COTUIT, MA: – In a battle of Western Division rivals, Cotuit struck first, held on late, and used a little help from an ace to defeat Wareham in the final matchup between both squads in the regular season.
Two runs were all that the Kettleers (18-15-2) would need, limiting the Gatemen (16-19-1) to a single run despite compiling nine hits and benefiting from some solid bullpen relief to pick up the 2-1 victory. Coupled with the victory and Bourne dropping two against Chatham, Cotuit increases its lead in the West to four points, while Wareham drops five out of first.
Nick Tropeano (Stony Brook), making his fourth appearance against Wareham this season, was solid over seven innings. The righty scattered six hits and allowed one unearned run while striking out two and walking three to improve to 2-3 on the season.
Wareham starter Josh Urban (Texas), who started off slow but has shown much improvement over his last two outings, dropped a tough decision to fall to 1-3 on the year. The Dripping Springs, Texas, native went six innings while allowing two runs off of six hits, striking out three and walking three.
Cotuit took an early lead in the bottom of the first after Lordan Leyland (UC Irvine) lined a base hit into center field, scoring Chad Wright (Kentucky) who blooped a one-out single into left to get the Kettleers going.
Pinch-hitter Zach Cone (Georgia) singled home Mike Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt) in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 2-0. Yastrzemski, grandson of Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl, walked to start the inning, stole second and advanced to third on an error. With the infield drawn in, Urban got the next two batters to strike out, but yielded the deciding run of the game against Cone.
Wareham finally got on board in the top of the eighth, as reliever David Colvin (Pomona-Pitzer) found himself in a bases loaded jam after Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) singled to the shortstop. Derek Dennis (Michigan) then reached on a throwing error, pushing across Zach Wilson (Arizona State) and keeping the inning alive. That prompted Ryan Duke’s (Oklahoma) entrance, and the righty struck out Adam McClain (Memphis) to end the inning.
Duke would stay on to pitch a scoreless ninth, picking up his second save of the season in the process and snapping a four-game winning streak for the Gatemen.
The league breaks for tomorrow’s All-Star Game at Fenway Park, and Wareham will next take to the field on Thursday night against Yarmouth-Dennis. First pitch at Red Wilson Field is slated for 5 p.m.