By Sam Blum
June 12, 2014
Mike Roberts looks at the scoreboard after one-run losses. He looks at the hits, the errors, and the hit batters. He finds everything his team could have done better to win the game.
In the first two games of the 2014 season, there have been a lot of small things that could have gone better for the Kettleers, but defense has stood out.
‘My responsibility is we have to improve, we have to get rid of the errors,” Roberts, the Cotuit manager said. “…It’s a lack of polish.”
After committing two errors in Wednesday’s game, which included a decisive unearned run, the Kettleers coughed up two more in the field, as Cotuit (0-2) once again fell to Hyannis (2-0), this time 6-5 in the Kettleers home opener at Lowell Park.
“Usually you have a group of guys that show up one way or the other, either they’re really polished or they’re somewhere in between,” Roberts said. “We’ve gotta get out of the middle.”
Cotuit jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings, but the defense gave it back. With runners at first and second and no outs in the top of the third, Caleb Whalen (Portland) fielded a ground ball and fired it over Jameson Fisher’s (SE Louisiana) head at first base.
A run scored, and there were two more in scoring position. Two runs scored that inning without the benefit of a hit.
DC Arendas (South Carolina), who had an error last night, committed another in the fifth inning, and saw several others bounce off his glove throughout the overcast afternoon.
“I’ve gotta get better defensively,” Arendas said. “I was talking with Coach Roberts and he was saying my butt’s kind of getting high up in the air, so I’ve got to stay low to the ground and work on that.”
The defense may not be completely at fault for the errors. Jake Fincher (North Carolina State), the center fielder said that quality of the fields are affecting the mentality of the fielders.
“I’ve had experience with all these fields,” said Fincher, who played with Cotuit last season. “I think you’ve just got to move your feet a little bit more instead of letting the ball play you.”
Roberts said that before the season, he told his team that he wants every game to be a one-run game.
Thus far, his wish has come to fruition. Now it’s on the defense to turn the losses into wins.
DC Arendas Shines At The Plate in Loss to Hyannis
The momentum in the game had shifted Hyannis’ way. The Kettleers had let a 4-0 lead become 4-4. The temperature was dropping, the sunlight was fading.
DC Arendas had a chance to take back control of the game with a runner at second and one out in the bottom of the eighth.
And he made the opportunity count, lining a base hit past first base to give Cotuit the lead once again.
“They brought the reliever in and he went fastball, slider,” Arendas said. “And I was looking for something early in the count to hit, and I got a good pitch.“
In his first two games in a Kettleers uniform, Arendas has five hits in just seven at bats. His two walks have him at a .778 on-base percentage. His bat helped keep Cotuit in the game, despite losing 6-5 in the home opener at Lowell Park on Thursday.
He’s also committed two errors in the field, but his bat has helped make up for it.
In the first inning, he singled through the left side on a hit and run with the infield wide open. He was picked off of first, but stayed in the rundown long enough to allow Jake Fincher to score from third before he was tagged out.
Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said he expects the offense from Arendas, but hopes the rest of his game shows development as well.
“Anybody can hit. I want to play defense,” Roberts said. “You win baseball games with pitching, defense, base running and being able to bunt.
“We’ll take the hits when we get them.”