By Jon Mettus
June 12, 2016
WAREHAM — The Kettleers (0-2) fell to the Wareham Gatemen (2-0), 8-0, at Spillane Field on Sunday night. Cotuit only mustered up one hit and had just one baserunner the entire game — who was thrown out trying to steal second.
Here are 3 things we learned from the loss.
1. Mike Roberts isn’t concerned with the offense
The Kettleers only hit against the Gatemen was an infield single and Cotuit grounded out 15 times in the game. Wareham’s pitchers retired the last 23 batters of the game while facing the minimum 27 hitters.
Through the first two games of the season, Cotuit has a league-worst five hits and three runs.
Kettleers head coach Mike Roberts said he isn’t worried about the lack of hitting, though, and is more focused on the shaky defense that has been on display through the first two games.
“You win games with pitching and defense and baserunning overall,” Roberts said. “That’s how you win games. I won’t worry about the offense. Guys love to hit, but where they have to learn to play is play the other part of the game. Everybody learns to play, all these guys today they grow up in the batting cage … So when you see the defense get better, you see the pitching get better and you score a couple runs early and you play outfront, you’ll see the offense get better.
“I wont worry about the offense. I wont worry about it all the way through (the season). But the pitching and defense is where you concentrate on.”
2. It takes time to know each submarine pitcher
Dave Gerber (Creighton), a right-handed submarine pitcher, struggled in one inning of relief, giving up four earned runs and six hits. The leadoff hit was a line drive down the first base line and Roberts blamed himself for forgetting to move the first basemen over to the line. But Gerber continued to give up hits after that.
Roberts had never seen Gerber pitch before and what it comes down to, he said, is understanding what situations the submarine pitcher pitches well in, considering they’re usually not the primary reliever.
“You have to really learn who they pitch well against,” Roberts said. “Righties, lefties and can they back door the slider? And that’s what I have to learn early is what situation can I put them in.”
Roberts is known for liking submarine pitchers for the amount of innings they can throw. He said there won’t be many nights where Gerber isn’t available.
He plans to get Hock Colton (Stanford) and Eddie Muhl (George Washington) on the mound in relief appearances soon.
3. Aaron Maher has a cannon from right field
Wareham had runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the first inning. With two runs already across the plate, the Gatemen were looking for their third run to start the game when Jonathan Engelmann (Michigan) hit a blooper into right field that dropped in front of Cotuit’s Aaron Maher (East Tennessee State).
Maher has been known for his arm strength, he said after the game, but since he has gotten to the Cape, Maher has been working on releasing the ball quicker on throws. He cocked back and fired a strike that reached the plate in the air and beat the runner by four or five steps.
“The arm strength was there, but I got rid of it quick enough to hose him out,” Maher said.