story by Steve McCarthy
July 9, 2010
COTUIT – Through three innings at Lowell Park Friday, the Cotuit Kettleers could not catch a break. Their only baserunner got aboard by drawing a walk and Bourne Braves starting pitcher Mike Morin (North Carolina) was in a rhythm.
The Kettleers finally recorded a hit in the fourth inning. On a bunt. The slow roller off the bat of Chad Wright (Kentucky) was playable by Morin, but the pitcher hurled the ball over the head of first baseman Mike Nemeth (UConn), allowing Wright to advance into scoring position.
Though Wright was left stranded, the Kettleers saw something during that inning. They capitalized on two more errors in the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-2. In the sixth, they bunted again. And again. And again. One more error fielding a bunt and two walks had Morin (1-2) chased from the ballgame with six Cotuit runs on the scoreboard, five blamed on him.
“We’ve got to make them prove that they can field the bunt, and they didn’t prove that all night,” Cotuit catcher James McCann (Arkansas) said. “It’s just one of those things that some nights you can, some nights you can’t.”
A two-run single by McCann off Bourne reliever Kyle McMyne (Villanova) made it a five-run inning.
The Kettleers scored seven runs needing nothing more than singles. The Braves were charged with five errors in three innings.
“It definitely jump started the offense,” McCann said. “After we started laying those bunts down, we got hit after hit and it turned into a big cushion for us.”
Meanwhile, Cotuit starter Bobby Shore (Oklahoma) was dealing. Signed to a temporary contract and making his Cape League debut on the same day, Shore stumbled out of the gates and worked with a two-run deficit after two innings. Then he retired 13 in a row.
Shore left after five and one-third innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits while striking out one. He walked the last batter he faced, who would come around and score.
“The first couple of innings, I didn’t get my stuff down,” Shore said. “I was able to find it after that.”
When all was said and done, Cotuit had topped the only team ahead of them in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Western Division standings, 8-3. Bourne (12-11) maintains a two-point edge over Cotuit (10-11-2).
“I didn’t even know they were in first place,” McCann said. “We’re not too worried about the standings right now. We’re more worried about ourselves.”
A.J. Achter (Michigan State) finished the sixth inning for Shore and picked up the win (2-1). Usual starter Matt Andriese (UC-Riverside) worked the final three innings out of Cotuit’s bullpen.
The Kettleers capped the scoring in the eighth inning when speedy leadoff hitter Michael Faulkner (Arkansas St.) stretched a single into a double and came around on Michael Yastrzemski’s (Vanderbilt) RBI single to right.
R.C. Orlan (North Carolina) allowed the two baserunners that were in scoring position for McCann’s hit off McMyne. Michael Dimock (Wake Forest) surrendered Cotuit’s final run during his two innings of work.
Wright paced Cotuit with three hits in five at-bats, while John Hinson (Clemson) and Levi Hyams (Georgia) each had two hits. McCann and Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) both drove in two runs. Cotuit out-hit Bourne 12-5.
Josh Elander (TCU) was Bourne’s only player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Kettleers will travel to Yarmouth-Dennis on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game at Red Wilson Field.