by Zach Kaplan
June 9, 2018
COTUIT– Baseball was back at Lowell Park on Saturday, as the Kettleers took the field for the first time in 2018.
Shane Muntz (Wake Forest) drove a two-run home run over the left field fence and the Kettleers pitching staff combined for a one-hit effort, as the Kettleers began the 2018 campaign with an 17-0 exhibition win over the Lexington Blue Sox at Lowell Park.
John Baker (Ball State) began the season on the mound for Cotuit, allowing a single before settling in for back-to-back strikeouts to retire the side.
Will Robertson (Creighton) led off for the Kettleers, getting on base with a single and coming around to score on an RBI infield single from Eric Jones (Davidson) in the first inning.
Joe Boyle (Notre Dame) took the mound for the top half of the second inning, and mowed down the Blue Sox in order, impressing those in attendance with his velocity sitting in the high nineties.
The bottom half of the second inning saw the Kettleers bat around the order, as they exploded for six runs, led by Andrew Smith’s (LIU Brooklyn) single that drove two runners in. Robertson, Beau Brundage (Portland), Cory Joyce (UNC Central), and Zach Humphreys (TCU) all drove in runs as well.
Baserunning certainly helped the Kettleers, as they swiped nine stolen bases on the afternoon. “We incorporate base stealing and baserunning every single day,” said manager Mike Roberts after the game.
Deacon Medders (Alabama) continued the Kettleer dominance on the mound in the third inning, with two strikeouts of his own as he retired the side. Will Robertson would drive in the eighth Kettleer run, off a bizarre sequence that saw a fielder’s choice eventually lead to an error, scoring Andrew Smith to make it 8-0 Cotuit after three innings.
Colby White (Mississippi State commit), Jacob Dexter (Southern Maine), and Luke Chevalier (Northern State) each pitched an inning of work, not allowing a baserunner between the three. Notably, Dexter struck out the side in the fifth.
Zach Humphreys (TCU) and Adam Oviedo (TCU) each drove in a run in the fourth inning to increase the Cotuit lead to 10. After a scoreless fifth inning, Shane Muntz (Wake Forest) took a fastball and drove it past the fence in left field for the first Kettlers home run of the season to extend the Cotuit lead to 13.
The remainder of the game saw the Kettleers work out several different pitchers as manager Mike Roberts continued to narrow down his starting rotation and bullpen for the upcoming season.
Garrett Gayle (Rice), Ryan Lefner (Saint Louis), and Griffin McLarty (College of Charleston) were among those who pitched a shutout inning apiece out of the bullpen.
“Hopefully you have some pitchers that have maturity. I thought they did a nice job of that, and that’s not always true early in the year,” said Roberts.
After the game, both teams stood together for a photo as the two teams honored Pete Frates and the efforts of Strike Out ALS. Proceeds from the game were donated to the PeteFrates3 Fund in his honor.
The Kettleers will have a couple days to get ready, as they open up the regular season on Tuesday, June 12 when they host the Brewster Whitecaps. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.