By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
July 24, 2018
COTUIT– Michael Toglia (UCLA) is no stranger to second-half resurgences, especially in the Cape League. He hit safely in 8 of the last 11 games of the 2017 season, and seems to be on the precipice of a similar breakout in 2018.
Toglia has now hit safely in each of the last three games, and in four of the last five. Ironically, the Kets have followed a similar pattern, winning their last three and, you guessed it, four of their last five.
The only loss in that stretch, a 10-9 Kets loss to Chatham, also coincides to be the only hitless game of Toglia’s within that time span. He has definitely seemed more confident during the recent streak, and expressed that sentiment after the game Tuesday.
“I definitely feel like I’m in a rhythm,” said Toglia. “That was nice to put a good swing in my last at-bat yesterday and carry that over today. It would’ve been nice to start off a little better, but we’ve turned it around at the end, it seems like.”
On the season, Toglia is now batting .202 with five home runs and 19 RBI’s. He has also scored at least one run in each of the past five games.
“It’s important for me to just develop as a player. Numbers can be overrated, and its just about becoming the best baseball player you can be.”
Salvatore delivers another multi-hit game
Mike Salvatore (Florida State) went 2-for-4 on Tuesday against Bourne, giving Salvatore his sixth multi-hit game of the season. His second-inning triple was his first of the season, scoring Toglia, while Salvatore would score on a balk in the ensuing at-bat.
The Seminole is now batting .271 with 12 RBI’s for the Kets. But something that doesn’t show on the stat sheet is Salvatore’s ability to be a quality two-way player, both in the field and at the plate.
With the bases loaded and one out in the first inning, Salvatore cleanly started a 6-4-3 double play to get Zane Collins and the Kets out of a Bourne scoring threat early on. He would do it again in the second, stepping on second base himself and firing over to first for a 6-3 double play.
Salvatore continues to provide timely hitting at the plate, and make important plays in the field to keep the Kets away from potential trouble spots.
Collins, Schoch combine for the win and save against Braves
Zane Collins (Wright State) stepped up again on Tuesday, picking up his first win of the season for the Kets over Bourne. Collins went five innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with a strikeout.
Tuesday’s win made for two consecutive solid starts out of Collins, who had mainly been working out of the bullpen prior to starting against Harwich on July 18. The second-year Ket has now thrown 26 ⅓ innings this season, striking out 16 over that span.
“He’s a second-year player and we want to put those guys to the forefront at the end of the season,” said Roberts postgame.
“He picked us up again for the second start in a row, and I thought he did a marvelous job. Even when he was struggling earlier this year, I told Zane that he may end up pitching some of the most important games at the end.”
Speaking of second-year Kets, Stephen Schoch (UMBC) picked up the save on Tuesday, pitching 1 ⅔ innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with a strikeout.
Schoch and teammate Garrett Gayle (Rice) have been a dynamic 1-2 punch as both setup man and closer for the Kets, and Tuesday was no different. The duo combined to throw three innings, allowing only three hits between them. Schoch spoke postgame about their differing styles, yet striking similarities.
“We look a lot alike so that throws people off,” said Schoch, jokingly. “I think the fact that I throw from such a low angle, and then [Garrett] comes in and can throw pretty hard. Batters get used to my weird style of pitching, and then he can come in and blow it by people.”
Schoch and the rest of the Kettleers will travel to Brewster on Wednesday to take on the Whitecaps. First pitch from Stony Brook Field is set for 5:00 p.m.