By: Matt McHugh
July 17, 2017
COTUIT — As the Kettleers pass the 30-game mark, their pitchers are starting to hit their innings limits. Noah Davis (UC Santa Barbara) made his final start of the season on Monday, and went four strong innings in Cotuit’s 6-3 win over the Bourne Braves.
Davis cruised through the first two innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced while striking out two. He got into a tough spot in the third inning when Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) hit an RBI double and put runners on second and third with nobody out. However, Davis struck out the next two batters and induced a groundout to end the inning with no further damage.
“One big thing about Noah is it doesn’t matter what the situation is,” pitching coach Jonathan King said. “Whether he is dominating or struggling, nothing fazes him – he’s always the same guy on the mound. That’s something that I can learn from and all the pitchers here can learn from. It doesn’t matter what’s going on out there, you’re the same guy no matter what.”
Davis finished with just the one run allowed on four hits with five strikeouts in his four-inning start. All of his strikeouts were swinging, mostly as a result of a healthy mix between his fastball, changeup and curveball.
“His changeup was really good. It helped him get several big outs today,” King said. “When he first got here, he told me he had a curveball, but it was just a ‘show-me’ pitch. For the next five weeks, I was trying to make sure he understood that he’s got a really good breaking ball. I think he just needed to hear that because he’s lights out with that.”
Davis added, “I came into this summer trying to use that curveball in any count and specifically as a strikeout pitch, and I feel like it definitely improved a lot over the last month.”
Davis finishes the summer with a 2.81 ERA in five games, with 12 strikeouts in 16 innings. He allowed no more than two earned runs in any outing this season.
“I would say that today, with the buzz in the ground, it was the best moment of the summer for me,” Davis said. “We really needed a win, and there was just this feeling in the air today that we were going to pull it off.”
“I told Noah this was his best outing,” coach Mike Roberts added. “I thought he executed a lot of the areas we worked on. We hate to lose him. He’s such an outstanding person, so we hate to see him go back to California, but I know that we have other people that will pick up the pieces.”
In his sophomore season, Davis started 13 games for the Banana Slugs and went 7-4 with a 4.63 ERA. Davis is expected to return as a key member of Santa Barbara’s rotation next season.
“There’s plenty of technical stuff I’ll bring back, but the biggest takeaway is that baseball is really really fun game,” Davis said. This is the most fun I’ve had playing baseball in my life. It’s a kids game, and we’re just all so lucky to play it at this age. I’ve had some great times with these guys, and I’m sure they’ll do great things the rest of the way.”
The Kettleers have an off day Tuesday, and will host the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Wednesday.
- Monday’s victory snapped Cotuit’s five-game losing streak, their longest of the season. It also snapped a six-game “non-winning” streak, as their last victory came on July 9.
- Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) hit the longest home run of the season, but it was only his second for Cotuit. He does have plenty of power, however, as evidenced by his 14 home runs over two seasons for the Shockers and his selection to the Cape League Home Run Hitting Contest in Wareham on Saturday.
- Zane Collins (Wright State) threw a perfect inning of relief in Monday’s win. Collins was a starter for most of the first half, but has been effective lately in relief. He has not allowed a baserunner and has struck out two batters in his last 1.2 innings of relief work.
- The Kettleers did not commit an error in Monday’s game, marking the first time in four games that they have had an error-free contest.