By Matt Feldman
Video Recap by Jon Perez
June 12, 2016
WAREHAM — In his postgame interview Sunday night, Kettleers head coach Mike Roberts was adamant that
offense isn’t his primary concern at this point in the season.
“I will not worry about offense,” Roberts said. “You win games with pitching and defense.”
But with only two errors behind what Aaron Maher (East Tennessee) called “great” defense from the Kettleers, it seemed a lack of offense was the primary culprit in Cotuit’s 8-0 loss to Wareham. The Kettleers sent just the minimum number of hitters (27) to the plate Sunday at Spillide Field in Wareham, and they were all retired.
In a game which lasted just two hours and eight minutes, Cotuit struggled in all facets offensively. The Kettleers hit just three balls out of the infield, two of which resulted in outs, and were outhit 15 to one by the Gatemen.
Jake Bivens (Michigan) was the only Kettleer batter to reach base, doing so on an infield single in the second inning. Bivens then attempted to steal second base with no outs on the board, but was caught by Wareham catcher Blake Logan (Auburn) as he slid headfirst into the outstretched glove of second baseman Robert Metz (George Washington).
“As a team, we just couldn’t punch it through,” Maher said. “(Wareham’s) pitchers threw strikes, and it just wasn’t our night.”
After Friday’s 8-3 loss, Roberts toyed with the Kettleer lineup in an effort to change up the dynamic both offensively and defensively. He placed Pat Dorrian (Herkimer County) at shortstop in place of Ricky Surum (Mount Olive), who made two errors on Friday, and moved Jordan Pearce (Nevada) to the leadoff spot after his 2-for-4 performance against the Mariners,
The moves paid off defensively, with Cotuit committing four less errors than it did Friday night. Offensively, the lineup changes bore little fruit. Pearce went hitless Sunday, batting 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a line-out to first base.
“We obviously didn’t put good swings on the ball, (as a team) we only got one hit today,” Pearce said.
Pearce wasn’t the only Kettleer hitter who struggled Sunday. Facing a constant barrage of well placed pitches from the trio of Jake Walters (Alabama), Cole Stapler (Nicholls State) and Nick Sprengel (San Diego), Cotuit was held scoreless all nine innings. The Wareham pitchers posted nine straight three-up, three-down innings in the Gatemen victory.
Walters earned the win.
“(Wareham’s) pitchers were locating well,” Pearce said. “They just felt comfortable on the mound and it was tough to hit today.”
Matt Ladrech (Cal Berkeley) got the start for Cotuit and took the loss in his first appearance of the season. The left hander allowed three runs, one earned, in six innings of work for the Kettleers.
“The more you see (good pitching), the better you’ll get,” Pearce said, “so hopefully these next couple games we’ll start hitting a little better.”
Cotuit is back in action for its third game of the season tomorrow night in Bourne against the Braves at 6:00 p.m. The matchup is the Kettleers’ first home and home matchup this season, with another game against Bourne scheduled for Tuesday evening at Lowell Park.