindset that everybody was going to be a tough out,” Bisson said. “And everybody just started getting hits.”
Bisson scored three of Cotuit’s runs, and continued to show his speed on the base paths when he scored from first on a hit and run in the eighth.
Cotuit’s 1-0 lead after a solo home run by Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) in the first inning lasted only until Brewster batted around the order in the third and scored five runs on four hits. The other four runs came in the fifth inning before Nesseth could record the second out. Two Cotuit errors allowed hitters to reach base in both innings.
Craig Fritsch (Baylor) prevented the Whitecaps from extending the lead in three and two-thirds innings of relief. Drew Gagnier (2-0, Oregon) retired Brewster’s 4-5-6 batters in order in the ninth and earned the win.
Regnault (0-1) took the loss for Brewster (3-2-2). Casey Schmidt started the game, creating a matchup of fifteenth round draft picks. He pitched five innings, allowed three runs on five hits, and struck out four.
Brewster totaled ten hits in the game. The bottom third of the batting order combined for six of them and scored four runs. Tim Ferguson (Ole Miss), James Klocke (SE Missouri St.) and Niko Gallego (UCLA) each went 2-for-4.
Cotuit (4-2-1) will travel to Hyannis Saturday for a 7 p.m. game against the Mets.