By Jon Mettus
July 12, 2015
COTUIT — Nick Lewis (Baylor) stood on the mound with runners on second and third and one out. He stared in at Robbie Tenerowicz (California) at the plate and delivered two off speed pitches. Tenerowicz whiffed at both of them.
“Come on Lewy,” someone yelled before Lewis tossed a breaking ball on the outside corner for a called strike three.
When Lewis got two strikes on the next batter, Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount), a group of fans near the Cotuit dugout stood up and started clapping. Lewis threw an off speed pitch that had Brown just swinging through the air.
“He really went to his off speed stuff,” head coach Mike Roberts said. “That’s his best pitches … to get the ball down and keep it in the infield. That was fun to watch him pitch.”
Through four innings of relief in Cotuit’s (10-18) 2-0 loss to Brewster (14-14) on Sunday, Nick Lewis recorded a season-high seven strikeouts. He was able to use his off speed pitches and breaking balls effectively, only allowing five hits. Lewis conceded one run and received the loss, but Roberts was pleased with his outing.
“I thought he had best stuff,” Roberts said. “He really had good stuff. Pretty obvious.”
Lewis entered the game after Daniel Brown (Mississippi State) walked the leadoff batter in the top of the fifth. Lewis got the next batter to miss on two bunt attempts then go down swinging, prompting a young fan to yell out, “See you later alligator.”
The right-hander gave up a double to the next batter to put runners on second and third, but struck out the next two to end the inning.
“I made some good pitches and the defense helped me out a little bit so it was nice,” Lewis said.
The next time Cassidy Brown came to the plate, Lewis rung him up looking. Brown stamped his feet in protest and grabbed his bat with both hands as the umpire called the third strike.
Brown exchanged a few words with the home plate umpire before saying, “That is not a strike. Come on,” as he walked to the dugout.
Lewis’ final inning was the eighth and he finished off his outing just like he started it — with a strike out. As he got another batter out looking, catcher Will Haynie (Alabama) stood up and pointed to Lewis on the mound, before the umpire even finished calling the final strike.
“Getting ahead,” Nick Lewis said when asked what the key to his strikeouts was. “Making sure I throw the pitch that I want to throw instead of getting behind and being more predictable.”