By Dylan Wolter
July 4th, 2015
COTUIT- The Cotuit Kettleers (7-14), played their second game in a row against the Falmouth Commodores, but this game held much more significant meanings as many players’ families were able to watch their boys play baseball. Parents, relatives, and girlfriends all were in attendance on a beautiful July 4th to cheer on the players they care for.
“It’s great having them here to watch me play,” expressed a joyful Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina), “I love having them around.” Paez admitted he doesn’t see his family all that much, even in college it’s tough for family to see him play that much, making the day so much more special for Paez and other players alike.
The Kettleers may have lost to the Commodores, 4-1, but it was still a thrill for these players to perform in front of their loved ones. Paez, in particular, put on a good show for his family and his girlfriend, getting on base a couple times and providing slick defense for the Kettleers. He admitted he may have been trying to impress a little bit more than usual.
“It definitely adds an element to your game,” says Paez eager to end the interview and go see his family, “they come all this way to watch you play so I definitely wanted to perform.”
Many of the Kettleers could be seen after the game taking in their family, laughing and joking around with parents and siblings. As a fan it was definitely amazing to see these players in a setting other than baseball and around loved ones. Families and the fourth of July really made for one incredible day for the Kettleers.
Late Bullpen Thrives- The first six innings saw the Kettleers surrender four runs to the Falmouth Commodores. The back end of the bullpen, however, was extremely efficient, holding the Commodores and keeping Cotuit in the game. Jeffery Harding (Chipola College) and Jack Anderson (Penn State) kept Falmouth in check, never getting into trouble.
Harding, the 5-9 fireballer, rarely mixes his pitches but owns a fastball that hits consistently hits mid 90’s miles per hour. Kettleers fans haven’t seen a whole lot of Harding, possibly because Roberts is a proponent of changing speeds, but he throws gas that not many pitchers can deliver in the cape league.
“He’s got a good arm and he’s competitive,” mentioned Roberts on Harding, “but he’s got one pitch and you got to have more than one pitch if you pitch more innings.” Roberts loves developing his pitchers and claims to have been working on a change up with Harding. The control of his off speed pitches is just not there yet as he relies on his heat to get batters out. He still threw a solid two innings, allowing two hits and two strikeouts with zero walks.
Jack Anderson, a nasty sub marine pitcher, might just be the polar opposite to Harding. Anderson does not throw hard. Anderson does, however, make hitters look silly with nasty movement on all his pitches. His delivery and ability to make hitters swing and miss makes Anderson very fun to watch. He went two innings, striking out three and allowing only one hit with zero walks.
“I thought that was his best outing this year,” claimed a pleased Roberts, “you know a submariner has good stuff when he can get quality lefty hitters out like he did.” Anderson and Harding formed a formidable duo on Saturday; one Kettleers fans hope to see again.
4th Festivities- The fourth of July is a huge deal in Cotuit and the Kettleers certainly treat it as such. The day started with a massive parade in which the players and coaches tossed out beach balls and engaged with the fans.
“July 4th is just a marvelous day,” remarked an exhausted Roberts after a long day, “our job as Kettleers is to become part of the community and that’s really important.” Roberts made sure to thank the entire board of directors for the incredible day but it was Roberts who stole the show on a beautiful July 4th.
The coach’s all participated in the dunk tank, getting soaked in freezing cold water as little children tried their best to soak them. Roberts also threw hundreds of batting practice balls to fan’s who wanted a shot at hitting the Head Coach’s best stuff.
“My arm’s fine, at my age you can’t hurt my arm,” Robert’s says with a laugh. The 4th was certainly a day to remember for fans and for the entire organization, a truly special day in which fans, players, and coaches could all interact with one another.