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Cotuit Thrashes Wareham Behind Huge 8th

By Barrett Hodgson

The Wareham Gatemen visited Lowell Park on Friday, July 30th to take on the Cotuit Kettleers. The division rivals are both in the hunt for the last playoff spot in the west and both needed the win to catch up to Falmouth in the race. Wareham’s playoff hopes significantly decreased after the crushing 12-5 loss.   

Cotuit got on the board early in this game as they plated two runs in the 1st. Ryan Ritter (Kentucky) laced a two out single to get things started. He advanced to 3rd on an Eric Brown (Coastal Carolina) single to put runners on the corners. Brown then swiped 2nd base to put two runners in scoring position for Noah Bridges (UNC Wilmington). Bridges then hit a weak grounder that snuck in between 1st and 2nd base for a two RBI single to put the Kettleers up 2-0. 

The Gatemen struck back in the top of the 4th. Jimmy Crooks (Oklahoma) led off the inning with a walk and advanced to 2nd on a Kellum Clark (Mississippi State) single. This put runners on 2nd and 3rd for Jack Brannigan (Notre Dame). Brannigan roped an RBI single to cut the Cotuit lead to 2-1.

Kettleers starter Quinn Matthews (Stanford) was dominant across his six innings of work. Matthews was not overpowering, but gave up just one run mainly due to the lead off walk he gave up to Crooks. He walked just two and struck six in his impressive start. 

The Kettleers tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th inning. Matthew Suggs (UNC Wilmington) singled with two outs to put Cotuit in business. Suggs then attempted to steal 2nd and the throw from Crooks sailed into center field. This allowed Suggs to advance to 3rd for Matthew Donlan (UConn), who stepped up and ripped an RBI single to give the Kettleers a 3-1 lead. 

Wareham tied the game up in the top of the 7th inning. Brannigan led off the inning with a gap shot triple. He then scored on an error by the 3rd baseman on a ball off the bat of Kade Kern (Ohio State). Tres Gonzalez (Georgia Tech) then stepped up and ripped a single up the middle that was followed by a Jim Jarvis (Alabama) walk that loaded up the bases. Tommy Troy (Stanford) then hit a ball to deep left that resulted in an RBI sac fly and tied the game up 3-3.

Cotuit responded to the Wareham surge and retook the lead in the bottom half of the 7th. Ritter tripled down the right field line and then scored on a suicide squeeze by Brown. Bridges then stepped in and hit an absolute bomb off of Gatemen reliever Elias Saul (Sacramento State) to give the Kettleers a 5-3 lead. 

The Gatemen again stepped up and showed fight in a game that could determine their season. Clark singled and Brannigan walked, putting runners on 1st and 2nd for Kern. A single down the right field line allowed Clark to score and Kern was credited with an RBI. Gonzalez then delivered an RBI single of his own, tying the game back up at 5-5. 

The Kettleers put up a crooked number in the 8th to put the Gatemen away. Donlan started off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He was then pinch ran for by Eldrige Figueroa (Arkansas Little Rock). Jace Grady (Dallas Baptist) then singled which put runners on the corners for Cotuit. This led to a suicide squeeze attempt by Carter Trice (Old Dominion) which ended up being a fielders choice with everyone safe and Figueroa scoring. Ritter then drew a walk to load the bases up. Brown was then hit by a pitch which allowed Grady to score. Another run crossed the plate when Trice took home on a wild pitch. Bridges then stepped up and had an RBI sac fly to extend the lead. The line kept moving when Brett Roberts (Florida State) laced an RBI single. The last runs of the inning scored on a Nathan Martorella (Cal Berkeley) home run over the right field wall. The seven run offensive explosion gave Cotuit a 12-5 lead right before the game ended due to darkness. 

Wareham will look to get a much needed win on July 31st when the Bourne Braves visit Spillane Field at 6:45.