Cotuit fighting for post-season berth
Mets break losing streak, help Kets’ playoff chances

 July 29, 2005


How will the West be won?

With the Cape Cod Baseball League season entering the home stretch, the Cotuit Kettleers went into Wednesday’s action in a pitched battle with Bourne, Wareham and Falmouth for the Western Division’s two playoff spots. “I think it’s fun,” said Kets skipper Mike Roberts before Wednesday evening’s road game against Eastern Division leader Orleans. “I think it’s good you have a race in your division.... It’s more interesting for the fans. It’s a great situation.”

Roberts said the key for the Kets remained playing well enough to get All-Star closer Chris Toneguzzi into games with leads to protect. “We look forward to finding out who the best team is late in the year,” the manager said.

Going into Wednesday’s action, Bourne was atop the Western Division with 41 points (20-14-1), followed by Wareham with 40 (19-14-2) and the Kets with 38 (18-15-2).

The Kettleers got some help from crosstown rival Hyannis in Wednesday’s early evening game when the Mets snapped a 14-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over Wareham. Mark Sauls picked up the victory, raising his record to 1-4 as the Mets improved to 7-27-1.

The Kets game in Orleans was in progress as the Patriot’s deadline passed, so Cotuit remained two points behind the Gatemen pending the outcome of that game.

A win over Orleans would have left Cotuit and Wareham tied at 40 points with eight games left on each team’s schedule. Their remaining contests include a head-to-head battle in Cotuit Aug. 6, the second to last game of the season, a game that could have enormous playoff implications. The last time the two teams met, on July 21 in Wareham, they played to a 13-inning 7-7 tie. Bourne looked to have the easiest road to the playoffs going into Wednesday, with two games apiece against each division’s last place team, Hyannis and Brewster.

Falmouth also remained in the running with 33 points, but with two teams to jump over and 3 1/2 games to make up with just nine to play, the defending division champion Commodores were probably going to need to make their move in head-to-head action. 

Falmouth had two games left against Wareham and one each against Cotuit and Bourne. Winning all four would strengthen their hand considerably, but even then they probably were not going to be in position to decide their own fate. Of course, if any one of the four teams were to get really hot and put together a string of victories, they could ride the streak into the playoffs. And that would mean losses for the other three clubs, leaving them to fight it out for the remaining playoff berth in their other games. It would be out of character, though; the race in the division has been close all season long. 

Kets and Mets notes

The Barnstable Patriot Cup will be presented on the last day of the season, at the Kets-Mets game at Cotuit’s Lowell Park Aug. 7. The Kettleers had a chance to clinch the Cup by beating or tying Hyannis last night, after the Patriot went to press. Coming into the game, the Mets had lost three of four contests against the Kets and needed to win to stay alive in the race for the second annual Cup, presented by the Patriot to the winner of the regular season series between the only teams in the league that share the same home town. The Mets won the inaugural Patriot Cup last season.

Cotuit’s Josh Johnson pitched eight innings of three-hit ball to lead the Kets to a 5-0 win over Eastern Division leading Orleans at Lowell Park Sunday. The win boosted Johnson’s record to 4-0 and dropped his earned run average to 1.31, fifth in the league among pitchers with at least 28 innings pitched. Teammate Clay Dirks was not far behind with an ERA of 1.82 and a 2-1 record.

Hyannis reliever Christopher Duke led the team in appearances through Tuesday with 14 and earned run average with 2.53. Charlie Furbush led the club in innings pitched with 40 1/3. 

Sean Gaston of the Kets was tied for fourth in the league in hitting with a .333 average, second in the Western Division behind only Wareham’s Lance Salzgiver. Jason Donald was the only other Ket hitting over .300, with a .317 mark. Bryan Harris, who flirted with .350 earlier in the season, was tied with Brad Boyer for third on the team at .276. Overall, the club had climbed to second in the league in hitting with a .246 mark, behind only Chatham’s torrid .274.

The Mets’ leading hitter was Kyle Norrid at .264.

Neither the Kets nor the Mets have put up big power numbers this season. Harris led the Kets with three. The Mets’ Justin Tellam hit his fourth of the year in Wednesday’s win over Wareham, while teammate Teddy Dziuba had three.

Harris was second in the league with 24 RBI behind Chatham’s Evan Longoria. Andy D’Alessio was leading the Mets with 13.

Cotuit set out to lead the league in stolen bases this summer, but will almost certainly fall short of that goal. The Kets were second through Tuesday with 54, led by Emeel Salem, who was third in the league and first in the West with 14. Orleans had 85 thefts and counting.

By David Curran



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