By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 18, 2018
HARWICH – Despite coming out of the bullpen for the bulk of the season, Cotuit Kettleers pitcher Zane Collins (Wright State) said that his routine stayed the same before his start Wednesday against the Harwich Mariners.
“To me absolutely nothing changes,” Collins said. “When I come out of the bullpen it’s one inning, and then when I start I go one inning at a time. When people talk about ‘Oh, they just ease their way through the first few..’ I don’t believe in that. I just go out there and chuck it.”
Collins chucked it as well as he had all season in Cotuit’s 3-3 tie against the Mariners, giving the Kettleers five strong innings, striking out five while allowing just one run on four hits. It was Collins’ first start and first appearance of over two innings since June 19 against Hyannis.
After keeping the Mariners silent through the first five innings, Collins came out for the sixth inning, but was quickly yanked from the game after allowing a leadoff single. While Collins knew he had a short leash in the inning, he still “wasn’t happy” to be lifted from the game.
The five strikeouts and two walks were both season bests for Collins in his second summer in Cotuit and his performance dropped his ERA by a full run from 5.87 to 4.87.
While Collins said his preparation did not change for his start, he credited his success to a tweak in his pitch repertoire.
“I would say changing speeds a lot worked,” Collins said. “I threw a lot of change ups. I haven’t had my changeup a lot this season but I had it tonight. I didn’t have it early, but I started throwing it every pitch between innings and it came back.”
Collins, one of five returning Kettleers from 2017, earned high praise from Cotuit coach Mike Roberts after his strong start.
“Zane did really well, he was the guy I saw last year,” Roberts said. “Tonight I saw the face, the confidence and the scowl which is the first time I’ve seen that this summer, and it’s is what I saw last summer.”
Last season in Cotuit, Collins was a Cape League all star, posting a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances, while striking out 23 and walking just eight in 28 regular-season innings.