HARWICH – Stellar pitching, solid defense, and a strong second inning led the Monomoy Sharks to a big 5-1 baseball victory against the Bristol-Plymouth Craftsmen on Monday afternoon, boosting their overall record to 3-2.
It was a game that included a number of highlights, such as sophomore Joe Cottle's top-notch complete game performance that saw the right-handed hurler throw 14 strikeouts and 18 first pitch strikes, with only three hits, 13 walks, and one unearned run.
“That was our first complete game all year,” said Monomoy head coach Steve Wilson, who praised Cottle's performance on the mound, especially the first pitch strikes, which he said disarm opponents. “If you throw a first pitch strike, now the kid [at bat] is guessing.”
While Cottle did a masterful job on the mound, his teammates proved powerful at the plate, particularly in the second inning when they combined forces offensively for four of their five runs as well as a suicide squeeze and a pickoff steal.
Brandon Willis was the first to reach base on a walk, advancing to second on a single from Griffen Handler. Next up was Cam Archibald with a sacrifice shot that moved along Willis and Handler, setting things up nicely for Jamie Routhier, whose squeeze single brought home Willis, with cousin Logan Routhier swinging up a two-run single to give Monomoy a nice edge. A single from Eli Nickerson brought around Logan Routhier before the inning's end, putting the Sharks up 4-0.
Sean Gould added one more in the fifth when he singled to reach first before beating feet all the way to third on an error by the Craftsmen first baseman, coming home on a sacrifice fly from Kiernan Murphy.
Although the visitors were able to push across a run on a Monomoy error, it would be their only score throughout the game's seven innings.
“It was certainly an exciting game,” Wilson said. “I think what really pleased me most was the execution by the team. We had great team defense and offensively executed the plays we ran. We needed those plays to have that big second inning.”
Defensively the team was also strong, with a key double play in the later innings.
“[The game] was a very positive experience,” Wilson said. “I thought the kids played with focus, effort and enthusiasm.”
Just before school vacation, the Sharks hosted Sandwich, taking a 4-0 hit in what Wilson said was still a promising outing for the team.
The game marked the first varsity start for sophomore Drew Edson, whom Wilson said pitched six quality innings in which he gave up four runs, three of which were earned, while turning out 16 first pitch strikes.
“That is huge for a youngster,” Wilson said. “Sandwich is a Div. 2 school. Edson was what the team needed to stay competitive throughout the game.”
Senior Eli Nickerson came in and shut down Sandwich in the seventh. He and Kiernan Murphy had the only two Monomoy hits in the outing, which saw a strong performance from Gould behind the plate, with the catcher throwing out two runners at second base, while the team turned out two double plays.
Next up for the Sharks is a trip across town to face Cape Cod Tech today (April 26) at 4 p.m., with their next home game slated for April 30 at 4 p.m. against D-Y.