The Cape League’s West Division standings are extremely competitive this summer with Cotuit, Wareham and Falmouth all in contention for the top spot.
The Cotuit Kettleers scored a big win over their division rivals from Falmouth and opened up a little breathing room over the Commodores with a 6-1 win at Lowell Park in Cotuit on Wednesday, July 10.
The first six innings of the game were rather low-event baseball. Cotuit took a 1-0 lead in the third when Allbry Major (Xavier) chopped a ground ball to second that brought Adam Oviedo (TCU) in from third with the game’s first run. Falmouth answered with a run in the top of the fourth, tying it on a sacrifice fly to center by Troy Claunch (Oregon State) that scored Zach Deloach (Texas A&M), who had singled to open the inning and went to second on a hit by Trei Cruz (Rice) and to third on a wild pitch.
Cotuit did not trail for long. The Kettleers got that run back in the bottom of the frame when Mason McWhorter (Georgia Southern) hit a long double to left-center that brought home Joey Loperfido (Duke), who had singled on the fourth pitch of the inning. McWhorter advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded there.
In the late innings the Kettleers put the game away. Major drove in his second run of the game, making it 3-1, with a double that brought in Christian Robinson (Stanford), who had led the inning off with a single. After a pitching change, Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) rolled one back to the mound that was mishandled and Kyle Nicholas (Ball State) slid in safely on a close play at the plate to give the Kettleers a 4-1 lead.
The Kettleers added two more in the eighth to blow it open. McWhorter led the inning off with a single and then Donta Williams (Arizona) walked in front of Robinson, who doubled home two runs with a long fly to center before being thrown out at third in an attempt to turn his two-bagger into three.
Reliever Bo Hofstra (Purdue) picked up the win. Hofstra entered with a man on and no outs in the fifth and worked two scoreless frames to earn his third win of the year, all of which have come in relief.
Falmouth starter Nick Nastrini (UCLA) suffered the defeat, though he pitched well.
Loss To Bourne
Bourne outfielder Jud Fabian crushed the first pitch of the game out of the park and that set the tone for a big road win by the Bourne Braves at Lowell Park against the Cotuit Kettleers. Fabian was just getting started as the leadoff hitter from the University of Florida left the yard twice in a 6-4 win by the visitors.
Fabian knocked in four runs in the game and had three hits to help lead the Braves past the Kettleers. Fabian hit his second homer of the game during a three-run eighth inning that helped Bourne open up a little breathing room.
That breathing room proved to be pivotal in the ninth. The Kettleers put together a rally in the final frame, but ultimately fell two runs shy. Oraj Anu (Kentucky), who had homered earlier in the game, hit a bases-loaded single that cleared the sacks in the ninth with one out.
Bourne then got out of the game as reliever Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (Gonzaga) came out of the bullpen and picked up the save by getting a pair of fly outs. The save was the first of the season for the right-hander.
Harrison Rutkowski (Rutgers) picked up the win for the Braves. He worked the first five innings, allowing five hits and one earned run. He did not strike out or walk a batter. He improved to 2-2 overall for the summer.
Win At Wareham
In a showdown between two of the top teams in the West Division, the Kettleers pulled off a nice little statement win with an 11-5 victory against the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field in Wareham.
Cotuit jumped to an early lead and dominated from start to finish. With three runs in the top of the first the Kettleers set the tone and with five in the sixth they blew it open.
The combination of Major, Schmitt and McWhorter put on a show against the Gatemen as each collected three hits in the game. Overall the Kettleers posted 14 knocks against the Wareham staff.
Schmitt had the type of game that hitters dream about, homering for the fourth time this season while also knocking a pair of doubles and driving in five. McWhorter also had a monster day, with two doubles and three runs batted in. Major singled three times and scored a run.