story by Steve McCarthy
July 20, 2010
HYANNIS – The Cotuit Kettleers advanced into a tie atop the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Western Division Standings Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks and help from a loss by the Bourne Braves.
The outright lead will be decided on Wednesday when the Braves visit Lowell Park at 5 p.m. The teams are six points clear of third-place Falmouth. Cotuit’s (15-13-2) last loss came to Bourne (16-14) at Doran Park on July 15 before starting a four-game winning streak.
Michael Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt) hit his first home run of the summer Tuesday and Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) launched his second to put some distance ahead of Hyannis (12-19), which was constantly threatening. The Harbor Hawks out-hit Cotuit 13-8 but left eight baserunners stranded.
Yastrzemski went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Leyland had two hits.
“Being able to put a good swing on a ball in a key situation is always one of the best moments in baseball,” Yastrzemski said.
Cotuit starting pitcher Matt Murray’s (2-0, Georgia Southern) outing was less than spectacular, but he benefited from an error-free defense. The Kettleers’ middle infield turned an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third inning, holding just a 3-1 edge at that point. Hyannis left baserunners on second and third in the eighth and ninth innings.
Murray scattered nine hits and struck out just one, but walked a single batter.
“It’s always tough when you have an outing like that, but it’s real good that he could get over his changeup and each hitter he was throwing strikes,” Yastrzemski said.
Cotuit scored twice in the first inning for the third-straight game. Chad Wright (Kentucky) crossed on a Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) groundout, and Yastrzemski scored on Levi Hyams’ (Georgia) single up the middle. The Kettleers had three hits in their first at-bat off Hyannis starter Tyler Ray (3-2, Troy).
“It gives the pitchers a little extra relaxation on the mound,” Leyland said. “When you get those first couple of runs right away, pitchers get to do their actual thing and not have to worry about holding it themselves.”
Leyland homered to left in the third inning and Yastrzemski went the other way in the fifth. Ray lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits. He struck out two and walked two.
The Harbor Hawks rallied with four hits in the third inning, but it was Cam Seitzer’s (Oklahoma) sac-fly that pushed a run across. Seitzer went 3-for-3 besides that with a double and two singles.
David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) earned the save (2) for Cotuit in three innings of work. He struck out three, one ending a two-out battle in the ninth inning with Hyannis’ No.2 hitter A.J. Petterson (Minnesota).
Hyannis relievers Cody Stiles (North Carolina) and Dallas Gallant (Sam Houston) combined to hold Cotuit scoreless over the final three innings.