By Matt Schneidman
July 13, 2014
After Nick Eicholtz (Alabama) allowed a run only three batters into the game, Cotuit looked to be headed for another long day on the mound after Saturday’s complete pitching effort provided a brief respite from the Kettleers’ woes on the hill.
But that was the farthest thing from the case.
Eicholtz, Ashton Perritt (Liberty) and Travis Duke (Texas) combined to allow two runs while striking out eight and walking only three in a second-straight dominant pitching performance. The three were given plenty of run support, and the Kettleers (13-14-1) blew out Yarmouth-Dennis (14-14) by a score of 13-2 at Lowell Park on Sunday night.
“All we needed was one guy to come out here and throw a gem, and that’s what Trey did the other day,” Eicholtz said. “Hopefully this is going to start a line of guys throwing really well.”
Eicholtz had yet to make it into the third inning in two prior starts this year and although he was pulled after one batter in the fourth, he had his most efficient outing of the year.
In his three-plus innings, Eicholtz allowed only that one first-inning run while striking out four.
“I just pretty much worked around my changeup today,” Eicholtz said. “I felt confident in that and that’s what I got most of the strikeouts on.”
After A.J. Simcox walked for Y-D to lead off the fourth, Perritt came in and shut the door.
The right-hander went on to throw four innings – allowing no runs, walking none and allowing only two hits – as he too threw arguably his most impressive outing of the season.
Perritt just arrived back in Cotuit after taking a brief trip to be home with family, and he didn’t miss a beat.
“I’m really just establishing a fastball, pounding the zone and focusing on getting my club off the field,” Perritt said. “I feel like I came right back in the beat of things.”
After Cotuit put up seven runs in the fifth, the game was virtually a foregone conclusion, but Perritt and Duke still held the Red Sox to just one run over the last four innings.
Duke relieved Perritt in the eighth, and the left-hander proceeded to retire six of the eight batters he faced.
After a handful of pitching efforts that left Roberts stroking his hand through his hair in distress, the last two games have the head coach cautiously optimistic.
The bats have been there. The defense has improved. The only thing needed to bring Cotuit full-circle was a complete pitching performance, and the last two games have shown how dangerous this team can be if all three areas are in synch.
Said Roberts: “Was I pleased with the pitching the last couple days, absolutely.”