By Jon Mettus
June 16, 2015
COTUIT — With a few new players joining the team, the Kettleers (3-5) displayed a slightly altered lineup in Tuesday’s loss to Hyannis (7-1).
Kort Peterson and Brett Stephens arrived from UCLA and started in center and right field, respectively. The addition of those two bumped Gene Cone (South Carolina), who had started every game in center field, over to first base.
Here’s how they performed.
Peterson: The Mountain View, California native finished 1-for-4 with a single and a run scored in his Kettleers debut. He finished with four putouts on the day.
In the top of the fourth, Hyannis’ Jake Rogers (Kentucky) drilled a line drive into center field. Peterson jogged back and to his left before slightly hopping in the air to grab it.
Peterson’s one hit came in the bottom of the ninth. He popped a high ball into shallow center field, but the Harbor Hawks shortstop couldn’t corral the ball and it fell in for a single.
“It was good,” Peterson said of his debut. “(I’m) just getting adjusted to the atmosphere, the environment, the team, all that.”
Stephens: In his Cotuit debut, Stephens went 1-for-3 with a single, a walk and a run scored. He totaled five putouts in the game.
Stephens saw action early and often in the game in right field. Four of his putouts came in the first three innings.
The final putout didn’t come until the top of the ninth inning when Errol Robinson (Mississippi) hit a blooper to right. Stephens charged forward toward it and slightly to his left to make a running basket catch.
“We’re just excited to have those guys,” acting head coach Brian Scott said, referring to Peterson, Stephens and outfielder Jack Klein (Stanford). “We wanted to throw them into things and see what they have, but we understand there might be a little bit of rust there.”
Cone: In Cone’s first start at first base he made nine putouts, but said he needs to improve his knowledge of where to be at first during certain game situations.
“It was a little different, a little shaky, but it was all right,” Cone said. “I held my own I think.”
Cone fielded a groundball from the first batter of the game and ran to the bag for the out himself. In the top of the fifth, Spencer Gaa (Bradley) fired a high throw from third. Cone jumped slightly to snag it before reaching his foot down to touch the bag just in time for the out.
In the top of the eighth, Cal Becker (Riverside Community College) spun and threw a pick off to first. Cone caught it and swiped his glove down against JaVon Shelby’s (Kentucky) arm as the runner slid back to the base. The umpire called Shelby safe, however.
“Come on. Are you kidding me?” Scott yelled from the dugout.
“We got him for sure,” Cone said after the game. “He missed the call, but that’s all right.”
Scott said it’s too tough to tell whether Cone will be the permanent option at first base going forward. The team wants to have multiple choices of who to play there and it might depend on who is batting well, he added.