By Courtney Swift
Kettleers Lead Writer
June 25, 2012
CHATHAM – The Kettleers have been hot and cold throughout the start of the 2012 Cape League season. Still looking to find some consistency, Cotuit faced off against Chatham Sunday night looking for its fifth win of the season. And just as the weather cooled off by the end of the weekend, the Kettleer bats got hot yet again to picking up a solid, all around effort and 11-5 win against the Anglers.
Cotuit got the bats going early scoring three times in the top of the first. Speedster Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) walked to start the game and later stole second and scored on a fielder’s choice. Kemp singled, walked three times and scored four during the game. Twice he scored without a hit, just because of his speed.
Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) got the start throwing four innings while giving up two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts. “His pitch count was a little bit high, but his strikeout ratio is already up over the past year,” Coach Roberts said of Ziomek. “I do think Kevin really has an agenda of how to get better and we want to get him out there as much as we can.” However it was Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) who got the win coming in to relieve Ziomek and throwing two and two thirds innings. Dan Slania (Notre Dame) also worked his longest outing of the season throwing two and a third to get the save for Cotuit.
Chatham battled back scoring five runs by the seventh inning giving Cotuit just a two-run lead, but the Kettleers broke the game open again in the top of the ninth after a bases clearing double to right center by Raph Rhymes (LSU). Rhymes, playing just his fourth game so far on the season put Cotuit on top 11-5. Rhymes went 2-6 on the night with five RBIs giving him nine on the season. “I’m just trying to compete, you know battle that pitcher, just me and him and I want to win,” Rhymes said. “Today was a good day. I struggled a bit in the beginning, getting used to things, but swung pretty well today.”
Mike Ford, who fans have only seen pitch so far this season, got his first start in the line up at DH going 3-4 with a walk. “Today was just relaxed, just see ball-hit ball kind of thing,” said Ford. “I actually played against the guy who started tonight in high school so I knew him a little bit and just felt comfortable and just tried to relax. “
Coach Roberts has found a solid one-two punch in Kemp and Rhymes at the top of the order, and plans to adjust the rest of the lineup accordingly. The Kettleers are also waiting on first basemen Tim Kiene to get back on the field after being out for two days with some soreness in his hand. “We’re swinging the bat better, are we an outstanding offensive team at this point, no,” said Roberts. “I do think our team is going to be based on pitching, defense and base stealing and then you know try and throw some hits in there obviously to score runs.”
The Kettleers are off Monday but face the Bourne Braves at Lowell Park Tuesday at 5 p.m. Cotuit lost 5-1 in their last matchup, but looks to move above .500 as TJ Pecoraro (Vanderbilt) gets his second start of the season. To see more post game interviews, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialKettleers?feature=watch.