Cotuit ran its winning streak to three and opened up a little room between itself and Wareham and Falmouth in the race for second place, and a playoff spot, in the Cape League’s West Division on Wednesday, July 14. The Kettleers scored all the runs they would need in the second inning and iced things with a three-run eighth as they took down the Gatemen at Spillane Field in Wareham, 6-1. It was the second time in three days that Cotuit beat Wareham.

Three Cotuit pitchers combined to four-hit the Gatemen. Trey Holland (Denison) allowed just one hit over the first three frames. Ryan Long (Pomona-Pitzer) worked 3.1 innings, allowing just one run and getting the win. Zach Fruit (Eastern Michigan) picked up his first Cape League save with 2.2 strong frames in which he allowed just one hit and three walks with three Ks. Fruit has now pitched in five games, throwing 5.1 innings, and has allowed no runs and struck out six.

After going down in order in the first inning, the Kettleers plated a pair in the second. Jace Grady (Dallas Baptist) singled to drive in Brooks Baldwin (NC-Wilmington), who had led the inning off with a double. Later, with the bases loaded, Matt Donlan’s fielder’s choice brought in the second run.

Each team scored once in the fourth. Cotuit went up 3-0 on an RBI single by Donlan that plated Grady.

Wareham cut the lead to 3-1 on a solo two-out homer by Owen Diodati (Alabama).

With the pitching staff getting the job done, that home run was all of the Wareham offense for the night. The Kettleers put it away with a three spot in the eighth. Baldwin singled in a run to make it 4-1 and two came in on an RBI single from Nathan Moartorella (Cal-Berkley).

Harwich 6, Kettleers 3

A four-run bottom of the fifth powered the Mariners past the Kettleers on Tuesday in Harwich. Reliever Shaddon Peavyhouse (Coastal Carolina) ran into trouble after having pitched a scoreless fourth inning, and the Mariners made the most of their opportunity and batted around in the inning to take the lead permanently.

The big rally for the M’s started as Jake Lazzaro (Liberty) singled on an 0-1 pitch to lead off the fifth. Lazzaro began to have control issues as he plunked Zack Prajzner (Notre Dame) then walked Max Cotier (Virginia) to load up the bases.

Manager Mike Roberts went right to the bullpen and called upon Joseph Gieg (Boston College) to try to put the fire out. Gieg immediately fell behind the fourth batter in the inning, Tatem Levins (Pittsburgh), and walked him on five pitches to force home a run, tying the game at 2-2.

Continued control issues on the mound for the Kettleers cost the team the lead. After striking out the next batter, Gieg issued a wild pitch that allowed the go-ahead run to score before walking Brock Wilken (Wake Forest) to reload the bases for the Mariners. Gieg then got his second strikeout of the inning and was an out away from limiting the damage, but the first pitch he offered to Josh Hood (Penn) was struck to left field for a single that scored two runs and put Harwich up by a 5-2 score.

The Mariners would go on to add a run in the eighth to build a four-run lead. Cotuit’s Jace Grady (Dallas Baptist) led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run, but the Mariners set down the next three batters in a row to end the game with a win on their home field. The home run for Grady was his first Cape League hit, in his first Cape League game. He also walked and scored a run earlier in the contest.

Kettleers 6, Wareham 0

Two Cotuit pitchers combined to three-hit the Gatemen as the Kettleers got back above the .500 mark for the season with a 6-0 win against division rival Wareham.

Jake Brooks (UCLA) was dominant over the first five innings of the game for the Kettleers. The Gatemen managed just two hits over his five innings of work and did not earn a base on balls. Brooks improved to 3-1 overall on the season as he made his third start and had his second-longest outing of the year.

Reliever Harrison Cohen (George Washington) picked up the save, his first for the Kettleers. Cohen gave up just one hit and struck out five with no walks in four innings of work.

All six of the Kettleers’ runs in the game came via the long ball, and with two outs. A two-out Ryan Ritter (Kentucky) bomb in the fifth inning provided the game’s first run. In the sixth inning Eric Brown (Coastal Carolina) launched a three-run shot to put the team ahead by four runs. In the top of the seventh Josiah Town smashed a two-out, two-run yard shot to cap the scoring.

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