By Dylan Wolter
July 21st, 2015
COTUIT- The Kettleers faced a brutal second inning in which the Chatham Anglers tallied all seven of their runs and broke the Kettleers spirits. In the inning, the Anglers mounted six hits, including two triples, and three walks. That was plenty of damage for Chatham, Cotuit being unable to get back in the game.
Matthew Milburn (Wofford) has been a solid asset to the rotation so far this season. Today was a different story, however, as Milburn was unable to make it out of the second inning. It was a peculiar outing for the quick paced Milburn. He threw a 1,2,3, first inning in which he struck out the number three hitter on a nasty changeup at the feet.
The outing quickly took a turn for the worst at the start of the second inning. A single up the middle and a double down the left field line started the inning; both were brought in to score on a deep triple to the left centerfield wall by Nate Mondou (Wake Forest). Head Coach Mike Roberts then came in to talk to Milburn in hopes of limiting the damage.
“I think Matt left a lot of pitches up,” remarked Roberts on Milburn’s performance, “and they did a good job of driving them into the gap. They really drove the ball.”
The message from Roberts didn’t get through to his team, the very next pitch hitting the dirt and bounced off of Will Haynie’s (Alabama) helmet to let Mondou score from third. With the score at 3-0, Milburn got into some more trouble by walking the next hitter and letting a single go by a diving Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) at shortstop. Then Garret Hampson (Long Beach St) laced an opposite field hit into the gap in right center. Both runners came into score and Hampson ended up at third with the second triple of the inning. Up to that point, the Anglers had managed two triples all season.
With a man on third and the score at 5-0, Milburn recorded the next two outs without allowing the runner to score. Milburn induced a grounder to third base, but the ball went off of Brody Weiss’s (Riverside JC) glove and into the outfield. The error added another run to the board and kept the inning alive. Milburn walked the next hitter, putting runners on first and second base. Luke Perisco (UCLA) came to the dish and grounded a high chop up the middle that neither Spencer Gaa (Bradley) or Paez could get to. The ball went off of Paez’s glove, a hit this time, allowing the seventh runner in the inning to score.
That was the end of Milburn’s outing, hoping to put the loss out of his mind and look forward to his next start. “The thing I’ve learned is to just think about it tonight and then just forget about it after that. You have to move on and do what your good at, it’s what you got to do,” mentioned a disappointed Milburn. The righty from Wofford felt that he got in his own head too much and began guiding his pitches instead of just throwing.
The offense couldn’t really get it done either on Tuesday. The Kettleers were held hit less until the sixth inning when Will Haynie led off the inning with a moon shot to left field. The catcher claimed he was “prepping for the home run derby on Saturday,” after hitting the no doubter into the trees. Later in the inning, the Kettleers loaded the bases with no one out but failed to bring a runner across. Brett Stephens (UCLA) and Saige Jenco (Virginia Tech) both struck out swinging with the bases juiced and Spencer Gaa softly lined to third base. With a couple more big hits, the Kettleers could have gotten back into the ball game but it wasn’t until the 9th inning that they added one more run to the board.
“Better pitching than hitting,” admitted Roberts on his teams struggles at the plate, “In college baseball there is a lot of taking going on, but here I actually want it to be reversed, I want them to swing the bat. With this club, I have not done a good job with getting them to swing the bat early in the count.”
With the 7-2 loss, the Kettleers remain in last place but only by a half game behind the Falmouth Commodores. Cotuit will hope to get things going tomorrow against the dangerous Orleans Firebirds at Eldredge Park.