By Sam Blum
July 29, 2014
COTUIT – Mike Roberts doesn’t look at his Cotuit team any differently than he does his six-year old campers.
It’s about self-motivation, he says. Either you want to get better or you don’t.
“It’s an individual scenario and it’s a collective scenario,” Roberts said, “and if you want to get better, you’ve got to work at it every day, and we’ll get better.”
On Tuesday, Cotuit continued it’s late season regression, falling to first-place Bourne, 7-1 at Lowell Park. The Kettleers looked weak on both sides of the ball, as poor pitching and untimely hitting pushed the Kettleers to their fourth straight loss.
It wasn’t until an eighth-inning ground out from Tres Barrera (Texas) that the Kettleers snapped a 25-inning scoreless drought.
“We’re struggling,” Roberts said. “Putting pitching, defense, offense all together, we’ve struggled.”
The last time the Kettleers put a run on the board was in the third inning on Friday against Wareham. After an 11-inning shutout loss at Orleans, Cotuit’s stagnant offense carried into Tuesday.
The Kettleers had been a team that had relied on its powerful hitting, when all else was failing. Now, with the starting pitching coming together, the bats have gone quiet.
“We just really haven’t been hitting with runners in scoring position, getting a guy in with less than two outs from third base,” left-fielder Jeremy Taylor said. “That’ll turn around.“
The Braves jumped out in front to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. Three straight hits to start the inning, capped off on a Brett Sullivan single made the score 1-0. Mark Laird and Blake Davey singled in two more in the seventh.
Then a 3-run, inside-the-park home run from Laird made it 7-0 in the eighth inning.
On the same day that Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) left the team with an injury, teammate John Norwood (Vanderbilt) appeared to hurt himself trying to catch the Laird shot off the outfield fence.
It was a frustrating day for the Kettleers. After the game, Mike Roberts was able to shrug off the loss. He knows his team is not at its best right now, but hopes it is capable of figuring it out.
“You can’t snap your finger,” Roberts said. “Do you have to hit the ball hard to get it going? No. But you’ve gotta have the type of guys that can do that type of thing. We haven’t shown that the whole summer.”