08/08/2019 4:15 AM
2019 Cotuit Kettleers - Josh Muir Photo
Article By: Joseph Barrett
The Cotuit Kettleers defeated the Falmouth Commodores on Wednesday, giving the maroon and white a well-deserved finals appearance.
In mid-June, the division was comprised of five teams. Four of them made the playoffs, but now there’s just one remaining. With all of the adjustments, preparation, and competition that’s transpired over the last three months, the West Division belongs to Cotuit.
When the regular season came to an end, there seemingly wasn’t a definitive answer for who would come out of the division. Three teams from the West possessed at least 44 points, each with 20 or more victories.
The Kettleers finished the summer with a 20-20-4 record, good for third place. However, with the hard-hitting Gateman and Commodores slightly above them in the standings, the next few weeks would be a mystery.
It was Wareham who would be Cotuit’s opening round opponent in the 2019 playoffs. Game one belonged to the defending champions, but an offensive outburst propelled Cotuit in game number two. The team tallied 22 total runs in the elimination game landslide.
The series may have read 1-1, but the Kettleers still had to travel for decisive game number three. Both offenses delivered in the contest with each side recording eight total hits. Despite the contact, Cotuit made a couple more defensive plays, committed three fewer errors, and the series was theirs.
A day later, it was Falmouth who was next up on the schedule. It was two teams with the same goal, but the road team prevailed once more in game number one.
Cotuit’s Trey Holland showed out in his highly anticipated playoff debut. He pitched six total innings, recording five strikeouts, and allowing a mere four hits. A shutout win for the club put momentum in their favor, and the fans at Lowell Park were ready to watch their team advance to the finals.
After a precipitation-caused cancellation, game number two was underway on Wednesday. The Kettleer faithful was in full force as the attendance read as 2,582. It’s safe to say the majority of those fans returned home with a smile, as Cotuit won the game by a score of 5-3.
Evan Justice proved to be a poet with a baseball on the night, delivering in his three crucial innings. The Virginia native left his opposition hitless, putting his offense in a better position to win the game.
It seems as if Nick Gonzales getting on base is just the inevitable at this point, and it was once again the league’s MVP who led Cotuit in their division clinching victory. The righty racked up three hits in his four at bats, resulting in two RBIs.
As a whole, the lineup proved to be more than cautious at the plate. Poise and patience were in full effect, as only three batters were strikeout victims on the night.
Falmouth’s Hayden Cantrelle and Troy Claunch contributed with two hits apiece for their respective team. Although appreciated, their efforts weren’t enough in the club’s final game of the summer.
Stellar pitching and timely at bats were the keys for Cotuit in the league’s opening two rounds of play. Wednesday’s victory gave them yet another championship appearance, and the Harwich Mariners are the team’s final barrier. The two teams will play in what’s expected to be a competitive series, all for the Cape Cod Baseball League Championship.