COTUIT- On a rain-drenched night at Lowell Park the bats of the Cotuit Kettleers were asleep, while the bats of the Chatham Anglers were alive and kicking. The Anglers hit two home runs in the game that opened the flood gates and went on to win by a tally of 10-4.The first inning looked promising for the Kettleers’ Nick Price (Tennessee Tech) who started his outing with a perfect first inning retiring the side in order. However the second inning was its predecessor’s polar opposite. The Anglers bats were awakened scoring 5 runs to take a commanding lead.
The top of the second started a historic night for Angler’s newcomer Richie Shaffer (Clemson). Shaffer got his first start of his Cape League career and he made the most of it at the expense of the Kettleers. Shaffer’s single in the 2nd was the shortest of the game. In the top of the 3rd Shaffer hit one to center field over the head of Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) and legged out a triple. In the 7th he hit another bomb to deep center field that fell short of the wall but left the park on a bounce for a ground-rule-double. In the ninth with a runner on and just one long ball away from the cycle Shaffer stepped to the dish and from the crack of the bat it was gone. The ball soared deep into the left field trees with no visual confirmation of a landing point. Shaffer drove in 3 runners on his 4 hits on the night.
Price’s struggles continued in the 3rd when he gave up a two run homer to Dane Phillips (Oklahoma State) that put the Kettleers behind 7-1. When Price got out of the third he seemed to settle down and gain control over the game. Price threw three strike outs in as many innings between the 3rd and 6th. Including a rallying moment for the Kettleers in which they turned a strike-him-out throw-him-out double play off a beautiful throw from Luke Maile (Kentucky). Price went 6.1 giving up 6 earned on 11 hits and struck out 4.
For the second game in a row the Kettleers struggled on what is usually their rite of passage, the base paths. The Kettleers stole just 4 bases this evening and were picked off 6 times throughout the game.
“I do put in a base running and base stealing system and it has really nothing to do with what you’ve seen over the last two games, and I’m a little baffled myself,” said Coach Mike Roberts on the base running situation.
Roberts added that the Kettleers need some adjustments before tomorrow night’s game against Brewster. Since it is so early in the season Roberts and his staff are still looking for a set starting lineup.
“We’ve got to get a starting rotation and right now we just do not have enough starting pitching. I also think we have some defensive players who are a little out of position,” Roberts said about his necessary adjustments.
Although the scoreboard didn’t show it, the Kettleers showed flashes of good things. At points the bats looked strong, Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) had another solid night at the plate and kept his average at .435. Barring a Web Gem at second Cody Stubbs (Walters State CC) would have had his second hit of the year. Defensively the Kettleers looked good as well. There isn’t much you can do about 5 runs scored on pitches that left the park. Kevin Mager (Rollins) had a good game at short, and was forced to make a diving play on a high fly ball that caught him moving back as the wind carried it towards the outfield during its decent.
With the loss the Kettleers fall to 3-3-1 on the season. Cotuit looks to rebound tonight against the Brewster Whitecaps at Lowell Park. The first time these two teams met the Whitecaps one convincingly 12-6. It’s supposed to be a perfect night for baseball, so make your way down to the field for the 5:00 pm start.