COTUIT- One of the hardest things to do in life is live up to the hype. There are countless examples. Alex Gordon, Ryan Leaf, the Miami Heat and that’s only naming a few. But living up to the sumo wrestler sized hype is exactly what Victor Roache is doing.
Victor smacked a homerun to center field, drew two walks, and patched his average up to .440 in a 4-3 win over the Brewster Whitecaps. The homerun was his second of the year, and his first one hit in front of the hometown Cotuit fans.When asked about the homerun, Victor beamed like a hunter talking about their best kill. “It was a fastball he left up, a 2-0 count, and that’s when you get really aggressive as a hitter.”
The blast took off in the first inning. Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) led off the game with a single off of Brewster starter Jordan John (Oklahoma) (0-1) to shallow right field. With Wren being such a threat to steal, John kept trying to pound fastballs to Roache on the inner half. Roache found one that he liked, and blasted it to deep left center field. Whitecap’s centerfielder Preston Beck made an athletic jump to try and rob Roache, but the ball went off the top of his glove and landed just over the fence.
Roache received a spirited reception from his teammates when he reached the dugout.
“My teammates definitely gave me a hard time when I got back to the dugout. You know, ‘hit the weight room’ and all that.”
Brewster’s only three runs came in the third inning off the bat of Tanner Nivins (Stony Brook). After a meeting on the mound from coach Mike Roberts, Cotuit starter Kyle Zimmer (San Fransisco) (1-1) tried to go fastball away from Nivins. The result was a three run shot for Tanner, his first of the year.
“I was sitting on a fastball,” explained Nivins. “I was in a 2-0 count, and I saw two fastballs before that, so I was sitting on it.”
Zimmer settled down and kept his composure, going six strong inning, giving up five hits, four walks, and striking out four.
Cotuit’s two other runs were the first two RBI’s of Cody Stubbs’ (Walters State) young Cape League career. Stubbs showed disciplined hitting by driving in Victor Roache and Ryon Healy (Oregon) on a two out single.
“I mean, he kind of hung a curve ball and I drove it up the middle.” Cody hopes this at bat will begin to turn things around for him this summer. “Hopefully this gets me going. We’ve worked on some things, and things feel better. I think the swing is coming along.”
The game stayed 4-3 till the end. The harbinger of the end for Brewster was Bobby Wahl (Ole Miss) warming up in the bullpen.
Wahl came in during the eighth inning with five outs left in the game for him to get his second save of the season. He inherited a full count and walked Taylor Davis (Morehead State). His next few pitches were shaky, only touching 91, and 92 on the radar gun. Apparently he didn’t come into the game completely warmed up, because half way through his next hitter, he started hitting 95 consistently. It was over for Brewster at that point. Wahl struck out the next four batters he faced via the fastball. Bobby got help from second basemen Micah Johnson (Indiana) for the last out. Johnson made an athletic stop on a ball shot to second and flipped it to Stubbs for the final out of the game.
Once Wahl got two strikes on a hitter, he had no other pitch in mind.
“I felt real confident in my fastball tonight, so I just kept throwing it.”
Wahl’s head coach is equally as confident.
“To me he is a true closer,” said Roberts. It sounds as if that role has officially been filled. Roberts continued.
“I can’t teach anyone to do what Bobby is doing. He’s naturally aggressive, he’s blessed with a wonderful arm, and he throws strikes, which is all the ingredients you are looking for in a closer.”
Cotuit improved to 4-3-1 on the year. The Kettleers with have a double header tomorrow at Orleans. The games will be at 4 and 7.