By Sam Blum
June, 25, 2014
BREWSTER – Caleb Whalen had the ball lost in the late afternoon sun during the sixth inning. After a frantic search he located it. He lined it up. Got under it.
And dropped it.
Mike Roberts has preached game after game that his team needs to become more polished players. But 14 games in, Cotuit has seemingly regressed.
“Stuff like that’s gonna happen,” said Brendan Hendricks. “And it’s up to the person behind that person to stop it. Somebody makes an error, the next guy’s gotta back him up.”
On Wednesday, the Kettleers committed three errors, and had several more miscues in the field as it fell 8-0 to Brewster (6-8). Cotuit (6-8) has now been outscored 22-2 in its past two games.
The Kettleers are second in the Cape Cod Baseball League with 21 errors, and poor defense fueled an offensive outburst for the Whitecaps.
“More and more of the better players have begun to show up in the league, and you can see about this time that guys are out of regional’s and clubs get a little better,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to get guys to where they primarily play at school.”
Whalen, who made the error in right and Logan Taylor, who misplayed a ball in right field earlier in the game are both natural infielders. Roberts said playing guys out of position has caused some of the poor defensive play.
“We’ve got to get people back in position,” he said.
The nightmare for Cotuit on Wednesday started in the second inning when Brewster put up six runs.
Mikey White led off with a double. Georgie Salem singled him home. Three singles later, three runs were home, with runners on first and third.
Sam Tewes then signaled to Roberts, and was replaced because he felt tingling in his hand.
“It was pretty tender throughout,” Tewes said, “but it was something I thought I could get through but it didn’t happen.”
Mason Klotz picked up right where he left off.
He allowed a single. Then a triple off the bat of Travis Maezis was misplayed by Logan Taylor in right field. A soft single by Justin Montemayor got past Klotz for an infield single.
The game was out of hand.
The offense wasn’t much better. Cody Ponce and the bullpen almost completely shut down the Kettleers for their worst offensive output of the season. Twenty-six of the first 28 were retired, including 18 in a row at one point.
“It’s actually tougher to hit in that situation many times than when the game’s close,” Roberts said. “Each person is trying to do too much. They’re trying to hit a 3-run home run and there’s nobody on.”
After a 14-2 loss at home to Hyannis on Tuesday, Wednesday’s game was another wash.
After a 4-game winning streak in the first week of the season, it’s become a summer defined by injury and poor defense.
But the Kettleers hope this is just a passing phase.
“You can’t be too high when you’re up,” Hendriks said, “and you can’t be too low when you’re down.
“And we’re down right now.”
Up Next: Both teams have an off day, before Cotuit travels to Hyannis. Brewster is at Bourne on Friday.