By Jon Mettus
June 29, 2016
COTUIT — The Kettleers (3-14) picked up their third win of the season, beating Chatham (8-9), 8-2, at Lowell Park on Wednesday. Five of Cotuit’s runs came in the fifth inning, which helped the Kettleers score the more runs in a single game than they have all season.
Here are three things we learned from the game.
Cal Stevenson is patient at the plate
Cal Stevenson (Arizona) took advantage of inaccurate pitching early in the game and drew three walks in his first three plate appearances.
In the third inning, Stevenson pulled back on a bunt attempt with the count 2-1 and Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) at third base. The pitch appeared like it may have hit the handle of Stevenson’s bat, but Jenista raced home and the umpire said the ball only hit his own hand. Stevenson walked on the next pitch.
In the fifth, Stevenson fouled off a pitch with a full count to stay alive and then walked on a ball in the dirt to load the bases. The next batter, Alonzo Jones Jr. (Vanderbilt), sent everybody home with a triple.
“That’s Cal,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “… He’s even incredibly disciplined in batting practice, which is kind of a rarity for college guys. … He really looks at the ball extremely well.”
Stevenson is tied for the team lead with six walks. All six of his walks have come in his last four games.
Alonzo Jones Jr. can fit in in the outfield
Though Jones was the starting second baseman at Vanderbilt this spring, he’s been in the outfield for 12 innings over his last three games with the Kettleers. He was in left field until he moved to second base later in the game against Chatham.
“Naturally more of a center fielder,” Jones said of the three outfield positions. “But they do a good job of getting us ready before games.” Jones has been doing drills with the outfielders and they spent time fielding fly balls and grounders in practice on Wednesday.
Jones showed off his speed on one play in the top of the third inning by chasing down a fly ball that was headed for the bullpen in the left field foul territory. Jones raced toward it and made an acrobatic catch along the fence for the out.
Roberts burst into a laugh and pointed his finger in the air out to Jones to acknowledge the play.
“I think Alonzo is a guy that can play right, center, left, short, second as he matures,” Roberts said. “He may not be anywhere near polished at any of them, but he’s just a great athlete.”
Brian Roberts will stop by to teach the team
Brian Roberts, former MLB All-Star and son of the Kettleers’ head coach, will work with the team on Friday. Brian is in Cotuit for just the second time ever — the first being when he was playing with the Orioles and he stopped by while on a road trip in Boston. He was at the game on Wednesday.
He’ll also stop by the Kettleers’ clinics on Friday, which Mike revealed in his weekly beginning-of-camp speech that Brian is usually mentioned in.
Brian is going to be teaching base stealing to this year’s Cotuit squad with his father, who he co-wrote a baserunning book with.
Mike has already shown his team Youtube videos that Brian has put together on base running and other aspects of baseball.
“Nice to have he and my daughter (here),” Mike said. “It’s really kind of important family time.”