WAREHAM, MA: – What was not expected to be a pitcher’s duel turned out to be just that on Sunday afternoon at Spillane Field, as Cotuit edged Wareham in a pivotal Western Division matchup.
The Gatemen (12-17-1) strung together nine hits against the Kettleers (14-13-2), but Bobby Shore’s (Oklahoma) six-inning gem was enough for the win, propelling Cotuit into a first-place tie with Bourne while Wareham fell to five points back.
Josh Urban (Texas) had his best outing of the year, going seven strong innings while yielding three runs on three hits while striking out three and walking a pair. But Shore was just a bit better, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four and walking one.
Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) ripped his first home run of the season to give Cotuit the early 2-0 lead, scoring Chad Wright (Kentucky), who had singled to start the game.
Wareham drew within a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. After back-to-back base hits and a walk, Tyler Bream (Liberty) singled through the right side of the infield, allowing Zach Wilson (Arizona State) to score from second, cutting Cotuit’s lead to 2-1.
The Gatemen had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth. But with runners at first and second, Shore induced a pop up off the bat of Bream to preserve the lead.
Cotuit added to its lead in the top of the seventh, when John Hinson (Clemson) came around to score after a throwing error with two outs allowed James Foster (Wofford) to reach safely. Hinson doubled down the right field line earlier in the inning.
Wareham rallied to within a run in the bottom half of the inning. Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) doubled to start things off, and two batters later scored on a ground out off the bat of Derek Dennis (Michigan) making it 3-2. But the Gatemen would not cross the plate after that.
Matt Andriese (UC Irvine) and Ryan Duke (Oklahoma) combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief to close out the game, as Duke picked up his first save of the season.
The Gatemen had their chances in the eighth and ninth, but could not push the tying run across. In the eighth, Wilson was stranded at second after singling and stealing a base, and in the ninth, pinch-hitter Nico Rosthenhausler (Oklahoma State) doubled down the right field line, but Duke retired the next two batters to send Wareham to its second straight defeat.
Wareham will look to bounce back tomorrow night at Spillane Field against Falmouth. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.