By Dylan Wolter
COTUIT – In the top of the 7th inning, with a runner on first, Bernardo Flores (USC) threw a fastball to catcher, Will Haynie (Alabama), who then fired the ball down to second base to nab the runner trying to steal; the ball was there in plenty of time, but neither Stephen Alemais (Tulane) nor Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) were there to receive it. The ball flew into centerfield while the runner advanced to third. Haynie yelled out in frustration, Coach Scott could only shake his head in disappointment. Plays like this marked an unfortunate representation of the Kettleers performance on Tuesday in their 7-3 loss to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (7-1).
The Cotuit Kettleers committed three errors against Hyannis, looking unfocused and out of place for much of the game. For a team that emphasizes defense, the Kettleers seemed inconsistent in the field on Tuesday evening.
With Coach Roberts out for the week due to personal matters, Coach Brian Scott will be taking the reins until Roberts’ return. In his head coaching debut this season, Scott seemed aggravated by his team’s effort against the Harbor Hawks, particularly on the defensive end. He credited a lack of aggression and an inability to attack the ball as main reasons for a poor showing on defense.
“The defense wasn’t what it should be,” remarked Scott as the Kettleers dropped their fourth game in a row, “and we worked on it today. It’s just something we need to keep working on.”
It was a shame the Kettleers had an off night in the field because starting pitcher, Matt Milburn (Wofford) pitched a very strong game. Following a shaky first inning, which was more of the fault of the defense than his own, Milburn was very effective in limiting hard contact, giving opposing batters not much to hit. He went six innings, allowed only five hits while striking out two and walking none. The two runs in the first innings were not earned.
“All my pitches were working for strikes,” proclaimed Milburn as his teammates taunted him behind camera, “so it was good to mix them at anytime. That’s what made me successful.” Milburn was optimistic of his defense even on their off day, admitting, “You just got to step up as a pitcher. You can’t control what the defense does.”
The Harbor Hawks added to their lead in the last two innings, scoring five of their seven runs. The Kettleers formed a rally in the 9th inning thanks to some consecutive hits, notably an RBI double from Michael Paez. Unfortunately it was too little, too late for the Kettleers. They hope to turn things around at home, Wednesday evening against the 3-4 Brewster Whitecaps at Lowell Park, 5:00.