08/11/2010 3:34 PM
SOUTH YARMOUTH ---- The Cotuit Kettleers rode the arm of Matt Andriese (Cal Riverside) to a 3-0 win over Yarmouth-Dennis on Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Cape Cod Baseball League Championship Series at Red Wilson Field.
Andriese pitched a complete-game shutout to put his team one win away from the title. The series switches to Lowell Park for Thursday’s Game 2.
“I felt really good,” he said. “My rhythm was good. I threw a lot of strikes.”
That he did. The Cotuit starter tossed 120 pitches, and 85 of them crossed the dish for strikes. He lost the no-hit bid in the fifth inning on Ben McMahan’s (Florida) two-out single. He allowed just three hits, while striking out four, walking one and hitting one.
He appeared to be tiring in the eighth when he walked one batter and hit another. He then allowed a base hit to Joe Panik (St. John’s) to start the ninth. With action in the bullpen, Andriese forced the league’s home run and RBI leader, Jordan Ribera (Fresno State) into a 1-6-3 double play.
“I just hope he enjoyed pitching today as much as his five coaches and his teammates enjoyed watching him pitch,” Cotuit field manager Mike Roberts said.
The Kettleers starter shut down a powerful Y-D offense that had inflicted a beating on its previous playoff opponents; whipping them by a combined score of 49-17.
What little offense was provided during the game was done so in the first three innings. The Kettleers played their usual game of small ball and scored early. Deven Marrero (Arizona State) picked up the first RBI when he laid a bunt down the first base line, scoring Jordan Leyland (UC Irvine), who led the game off with a single. Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) picked up another RBI on a fielder’s choice, scoring Chad Wright (Kentucky). Marrero’s RBI single in the third completed Cotuit’s scoring.
“We can not hit with Y-D,” Roberts said. “We’re a small-ball team. We have to play our style.”
After a rough start, Red Sox pitcher Randy Fontanez (South Florida) settled down and went eight innings, allowing just the three runs on eight hits.
“It was a pitcher’s day,” said Roberts, “and not a hitters day.”
“Their guy out-pitched us. They played some small ball and we didn’t handle the ball,” Y-D field manager Scott Pickler said. “We’ve got to win (Thursday). That’s all.”
Andriese’s impressive start almost did not exist. When the sun rose on game day, the Kettleers had yet to select a pitcher. Roberts had five pitchers in mind and had all of them text him last night to check on their arms.
“His text came from the heart,” Roberts said. “It was different. It wasn’t ‘I want to pitch.’ His words were ‘Coach, if you give me this opportunity, I think I’m capable of helping the team.’”
After the team arrived, Roberts had to make a decision. He made the correct choice.
Their appearance in the championship round marks the third in three years for the Kettleers, who are hoping the third time really is the charm.
“I’m trying to really not coach and just let the players play,” Roberts said.