Written by Heather Wysocki
Despite a slow start and a first run that didnít come until the fourth inning, the as-yet undefeated Cotuit Kettleers continued to cook on Tuesday, taking the Wareham Gatemen 5-3.
Heather Wysocki photos
SWINGING AWAY Ė Cotuit Kettleer Mike Bianucci takes a swing during the teamís Tuesday game against the Wareham Gatemen. Solid hitting and pitching led to the Kettleersí 5-3.
Streamlined catching by the Gatemen kept Cotuit scoreless for the first four innings, until a nice line drive to first by Evan Crawford and a few sweet follow-ups by teammates brought Cotuit to 2-0.
The Gatemen continued their search for their first run with a deep hit by Steve Liddle, who was stopped at second by tight Kettleer catching.
The score stayed 2-0 into the fifth, when a wild pitch by southpaw pitcher Mike Sogard allowed Warehamís first run by Tom Stack-Babich.
Furthering Cotuitís worries was the lack of communication in the outfield in the fifth, when Dallas Poulk bobbled a great throw by outfielder Robbie Shields at second resulting in another Wareham run by Connor Rowe.
Cotuitís pitching staff struggled mid-game, when more wild pitches paired with the quick feet of the Gatemen resulted in a 3-2 lead by Wareham.
A great catch by Brett Jackson stopped the Gatemenís streak.
Jackson continued his winning ways in the sixth, when a stellar slide into third base and, later, another phenomenal outfield catch kept Wareham from scoring more runs.
Cotuit stepped it up in the seventh when the threat of a 3-2 loss loomed. Better team communication and solid catches in the outfield kept Wareham from reaching the plate.
A deep hit that looked to be a home run for Wareham was thwarted by Indianaís Crawford, who made the stellar catch while slamming into the back fence.
Cotuitís at-bat in the seventh saw even better offensive play when a hit by a teammate brought Jeff Schaus to home for the Kettleersí third run of the game.
A series of shaky Wareham pitches got two more Kettleers on base, but the Gatemenís streamlined catching kept the game tied through the inning.
Strong infield and outfield play by Cotuit ended Warehamís at-bat early in the eighth, allowing no runners to make the bases.
With thunderclouds overhead and a call on account of darkness looming, the ninth inning saw both teams working hard to break the tie.
After a good catch by Wareham at first for the inningís first out, Schaus got his second run of the night on a sweet shot to left field, bringing the Kettleers to a 4-3 lead.
A beautiful home-plate steal by Auburnís Kevin Patterson brought the Kettleers to their 5-3 end score, sending the crowd cheering.
A couple of great catches by third baseman Jeff Kobernus and steady pitching by closer Danny Meszaros shut Wareham down for good just as the sun dipped behind the trees.
As of press time, Cotuit stands at 3-1 after a loss to the Y-D Red Sox on Wednesday. The team will play the Chatham Aís at home tonight, with a start time of 5 p.m.