By Sam Blum
Video Highlights of Games 1 and 2 by Axel Boada HERE
The theme of Cotuit’s first three games has been polish – or lack thereof. Six errors and a slew of base running mistakes was a point that Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said needed to be corrected.
In Cotuit’s doubleheader sweep over Chatham on Sunday, polish on the mound proved to be an issue. Getting outs once those runners got on base.
“You don’t get out of all of them. Today we got out of them,” Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said. “If you walk and hit people, you are not going to get out of a lot of those innings.”
The Kettleers (3-2) walked six batters over the course of seven innings and had to work out of trouble on the base paths in almost every inning. For the day, Kettleer pitching recorded nine walks, and four hit-batsmen. The walks didn’t translate to runs as Cotuit won game one against the Anglers (1-4) 4-1, and game two, 3-0.
In the first five frames of game one, a runner reached scoring position. It happened three more times in game two.
But each threat that presented itself on Sunday, was followed by a timely out.
“It shows you what kind of pitchers we have,” A.J. Minter (Texas A&M) said. “Once stuff gets going, what are we gonna do? We don’t back down and that shows you that we’re here to pitch.”
In game one, Mason Klotz (Southeastern Louisiana) walked the first two batters in relief in the fourth inning. He induced a double play on the next batter. It was the case all night. Chatham was never more than a hit away from getting back in the game.
In the second inning of game two, Dalton Potts (Tennessee-Martin) hit two batters and walked another before getting out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the game scoreless.
“Walks, they’re something that’s gonna happen,” Klotz said “You’ve just got to be able to bounce back from the walk.”
In Saturday’s win against Yarmouth – Dennis, the first of the season, it was the pitching that keyed the victory. On Sunday, the runs weren’t plentiful for an Anglers team that has scored four runs in its past four games, but its chances were.
When Vince Fiori (South Carolina) came in for his Cape Cod League debut with one out in the fourth, he hit the first two batters he faced. He eventually got out of the inning.
The Kettleers pitchers tossed four of no-hit ball, but still tossed nearly every pitch out of the stretch.
But Roberts said the key to getting out of the jam was adjusting the speed of the pitches.
“You can’t keep throwing the fastball,” Roberts said. “When you are behind in the count, you’ve gotta change speeds. And I think they did a good job.”
Roberts said he wanted to get all of the pitchers on his staff on the mound between opening day and the end of Sunday’s doubleheader.
In the sweep, he used 7 pitchers in just 14 innings. And while the walks haven’t been encouraging, the resilience has.
“It’s the beginning of the summer,” Minter said. “Everyone’s trying to get back in the feel of things.”