story by Steve McCarthy
June 19, 2010
COTUIT – The Chatham Anglers won the front end of Saturday’s doubleheader at Cotuit 2-1 and settled for a 4-4 tie in the second game.
The Cape Cod Baseball League decided when scheduling this summer’s seven inning doubleheaders that each game could extend no longer than nine innings in order to prevent overworking pitchers.
At the end of a long day of baseball at Lowell Park, the Anglers improved to 4-1-1 while Cotuit fell to 1-4-1.
“It would have been nice to pull off a win (in Game 2), but obviously it’s really important to try and get as many wins as you can, because you never know what’s going to happen throughout the season,” said Chatham catcher Joseph Pavone (UConn).
Pavone provided the game-winning RBI-single in the seventh inning of Game 1.
The Kettleers manufactured the second game’s tying run in the sixth inning but could not finish the job. Rick Oropesa (USC) did the bulk of Chatham’s offensive damage with a three-run homer in the fifth off Cotuit starting pitcher Nick Tropeano.
“I was just looking for an opportunity to hit the ball hard gap-to-gap,” Oropesa said. “I was looking for a change-up and I was able to capitalize on the mistake.”
Cotuit plated the game’s first run in their first at-bat and went up 2-0 in the fourth inning on C.J. Cron’s (Utah) second home run of the season.
Meanwhile, Tropeano struck out eight batters in his first three innings of work.
The tides turned in the fifth inning when sloppy Cotuit fielding and a pair of base hits set the stage for Oropesa. Cotuit committed two errors in the game.
“A couple of their mistakes ended up costing them a couple of runs,” Pavone said.
Tropeano was replaced after four and two-thirds innings. He finished with eight strikeouts and allowed seven hits. He also walked two batters. Three of Chatham’s four runs off Tropeano were earned.
Down 4-2 in the fifth inning, Cotuit’s Levi Hyams (Georgia) knocked in Kevin Patterson (Auburn) from second with an RBI-single up the middle. The Kettleers executed a suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth to knot the score up.
Chatham starting pitcher Mark Zecchino (Virginia Tech) lasted four innings and allowed Cotuit’s first two runs. Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) and Zack Jones (San Jose St.) followed out of the bullpen and each allowed a run before Phil Schreiber pitched a scoreless ninth.
In the first game, all ten of Chatham’s hits were singles and an unearned run was the difference.
The game remained tied at 1-1 from the first inning until Pavone executed in the seventh. Pavone’s line drive found a hole between Cotuit’s shortstop and third baseman.
“I was just trying to stay inside something,” Pavone said. “He gave me a fastball and I got to poke it through the hole, which was nice.”
Pavone, Oropesa, and Dan Paolini (Sienna) each had a pair of hits for the Anglers.
“It’s a different type of game with wood (bats), so any time you can get on base it’s definitely better for the team,” Pavone said.
Patterson homered in the first inning for Cotuit and doubled in the sixth but received little support. Hyams had two singles and Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee St.) had the other.
Chatham’s Derek Self (1-0, Louisville) hurled six strong innings for the win. He allowed four hits and struck out two while not walking a batter. Kevin Vance (UConn) earned the save (2).
Josh Spence (Arizona St.) was given limited duty on the mound for Cotuit. His first start of the summer lasted just two innings, but he struck out five. A.J. Achter (Michigan State) pitched three and two-thirds innings and Kyle McMillen (0-1, Kent State) finished the game and took the loss.