Story by Steve McCarthy
Photos by Rick Heath
June 20, 2009
HYANNIS – In each of the Cotuit Kettleers’ three losses this summer two factors have been present- early inning errors, and a dominant opposing starting pitcher.
On Saturday that mix once again left Cotuit’s inconsistent offense with a daunting task to overcome, and a night after the Kettleers mounted a six run comeback in the late innings against Brewster, the hits did not follow them to Hyannis, resulting in a 4-2 loss at McKeon Field.
Hyannis starter Cole Johnson (1-1, Notre Dame) faced two batters over the minimum through seven innings pitched and earned the win. His only blemish was a solo home run by Cotuit’s Kevin Patterson (Auburn) in the seventh inning. Johnson allowed three hits and struck out six. He did not walk a batter, but hit Cotuit’s Devin Harris (East Carolina) with a pitch in the sixth inning.
“(Johnson) threw well,” Patterson said. “We just couldn’t get the bats going. Yesterday was a big win for us, and we were hoping to carry that momentum into today. It just didn’t happen.”
A quality outing by Cotuit starting pitcher Justin Grimm (Georgia) was spoiled by four Kettleers errors in the game. Three of them led to all four Hyannis runs crossing in the first two innings which were not charged to the right-hander.
Hyannis leadoff hitter Trent Whitehead (East Carolina) got into scoring position in the first inning as the result of Cotuit’s first error by shortstop Brian Guinn (Cal-Berkeley). Whitehead and Cody Hawn (Tennessee) both scored in the inning.
Nick Crawford (UAB) and Dustin Harrington (East Carolina) scored from second and third respectively in the second inning on a throwing error by Drew Hillman (Orange Coast JC). Elliot Soto (Creighton) attempted to score from second on an errant throw by Guinn on the following play, but Patterson recovered the ball near first base and fired a throw to Grimm who was covering home and applied the tag to end the inning.
Grimm (0-1) added the loss to his record, but still has not allowed an earned run through eleven and one-third innings in two starts. He struck out five batters in five and one-third innings Saturday and allowed three hits.
Roberts restructured his lineup in the sixth inning after he had seen enough of the recurring mishaps. Second baseman Chris Bisson (Kentucky) moved over to third in place of Hillman, and Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) moved back to his usual position in the infield after starting the game in left field.
“We’re going to have to experiment some, because at this juncture we don’t have another infielder coming,” Roberts said. “The three losses, basically it’s because we can’t field a ground ball.”
Cotuit had one more hit than Hyannis with five, but the Mets played error free.
“They just played really good defensively, and they deserved to win,” Roberts said.
Kevin Moran (Boston College) earned a two inning save (1) for Hyannis. He allowed Cotuit’s Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) to score in the ninth inning on a ground out by Patterson after Noel led off with a double and stole third, but retired Cody Stanley (UNC-Wilmington) and Zach Cone (Georgia) to end the game.
Cotuit pitcher Chad Bell (Tennessee), who started the third game of the season, was added to the bullpen Saturday to give Roberts a second left-handed reliever. He finished the sixth inning for Grimm, and struck out two batters in the seventh. Ben Rowen (Virginia Tech) pitched the eighth.
Cotuit opened the season with a 5-4 loss to Wareham on the road. They will play the Gatemen for the second time on Sunday, this time at home starting at 5 p.m.