By Matt Schneidman
June 19, 2017
Wareham (2-6) 8, Cotuit (4-4) 3
ON THE MOUND:
Cotuit’s pitching struggled early in the game for the second-straight contest. Willie Calhoun (Arizona) hit a double on the first pitch of the game and that was a sign of things to come, as Wareham jumped out to a 6-1 lead after three innings. Blake Stevens (Birmingham Southern) and Garrett Hayward (Duke) struggled to find control on the mound, as each was tagged for three runs. Gabe Berman (Western Michigan) pitched two scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, but ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing two runs on three hits. Mason Klotz (Southeastern Louisiana) was the lone bright spot on the hill, throwing three scoreless innings while striking out four.
“I felt great on the mound and was able to control all my pitches equally,” Klotz said. “I feel like my drop-down slider really started having some life to it toward the plate.”
Even though Klotz excelled today, the pitching staff as a whole didn’t and after three outstanding performances against Y-D and Chatham, they’ll need to right the ship.
“Just keep attacking the hitters,” Klotz said of what the staff needs to do. “Make them hit to win. Don’t give them any freebies and just keep throwing strikes and stay confident.”
AT THE PLATE:
All three of the Kettleers’ runs were via the long ball, as Logan Taylor (Texas A&M) hit a solo shot to left in the second and Austin Byler (Nevada) jacked a two-run home run to right in the sixth. Cotuit totaled eight hits on the night, with Jameson Fisher (Southeastern Louisiana) and Jeremy Taylor (East Tennessee State) each keeping their averages at .300 or above with one hit a piece. Caleb Whalen (Portland) cooled off at the dish and after three hits in the last two games, the second baseman went 0-4 on Thursday. Mike Roberts will fiddle with the lineup tomorrow and put Thursday’s three-hitter at leadoff as a simple strategic move.
“I want guys leading off in this league who make the most solid contact the most often,” Roberts said. “I’m going to put Byler up there tomorrow and we’ll start with him.”
On Friday, the Kettleers will take on Orleans at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. The Firebirds come in with a 3-4 record, having won their last two games by an aggregate score of 11-2. Orleans leads the league with eight home runs, and it has five batters hitting at a clip of .308 or better. Roberts will continue to fiddle with his lineup and hope to get more out of his starting pitchers than in the last two games, but especially for a coach who places the majority of the blame on himself, he realizes early-season struggles may just be a result of the league’s nature.
“There’s a method to the madness in the Cape League,” Roberts said. “And when you’ve got lots and lots of temporary players, you’ve got to figure it out.
“It’s all experimental right now until we can get some solidification in some places.”