By Jon Mettus
June 26, 2015
COTUIT — Head coach Mike Roberts has shifted around the pieces in his infield all season, trying to find the right position for each player.
Friday’s game against Wareham was the second game in a row that Roberts stuck Brody Weiss (Riverside Community College) at third, Mike Paez (Coastal Carolina) at shortstop and Spencer Gaa (Bradley) at second. He did swap first basemen from Tim Susnara (Oregon) to Branden Berry (Washington), but it was the second game in a row the team didn’t commit an error, after committing one in each of the previous seven games.
“Our defense is definitely better,” Roberts said. “You can tell the difference. Brody is comfortable. Spencer is comfortable.”
Weiss finished the game with four assists, while Paez and Gaa each had two. Paez added a putout, while Gaa added two.
“I think our infield’s doing well right now,” Weiss said.
Weiss has played third in college and said he’s been coming to practice early to work at the hot corner since he’s been moved. He can play shortstop, second and third, he added.
Still, Roberts hasn’t found the combination in the infield that he wants, he said.
“I want a combination of people that can run, play defense, swing the bat the way I want to,” Roberts said. “I am not satisfied in any area of our club.”
PAEZ PRODUCTIVE DESPITE MOVING DOWN IN LINEUP
Mike Paez holds the second-best batting average on the team, batting .342. On Thursday, he was moved from first to second in the batting order, with Zack Collins (Miami) leading off. On Friday, he was bumped further down to eighth.
“Unless I have a dominant leadoff guy — somebody that’s going to steal, steal, steal, steal — I have put the person I think makes the most contact in the leadoff spot,” Roberts said.
Despite moving down in the order, Paez went 1-for-3 with a double, one run batted in, a run scored and a walk.
In the bottom of the second, Paez hit a fly ball into left field that looked to be routine as the left fielder set up underneath it. All of a sudden, the fielder charged in toward the infield and foul territory. He slid to try to make the catch, but the ball landed in the grass in fair territory and Paez got a two-out RBI double.
He stole third to move into a better scoring position and scored on a single to the shortstop.
KETTLEERS WEAR RED JERSEYS FOR 1st TIME IN 2015
The Cape Cod Baseball League has a tradition of Red Shirt Fridays, where the home team wears special red jerseys to support U.S. troops.
Being at home on Friday for the first time, the players got to sport the red jerseys and camouflage hats emblazoned with “Cape Cod Baseball League” instead of the individual team name and logo.
The Kettleers kept on their usual white pinstriped pants with maroon belts and maroons socks.
“They’re nice,” Weiss said. “It’s a cool little change. I like the camo hats so it’s fun.”