By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 14, 2018
HYANNIS – After a poor performance in his team’s 8-2 loss Friday to the Wareham Gatemen, Cotuit Kettleers coach Mike Roberts said that his team needed to find a “intensity button” and clean up their game, highlighting the need to swing more aggressively.
Cotuit found the button immediately Saturday against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, as first baseman Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina) swung at the first pitch of the game and launched it over the right field fence, setting the tone for a comfortable 9-5 Kettleers win.
At 6’3 and 220 pounds, Biermann is not a traditional leadoff hitter, but Roberts said he plans to keep in in the leadoff spot, praising Biermann for putting on “competitive at-bats.”
The Kettleers, who had just six runs in their previous three games combined, jumped all over Hyannis ace Gavin Hollowell (St. Johns) in the first. After Biermann’s blast and a single by center fielder Duke Ellis (Texas), left fielder Will Robertson took Hollowell deep, giving Cotuit a three-run cushion.
Hyannis stormed right back in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs on an error and two RBI singles. After Cotuit took the lead back in the second, scoring on an error, starter Seth Shuman (Georgia Southern) settled in, not allowing another run through five strong innings.
“I liked the fact that he made an adjustment,” Roberts said. “You get hit when you miss your spots but he made an adjustment to hold them.”
Cotuit tacked on another runs in the third inning on an RBI double by shortstop Mike Salvatore (Florida State) that missed being a home run by inches. Salvatore got another RBI in the fifth on a fielder’s choice.
“Mike really picked us up there,” Roberts said. “He has a beautiful swing…tonight he really got the head of the bat out.”
The win pushed Cotuit back to .500 and leapfrogged the Kettleers over the Bourne Braves for fourth place in the West division standings.
Despite the solid divisional win and heightened intensity, Roberts said he is not prepared to declare their intensity issues over.
“We found the intensity button for one day. You can’t snap your fingers and make huge adjustments, but tonight it was much better…I really appreciated it. Today, win or lose it was much better today.”
The Kettleers come home Sunday to face the Falmouth Commodores at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. The Kettleers will be holding a pregame ceremony for First Responders’ Night.