By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
June 15, 2018
COTUIT – For the second consecutive game, the Cotuit Kettleers had fairly solid pitching but stayed quiet at the plate, losing 4-1 at home against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
Cotuit starter Griffin McLarty (College of Charleston) kept his team in the game, allowing three runs on five hits while fanning five over four innings. McLarty’s weakness was the longball, as he allowed solo home runs to left fielder Todd Lott (UL-Lafayette) in the third and another to second baseman Trevor Hauver (Arizona State) in the fourth.
“[McLarty] was a little bit up,” coach Mike Roberts said, “and he gave up a couple home runs from being up.”
The bullpen, after allowing all four runs in the Kettleers’ loss in Wareham, came back strong, allowing just one run on one hit in five innings.
Roberts highlighted throwing strikes and keeping the ball down as his main points of emphasis for pitchers. Roberts added that he felt Garrett Gayle (Rice) threw the best out of the bullpen, striking out two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and throwing eight of his nine pitches for strikes.
After a 10-run explosion on opening day, the Kettleers have struggled at the plate, dropping each of their last two contests and scoring just three runs.
“The pitching is really good in this league and the hitters have to learn to adjust” Roberts said. “The last couple days at Wareham and here, the pitching has been much better than it was on opening day so the hitters are going to need to make some adjustments.”
The Kettleers only run came on a fourth-inning double by Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina).
“It was a fastball away, so I just tried to take it the other way and put it in the gap,” Biermann said.
Roberts said that early-season offensive struggles were a “big-time” trend in his years coaching on the Cape.
“The only guys that walk in here and immediately swing the bat well are guys where you can look at them and see that they’re pro prospects,” Roberts said. “They’re guys who have separated themselves…you watch their hand action and stability at the plate…guys separate themselves pretty quick, and guys who don’t do that are going to go up and down.”
While Roberts was disappointed in the lack of offense, he said that close, low-scoring games would continue to be the norm in the Cape League.
“I’ve really liked our pitching, we’ve just got to swing the bats a little better,” Roberts said.