July 16, 2017
WAREHAM – Cotuit’s (14-14-1) bats continued to be ice cold this Sunday night at Wareham (13-15-1) as the Kettleers dropped their fifth straight game, 4-1.
The Kettleers followed up back-to-back two-hit outings with a three-hit, one-run loss on the road. Despite the lack of run support, the Cotuit bullpen continued to keep the Kettleers within striking distance, as it has during the greater part of this losing stretch.
“I’m pleased with our pitching,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “We have to swing the bat better.”
Brian Rapp (Boston College) provided the strongest outing for the Cotuit pitching staff against the Gatemen. Rapp threw three innings of hitless baseball and struck out three. The rising senior has come a long way since his first outing on June 23.
That Friday afternoon at Brewster, Rapp allowed three hits, three walks and four runs before being yanked after just one-third of an inning.
In every outing since, Rapp has lowered his ERA, opponent on-base percentage and opponent batting average. Sunday night against Wareham, Rapp showcased his improvement.
“I had my breaking ball going,” Rapp said. “I was just trying to do my best to keep us in the game.
From the end of his season at Boston College, until he arrived in Cotuit the second week of the regular season, Rapp didn’t throw a live pitch, and it showed early on. But as the season progressed, Rapp worked back into his regular groove, and has become a reliable long-reliever out of the bullpen.
“Every time I get out there, the more innings I throw,” Rapp said, “I get more comfortable.”
Rapp entered the game in the bottom of the sixth. Immediately he notched his first strikeout, fooling John Toppa (UConn) with a low curveball. He ended the frame by striking out Robbie Metz (George Washington) on an 0-2 count.
“His breaking ball has been one of the best out pitches on our staff,” pitching coach Jonathan King said. “It’s a really good pitch that he has.”
As the season continues and pitchers reach their inning limits, Roberts will need guys to step up and start. Rapp is experienced, starting 10 games in 14 appearances this season for the Eagles. All 10 came against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, and that tally led the conference.
“When you know you get a starter who has experience like he does,” Roberts said, “it’s huge.”
The Kettleers will look to turn their luck around Monday with a home game against Bourne (15-14), who has now overtaken Cotuit atop the West Division leaderboard. The Kettleers have not won a game since July 9 against Harwich.