By: Matt McHugh
July 1, 2017
Coming into the 2017 season, the Cotuit Kettleers knew they would need big contributions from returning right handed pitcher Jason Bilous (Coastal Carolina). He delivered his best performance of the season in Saturday’s loss at Falmouth, going 5.1 innings and allowing just one hit.
Bilous was tagged for three runs, two earned, and his one hit allowed was a home run off the bat of Alec Bohm (Wichita State). Regardless, the strong performance dropped his season ERA under 5.00 for the first time in over two weeks.
“I had my changeup and my slider working very well,” Bilous said. “My fastball was pretty much on the whole game, it got away from me a little as I got tired, but in general getting ahead of guys really helped.”
Bilous started four games for the 2016 Kettleers, and after another season in the Coastal Carolina rotation, he was tabbed as the opening night starter for Cotuit on June 14 at Bourne.
“In my two years of seeing him that’s the best I’ve ever seen him throw,” Roberts said. “His fastball and slider were the best I’ve ever seen.”
Bilous’s first two starts of the season were a different story, as he had a 7.15 ERA and 1.71 WHIP after those first two games. At that point, coach Mike Roberts made the decision to temporarily move Bilous to the bullpen, and his next appearance was excellent. He threw 2.2 shutout innings of relief in Orleans on June 25, and re-earned his spot as a starter.
“I think it came from him coming from the bullpen,” Roberts said. “The way he threw the ball in Orleans helped him realize the intensity level he needed to get to, and he did it tonight.”
Bilous added: “I had a killer mentality. Instead of being passive out there, I wanted to attack hitters, and I did that successfully tonight.”
The Kettleers return home as they host the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Sunday at Lowell Park, while the Commodores will travel to Bourne.
- Kettleers right fielder Griffin Conine (Duke) competed in the College Home Run Derby on Saturday. He finished with six home runs in the first round. Conine had his father, Jeff, a former major league all-star, pitch to him.
- Cotuit centerfielder Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) exited in the first inning of Saturday’s game after fouling a ball off of his leg. Jenista missed Wednesday’s game vs. Orleans with an injury on the same leg. He was replaced in centerfield by Miles Lewis (Michigan).
- The Kettleers mixed up their typical defense on Saturday, moving usual shortstop Zack Kone (Duke) over to third base, and having utility infielder Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) get a start in right field. That was Alexander’s first playing time in the outfield for Cotuit, and he only played 2nd and 3rd base for Mississippi State this season.
- The Kettleers struggled to get the ball in the air in Saturday’s loss. They recorded 13 groundouts, 11 strikeouts and just three flyouts.
- Cotuit’s recent offensive slump has slipped their batting average down to .261 as a team. One week ago, the team led the league with a .293 batting average.