By Matt Feldman
July 30, 2016
BOURNE — The Kettleers (13-26-1) were knocked by Bourne (19-19-2), 4-2, Saturday night at Doran Park in Bourne. Bourne jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first, but the Kettleers came back in the middle innings, moving it to 4-2. But that’s as close at Cotuit would get to a comeback, eventually falling 4-2
Cotuit’s loss Saturday kept the Kettleers three-and-a-half games behind Hyannis thanks to a 2-1 loss to Orleans from the Harbor Hawks. The Kettleers magic number right now is one, meaning Cotuit can’t afford another loss for the remainder of the season if it wants to make the Western Division playoffs. A loss, or a Hyannis win, in the final four games this upcoming week eliminates Cotuit from playoff contention.
Pitchers’ control shaky
Matt Ruppenthal (Vanderbilt) started for the Kettleers Saturday night and was shaky in his first inning. He loaded the bases with two outs and walked in the first run of the ball game. He then threw a wild pitch that skipped in front of catcher Cory Voss (Arizona), scoring another Brave and bringing the score to 2-0 Bourne.
“(Ruppenthal) has an unbelievable curveball, so for him to control that blows my mind,” Voss said. “Coach Roberts always talks about people working in a straight line; first couple innings he was kind of falling off the side, (but later Ruppenthal) started working in a straight line towards the end, and he threw a great ball game.”
In the sixth inning, reliever Taylor Lehman (Penn State) allowed another run on a wild pitch. Just one Braves run was scored on a hit Saturday, three of the four came from pitching errors.
Roberts wants to control more of the offense next season
Roberts said that in his first 10 or 11 years in Cotuit, he took a lot more control over the offense. He would call for more small ball, more safety squeezes, and try to push runs across himself instead of leaving it up to the players. In 2015 and 2016, he has strayed from that mindset, allowing players to do their own thing on the field, but it hasn’t been working out.
The Kettleers’ record is a cumulative 30-53-1 since the beginning of last season.
“You’ve got to be able to put the ball in play where you can score a run with nobody out and runners on second and third,” Roberts said. “(Next season) we’re going to score when we have runners on third base, whether we have to safety squeeze every game of the season.”