With second place and a trip to the Western Division playoffs on the line, the Kettleers (22-19-3) came through Sunday with a 2-1 decision over the Hyannis Mets.
Jeff Manship (Notre Dame) had the hill for Cotuit and turned in seven quality innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out seven, without giving up a walk, to earn the win and put Cotuit into the playoffs. Chris Toneguzzi (Perdue) picked up his eighth regular season save in relief.
The Mets struck first with a run in the fourth, but Cotuit came right back in the bottom of the frame when Julio Borbon (Tennessee) was hit by a pitch and then scored on a double into left field by Roberto Lopez (USC). In the sixth Lopez singled up the middle to score Todd Davison (Delaware) with what turned out to be the winning run.
Lopez finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Boyer also had two hits.
Wareham pushed the Kettleers to the wall Saturday handing them a 4-3 defeat. The Gatemen got to Cotuit starter Josh Johnson (Mississippi State) with six hits and three runs in four and one-third innings of work. Derik Olvey (Notre Dame) pitched an inning and two-thirds surrendering another run before Tim Ladd (Georgia Tech) and Chris Toneguzzi took over in the final three frames and shut the Gatemen down.
The Kettleers scored all three runs in the eighth inning. Julio Borbon drove in Brad Boyer (Arizona) and then a two-RBI base hit by Sean Gaston (Notre Dame), scoring Borbon and Todd Davison, who had reached on a walk.
Borbon finished the afternoon 3-for-4, and Boyer and Gaston each had two hits.
It took the Kettleers five innings to get to Bourne starter Greg Reynolds (Stanford) on Friday. In the fifth, they collected three of their five hits of the afternoon and turned a lead-off walk to Roberto Lopez (USC) into a run, claiming a 2-1 weather-shortened victory.
A passed ball and a single by Emeel Salem (Alabama) put Lopez at third for Brad Boyer, who singled for the first Cotuit run. Salem then came around on a base hit by Sean Gaston (Notre Dame).
The two runs were all the Kettleers would need. Clay Dirks (LSU) gave Cotuit five-plus solid innings allowing one run on five hits picking up his third win of the summer. Daniel Moskos (Clemson) pitched the sixth and final inning, surrendering just one hit. The game was called after six innings due to the lightning and darkness, and Moskos was credited with his third save.
The Braves picked up their lone run in the bottom of the sixth
Salem had two of Cotuitís five hits finishing the afternoon 2-for-3 with a run scored. Lopez and Gaston were both 1-for-2 with a walk.
Lopez was hot down the stretch for the Kettleers, but over the course of the season it was a team effort. In his second season, Boyer led the team in hitting (.291 and was tied for first with Byran Harris (Cal State Fullerton) for hits (39) and total bases (55). He topped the team in doubles with eight and was first in slugging (.410). Boyer finished the regular season tied for second in RBIs with 18.
The Kettleers had begun the season running as they always have but steals dropped as the team on-base percentage dropped to .308. Salem finished the year first in steals with 15. He was also first in runs scored, with 26. Salem was the only member of the Kettleers to play every game this summer.
Gaston was the team MVP, ranking second to Boyer in hitting (.289). But what Gaston provided the club was more than production at the plate; he was a team leader and tough player with a strong work ethic.
Todd Davison was another scrappy competitor who produced. His eye at the plate allowed him to draw a team-high 17 walks that pushed his on-base percentage in the regular season to .348.
On the hill, Josh Johnson (Mississippi State) ended the regular season, leading the team in wins (4-1) and ERA (1.83).
Injuries forced Harris (.247) and Jason Donald (Arizona), who hit .272, to the bench toward the end of the season, but, while they played, both players were a major part of Cotuitís success in a season well played.