Written by Kathleen Szmit
When the Cotuit Kettleers arrived in Harwich this week fans weren’t sure what to expect. The team hadn’t won a game since July 10 and was thought to be in a slump.
STRIKING BACK – He might not be part of George Lucas’s Empire, but Cotuit’s Seth Blair certainly struck back Wednesday night against the Harwich Mariners. In nine innings of work Blair struck out 10 batters and only allowed one hit in Cotuit’s 4-0 shutout of Harwich.
Nine innings, 10 hits, four runs – and pitcher Seth Blair’s 10 strikeouts – later, the Kettleers fans that made the trip east were duly rewarded as Cotuit sunk the Mariners 4-0 in a terrific game.
Blair was nothing short of fantastic on the mound for Cotuit, pitching a nine-inning, one-hit shutout to lead the Kettleers to a much-needed victory.
After being given a one-run window in the first inning Blair went to work holding Harwich to just one hit in nine innings of effort, striking out 10 batters along the way.
Contrary to a past performance, Blair was in top form, only wobbling once in the second inning when he hit Tommy Medica with a pitch and allowed a long single from Joe Sanders. Blair quickly regrouped, however, striking out Tim Smalling to end the inning.
After that Blair was simply on fire, recording six 1-2-3 innings for Cotuit, hastily retiring the side each time Harwich came up to bat.
While the defense wasn’t left with much to do in the wake of Blair’s pitching prowess, Jeff Kobernus made two nice inning-ending catches in the third and eighth.
At bat the Kettleers wasted no time getting down to business, recording their first run of the game in the opening inning.
After Harwich pitcher Patrick Johnson walked leadoff batters Jason Kipnis and Kevin Patterson, Kobernus loaded the bases with a single to left field.
Matt Holliman struck out swinging, but a sacrifice fly from Dallas Poulk brought in Kipnis to put the Kettleers on the board.
Though Cotuit had hits in all but two of the following innings, they opened up in the eighth, plating three runs on four hits.
Kipnis opened the inning with a single to left. Patterson then reached on a fielder’s choice that took out Kipnis before advancing to second on a single from Kobernus.
A beautiful double from Holliman brought in Patterson, while a single from designated hitter Poulk gave Kobernus the go-ahead.
A fielding error by the Mariners allowed Holliman to plate Cotuit’s fourth run of the game before outs on Poulk and Joey Lewis ended the inning.
Kobernus proved the heavy hitter of the night, going 3-for-4 at bat with one run, while Kipnis and Gilmartin went 2-for-4 with Kipnis plating a run. Holliman and Poulk each went 1-for-3, with Holliman scoring one.
Blair earned the win for Cotuit, lifting spirits and –with any luck – turning the tide for the team.
The Kettleers face Falmouth at home tonight at Lowell Park with a 5 p.m. game time.