By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
June 24, 2018
CHATHAM – While each team had just five hits, the Cotuit Kettleers used small-ball and a stellar start from John Baker (Ball State) to defeat the Chatham Anglers 6-1 on Sunday.
For the second time in his three starts, Baker did not allow a run. He struck out five Anglers and allowed a season-low four hits. In 17 innings on the season, Baker has struck out 18 while allowing just 15 hits and 1 walk.
“The biggest thing was just mixing all three of my pitches,” Baker said. “My fastball, slider and changeup were all working pretty well for me today and it was a good way to keep the hitters off-balance.”
Defensively, Baker was helped by two inning-ending 5-4-3 double plays, both started on standout defensive plays by third baseman Eric Jones (Davidson).
Jones also put the Kettleers on the board in the first inning. Will Robertson (Creighton) was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and advanced to third on a steal and a wild pitch. Jones singled up the middle with two outs to bring Robertson in.
Robertson was hit again in the third inning, taking a fastball off the wrist. While he stayed on to run the bases, he left the game after the inning ended.
In the fifth inning, Peyton Burdick (Wright State) started the inning for Cotuit with another hit-by-pitch. Burdick came around to score on three consecutive bunts. Catcher Zach Humphreys (TCU) started with a bunt single. Second baseman Corey Wood (Coastal Carolina) sacrificed the runners to scoring position and center fielder Beau Brundage (Portland) brought in the run with a safety squeeze.
“Sometimes we bunt, sometimes we hit-and-run, sometimes we swing,” coach Mike Roberts said. “In the Major Leagues, you just swing, but we are not in the major leagues. We’re amateur baseball and I want to play the complete game and that, to me, is the complete game.”
The Kettleers broke the game open in the seventh inning. The first four batters were identical to the fifth. Burdick was hit by a pitch and three bunts brought him around to score. Right fielder Michael Toglia (UCLA) added on another run with an RBI infield single before first baseman Zachary Biermann put the game away in earnest with a two-run home run to right field.
The scheduled second game of the doubleheader was scoreless in the bottom of the second inning when it was postponed due to fog. The Kettleers are off Monday before returning to action against Harwich at Lowell Park on Tuesday at 5 p.m.