By Matt Schneidman
July 11, 2014
A one-run loss is always disappointing, especially when it comes in the first game of a title defense.
But the beauty of the Cape Cod Baseball League is that Cotuit gets a chance to make amends for an opening-night loss to Hyannis when it faces the Harbor Hawks again Thursday at 5 p.m., this time at Lowell Park for the Kettleers’ home opener.
Although the only teammates familiar with each other may be those who play on the same college teams, the cohesiveness among this Cotuit team is growing by the day.
“I mean we’re all just starting to play with each other, and we still had a good time,” Texas A&M’s Logan Taylor said after Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Hyannis. “We’re going to start winning here soon.”
Part of the struggle of the beginning of the Cape League season is shuffling lineups with temporary players and permanent players, making room on rosters for incoming players and fiddling with pitching rotations and batting orders.
Even though Cotuit was unable to drive in runs late in the game and made two errors in the field, there were still positives to be taken away from an opening game that featured several players who have only been with the team for a matter of days, including South Carolina’s DC Arendas.
“We’re learning a lot from Coach (Mike) Roberts,” Arendas said. “…just some little things that we can do.
“I know I made a baserunning mistake that could’ve led to a run, and we didn’t get a couple bunts down, which is what we know we can work on also.”
With a good part of the focus on individual development at this point in the season, Roberts wants to make sure those players that he will keep for the long haul are best prepared to make another run at a championship.
While the team as a whole continues to work out the kinks, Roberts is aware he won’t have a real gauge on the potential of his team until the beginning of July.
“We’ll see how we do a week from now, two weeks from now and three weeks from now,” Roberts said. “Then you’ll know whether or not you actually have a good ball club.”
For now, the only thing that’ll shake off some early-season rust is time, especially as these players learn each other’s tendencies and how to best mesh with each other both on and off the field.
As for the preparation for a turnaround game against Hyannis tonight, Roberts won’t look at any specific adjustments that need to be made based on Wednesday’s performance.
Rather, he’ll rely on his typical routine that he’s maintained throughout his 10 years on the Cape.
“I’ll do a couple different things pregame because it’s our first home game and we do some different things,” Roberts said. “Because you win or lose, do I make major adjustments?
“No I don’t make any, but I go back to the things I’ve always done.”