By Dylan Wolter
video by Greg Cameron, Arizona St.
June 9th, 2015
HARWICH – The Cotuit Kettleers (1-0) opened their season on the road against the Harwich Mariners (0-1). The Kettleers played a well rounded game in which fans got to see spectacular pitching, tantalizing speed, and even some late game heroics from catcher, Will Haynie (Alabama). In the end, Cotuit was able to secure a win by a score of 3-1 in what marks a promising start to a very young season.
If the pitching performances from Tuesday night are any indication of the potential and ability of this staff, the rest of the league should take immediate notice. Manager Mike Roberts sent five young arms to the hill, all pitching at least one inning. In a combined effort from the Cotuit staff, they totaled one earned run, zero walks, and an astonishing 16 strikeouts. Daniel Brown (Mississippi St) struck out six in 2.2 innings while allowing no runs. Jack Anderson (Penn State), a nasty submariner, came on in the seventh inning to escape a jam by inducing two ground balls. The closer, Adam Whitt (Nevada), came in with two outs in the eighth and struck out the next four batters to end the game.
Coach Roberts was very pleased with his pitchers, as he stated, “They did a good job of throwing strikes.” Every pitcher was able to get ahead in the count and put away hitters once they had two strikes. It was a terrific effort and one fan’s will hope to see more of. Roberts did not have singular praise for any one pitcher but all five of his guys, claiming, “They did an excellent job for opening night.”
Despite the opposing offense being shut down by the young Kettleer arms, the Cotuit offense was able to manage a solid hitting performance that got them the win. They were able to manage seven hits and seemed to make solid contact throughout the game. Tanner Stanley (Richmond) hit a single in the second, moved to third on a single from Keenan Innis (Georgia Tech), and then raced home on a wild pitch for the game’s first run.
Once on base, you could bet the Kettleers were off and running. They totaled six stolen bases including two from Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) and Kolin McMillen (Flagler) while Keenan Innis (Georgia Tech) and Gene Cone (South Carolina) each tabbed one. This is nothing new for Cotuit. as their brand of baseball relies on speed and swiping bases in any situation.
The proverbial hero came from the number nine spot in the batting order, Will Haynie. The Alabama product hit a go ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning on an absolute laser over the left field wall. After being pitched away for most of the at bat, Haynie got something out over the plate on a 3-2 pitch and took advantage of it. Once it was 3-2 in the count, Haynie said, “I knew he had to come right at me, and I was looking to be aggressive.”
Although Haynie may have had an eye-opening offensive performance, Coach Roberts was quick to praise the young catcher’s defense behind the plate, stating, “He caught a real excellent game. That’s not easy when you got five different pitchers and three of them are submariners.” Haynie put together an all around performance, dazzling on both sides of the ball, that he can look to build on towards the future. Kolin McMillen had a great day at the dish as well, tallying two singles to go along with a run scored and two stolen bases.
It’s always important to get that first win of the season. It makes it even sweeter that the victory came on opening day and on the road. Getting contributions from a multitude of players is something Coach Roberts was very excited about. He even acknowledged, “I’m rusty. I didn’t do a very good job coaching but they did a really good job of playing.” This can only be taken as a positive sign as the rust will surely wear off for Coach Roberts in his 12th season. The Cotuit Kettleers look to have a recipe for success with a fast paced offense and lights out pitching. Add in some pop here and there and the Kettleers have all the makings of a dangerous club.