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Patriot Cup race continues with Kets-Mets contests Sunday, Monday

 July 15, 2005


Sunday and Monday’s back-to-back contests between the Cotuit Kettleers and the Hyannis Mets could end up with one team or the other taking a commanding lead in the race for the second annual Barnstable Patriot Cup.

But if the two clubs split the home-and-home series, the race will remain deadlocked with two games left to decide the winner.

The crosstown rivals play Sunday at McKeon Field in Hyannis and Monday at Lowell Park in Cotuit. Game time both days is 5 p.m.

The Kets and the Mets played each other on the first two Sundays of the season, with each club winning at home. The Mets picked up their only win in their first 14 games when they topped the Kets 4-2 June 19. Cotuit fought back with a 4-3 win June 26.

The two clubs are the only Cape Cod Baseball League teams that share a home town. The Patriot will award the trophy to the winner of the regular season series between the two.

Hyannis won the inaugural Cup last season, clinching the award and the league’s final with a pulsating, 10-inning triumph over Cotuit in Hyannis on the last day of the regular season. Three of last season’s games went to extra innings, and only one of the eight games between the two teams since the Cup was introduced has been decided by more than two runs. 

After Monday, the two teams meet again in Hyannis July 28. When the teams split their first two meetings, that game became the earliest either team could clinch the Cup outright. The teams’ final meeting again comes on the last day of the regular season, in Cotuit Aug. 7, so a repeat of last year’s last-minute victory remains very much a possibility.

Strictly speaking, the Mets have a narrow lead in the Cup race, by virtue of having surrendered only six runs to Cotuit in the two games so far, while scoring seven themselves. If the teams split the season series, the Cup will go to the one that allows fewer runs in their six meetings.

Kets ’n’ Mets notes

The Kettleers scored back-to-back wins over Bourne Monday and Tuesday, raising their record to 12-10-1 and climbing to within two points of the second-place Braves (13-9-1) in the Western Division. The two wins, 4-3 in Bourne Monday and 7-0 at Lowell Park Tuesday, followed consecutive losses to Chatham and Falmouth over the weekend. Wareham leads the division with a 14-7-1 mark.

The Kets had not lost more than two in a row all season through Tuesday. They also had not won more than three in a row. 

The Mets won five of six July 2-9, boosting their record to 6-13-1, but lost their next two. Hyannis was in last place in the West, eight points behind fourth-place Falmouth.

Cotuit’s Sean Gaston (Notre Dame) joined teammate Bryan Harris (Louisiana State) in the top 10 in the league in hitting last week. By the end of Tuesday’s action, Gaston’s .338 average was third in the league, while Harris’ .316 mark was seventh. Harris was 15-of-42 (.357) in July, while Gaston was 11-of-35 (3.14) for the month.

Harris shared the league lead in RBI with 18, and was fourth in hits with 25. 

Hyannis’ Andrew D’Alessio’s (Clemson) .449 on-base percentage led the league, and he was eighth in hitting with a .309 mark. He had hits in seven of the Mets’ first nine games in July, going 10-for-31 (.323) during the stretch.

Cotuit’s Emeel Salem (Alabama) was in a three-way tie for second in stolen bases with 11. Orleans’ Emmanuel Burriss already has the season crown in the category all but wrapped up with an astonishing 27 thefts in 23 games. Salem was second in the league in runs with 18.

The Kets’ Nathan Culp (Missouri) took over the league lead in earned run average, pitching 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Chatham to lower his mark to a puny 0.50. He was scheduled to start last night in Orleans.

Chris Toneguzzi (Purdue) had four saves, second most in the league. Three pitchers were tied for the league lead with six. Toneguzzi also had the second most appearances with 11. Three pitchers were tied for the league lead with 12.

Hyannis’ Mark Sauls (Florida State) was one of only five pitchers with a complete game to his credit. Ironically, the two-hitter came in the last game of the Mets’ early-season 10-game losing streak. Bourne won the July 1 contest 2-1. Only one of Bourne’s runs was earned.

By David Curran


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