By Jon Mettus
June 24, 2016
HYANNIS — The Kettleers continued their eight-game losing streak with a 2-1 loss to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday. The two teams combined for just seven hits in the game. There were just as many walks.
Here’s what we learned from the game.
Cotuit can get through a game with just two pitchers
Coming off a game where it took six different pitchers for the Kettleers to finish nine innings — including an outfielder who tossed two innings on the mound for the first time all summer — Cotuit needed just two pitchers against Hyannis on Friday in what head coach Mike Roberts called the best pitching performance of the season. It was the first time all year that Cotuit had to use just two pitchers in a game.
Starter Keith Rogalla (Creighton) pitched 5 1/3 innings, letting in three hits and two runs — one earned — while striking out five. It was the longest outing by a Kettleers starter all season.
Cal Becker (Sonoma State) kept the Harbor Hawks hitless through the final 2 2/3 innings. Becker didn’t let any runs in and struck out four of the 10 batters he faced.
“Pitching was outstanding,” Roberts said. “… You get pitching like tonight, you’re going to win some games.”
Ryan Hagan is a threat to steal
Ryan Hagan (Mercer) drew a walk with one out in the top of the seventh inning to get on base. He waited four pitches, which spanned two batters, before taking off toward second and sliding in ahead of the tag.
On the very next pitch, Hagan swiped third as the third baseman had to jump to catch the throw from home and couldn’t tag a sliding Hagan.
Hagan got himself in scoring position only to be hit home by the next batter for Cotuit’s only run. They weren’t called steals by Roberts, but plays where he had the choice to run.
“We talk about it in practice all the time,” Hagan said. “The pitcher was really slow to the plate so I was able to steal second … The best pitch to try to steal (third) on is that first one because they’re not really paying attention.”
Jeren Kendall has one game left
Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt) will play in one more game — tomorrow at home against Yarmouth-Dennis — before departing to compete with Team USA, Roberts said.
Whether or not Kendall returns when Team USA is over is a “wait and see” situation. In 2013, Brad Zimmer played in Cotuit before heading to Team USA then came back to help the Kettleers to a Cape League championship.
This year, Team USA finishes up its schedule on July 27 in Cuba. Cotuit’s regular season ends on Aug. 3 with the playoffs starting on Aug. 5.
“A lot of times by that time guys are really tired,” Roberts said, “so that would be his decision on that.”