By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 25, 2018
BREWSTER – Notes from the Kettleers 8-6 win against the Whitecaps in Brewster.
Kets, Caps slug it out
With the players using wood bats, Cape League typically does not have gaudy home run numbers.
Wednesday’s game between Brewster and Cotuit was an enormous outlier, as the teams combined for nine home runs.
While the Kettleers came out on top on the scoreboard, the Whitecaps won the impromptu home run derby, out-slugging the Kettleers five home runs to four. Each team had four players go yard, as Brewster second baseman Ike Freeman (North Carolina) hit two homers.
Cotuit got homers from first baseman Michael Toglia (UCLA), catcher Zach Humphreys (TCU), left fielder Peyton Burdick (Wright State) and shortstop Michael Salvatore (Florida State). Toglia’s blast was his third in the last three games.
Kettleers coach Mike Roberts, a 15-year Cape League veteran, said he had never seen a power display like the one on Wednesday in a Cape League game, comparing the game to a matchup between the Red Sox and Yankees.
Salvy’s smarts key Kettleers
A runner scoring from second on a single is not usually a play that needs much explanation. A runner scoring from second on an infield single is a play that usually prompts follow-up questions.
In the sixth inning, left fielder Peyton Burdick (Wright State) nubbed a ground ball down the first base line which appeared to be going foul. As the ball corkscrewed towards fair ground, Brewster’s pitcher, catcher, first baseman and third baseman all converged around the ball, watching as it spun into fair territory.
Salvatore, who had started the play on second and advanced to third, saw that nobody was covering the plate, and trotted home to score the tying run. Roberts, who was coaching third base, said he had “nothing to do” with Salvatore coming in to score, but credited his shortstop for getting the Kettleers a vital run with a heads-up baserunning decision.
Kettleers’ moves have runners shaking
In both the sixth and seventh innings, the Whitecaps had the tying run on first base against reliever Joey Walsh (Boston College). Both times, the southpaw picked the runner off to end the inning and keep the Kettleers in the lead.
Walsh followed the lead of starter Luke Chevalier (Northern State) who picked off a runner of his own in the fifth inning. Picking off runners has become a specialty of the Kettleers, with most of the credit going to pitching coach Jerry Weinstein. Roberts said there is “nobody better” than Weinstein at teaching pitchers to hold runners on and Walsh said he “didn’t really have a move” before coming to Cotuit.
Brewster’s dugout appealed in vain to the umpires to call a balk on both of Walsh’s pickoffs. Walsh admitted that he was called for a balk earlier in the season on what he felt was “the exact same move,” but added that as long as it was not getting called, he would stick with the move to keep runners honest or to erase them from the bases.