By Jon Mettus
June 20, 2015
BREWSTER — The Cotuit players somberly walked from the dugout to shake hands with the players from Brewster. They stood in silence as head coach Mike Roberts addressed the team. The shout of “Kettle-Ho” that breaks the post-game huddle was the quietest it has been all season.
The Kettleers (4-7) were dominated in a 16-6 loss to the Brewster Whitecaps (5-6) at Stony Brook Field on Saturday. The game was called after 6 1/2 innings due to darkness.
Brewster finished with 17 hits and scored in all but one of the six innings it batted. Cotuit committed four errors and gave up six unearned runs behind a ragtag team of infielders decimated by injuries and lack of depth.
“It’s my fault,” Roberts said. “We just don’t have the right players in the right place.
“We thought we could get through the month of June and still be OK, but right now, to be very honest, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
The Kettleers held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the second, but the Whitecaps turned it on from there.
Cotuit starter Duncan Robinson (Dartmouth) hung a breaking ball over the plate that was smashed over the scoreboard in left field and into the trees behind it for two runs.
Left fielder Gene Cone (South Carolina) hardly even ran toward the fence.
After a walk and three ground balls, including one that second baseman Brody Weiss (Riverside Community College) threw out of play, the damage was three more runs.
Roberts was constantly shouting out the names of his infielders before each batter came to the plate and pointing in the direction they should move. “Keep your glove on the ground,” he’d remind them.
But his infield was featuring Will Haynie (Alabama), a 6-foot-5 catcher, at shortstop. Weiss, at second, has played first and short, too, just 11 games into this season. The first baseman, Branden Berry (Washington), made his debut and became the fifth player Cotuit has put at that position this year.
“The field’s hard and fast, but they made the plays and we didn’t,” Roberts said. “When you’re playing guys out of position there’s just no way to know.”
The Kettleers got three runs back in the third, cutting Brewster’s lead to 5-4, but in the fourth, the game was seemingly put out of reach.
A chopper to Haynie bounced up by his face and into the outfield to score a run. Another grounder to Haynie’s right rolled into left field to plate two more.
Cotuit catcher Tim Susnara (Oregon) kept calling time to talk to his pitchers and calm them down.
“You have to have confidence in the people behind you,” Susnara said. “When you have a 6-foot-5 shortstop who is usually a catcher it’s kind of hard. You think you have to strike everyone out instead of relying on your stuff and trusting the defense.”
When the inning was over, seven runs had crossed the plate and several Cotuit players walked back to the dugout hanging their heads. The scoreboard showed 13 runs on 13 hits for the Whitecaps through only four innings.
After the fourth, Brewster already started subbing out its starters and the Kettleers altered their infield, moving Haynie over to third, Weiss to short and Spencer Gaa (Bradley) to second.
It was too late.
When Cotuit’s Matt Albanese (Bryant) homered to left-center field in the top of the seventh, he ran quickly around the bases. Roberts didn’t clap and the only person at the plate to congratulate Albanese was a batboy.
It was a stark contrast to the bat flip and trot around the bases that Whitecaps first baseman Nick Senzel (Tennessee) performed two innings earlier.
The daylight was fading and the game was well out of hand by the time it was called.
The Kettleers (4-7) host Harwich (5-5-1) in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday. But Saturday’s loss left behind even more questions.
“We played with 10 players today,” Roberts said. “Now we’re down to nine. It’s one of those situations where you’re not sure what to do. But we’ll just battle our way through it. Figure it out.”