By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
June 24, 2019
Cotuit couldn’t quite do it on Monday night in Chatham as the Kettleers (6-5-1) fell to the Anglers (7-4-1) 4-2.
Wolf’s Strong Effort
Jackson Wolf (West Virginia) put in a very solid start for Cotuit.
The 6-7 lefty, went further into a game than any Kettleer starter this season, going five and two thirds innings while throwing 86 pitches.
Wolf nearly made it through six. He was one strike away from ending the inning and sending Jamal O’Guinn (USC) back to the Chatham dugout.
Instead O’Guinn homered to centerfield to put Chatham in the lead 2-1.
Wolf allowed just two earned runs and three hits, the first run coming off a Kaden Polcovich (Oklahoma State) homer to left center.
At times Wolf looked unhittable as he struck out seven. He had both his fastball and curve working for much of the night, leaving Chatham hitters looking at his fastball on four of his seven punchouts.
Extra Base Hits
Chatham turned the tables on Cotuit.
After the Kettleers went yard four times over the course of Sunday’s doubleheader, Chatham won the home run battle 2-0 on Monday.
The Kettleers still have the most homers of any Cape League with 14 in 12 games, but Chatham is closing in with 11.
So far the Kettleers have mainly relied on their power to get into the win column. As fellow writer Ben Gainsboro noted yesterday Cotuit is 5-0-1 in games in which they hit at least three extra base hits. That means that when the Kettleers don’t meet the three extra base hit threshold they are 1-5-1.
Cotuit had just one extra base hit against Chatham on a double by Christian Robinson (Stanford) that soared over left fielder Colin Hall’s (Georgia Tech) head in the eighth inning.
Abundance of Strikeouts
Wolf wasn’t the only pitcher racking up the strikeouts. The teams combined for 23 total.
Wolf did have the game high with seven but four other pitchers, Cotuit’s Richard Brereton (Emory), Chatham’s RJ Dabovich (Arizona State), Chatham’s Parker Scott (Oklahoma State), and Daniel Federman (Miami) accumulated four strikeouts each.
The struggle to put the bat on the ball for the Kettleers was reminiscent of their fifteen strikeouts at Harwich Saturday night. Cotuit’s bats were certainly better than they were at Harwich, a game in which the Kettleers amassed a single hit, but the team still struck out twelve times in Chatham.
It was nothing short of a bizarre ending to the top of the seventh inning.
Oraj Anu (Kentucky) struck out with two outs but ended up on first after the ball appeared to pass by Chatham catcher Brady Smith (Florida).
This seemed to allow Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) to advance to third and Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) to even step into the batter’s box. In other words the hot-hitting Oviedo who entered the game with a 364. batting average had a prime opportunity to at a minimum tie the game 2-2 with a hit.
Instead the umpires gathered for a meeting to the left of the mound, conversing for a minute before the home plate umpire pointed to Anu and clenched his fist to signal the end of the inning.
Coach Mike Roberts was understandably upset as he questioned the call. The explanation was that the ball hit Anu’s foot which allowed the ball to get past Smith. But since Anu swung it was ruled a dead ball strike out and therefore the end of the inning.
It was still a very odd scene as Roberts continued to voice his displeasure as some Chatham fans sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
The Kettleers (6-5-1) are set to face the Wareham Gatemen (6-5-1) at Wareham on Tuesday in yet another head to head battle for first place of the East Division. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 PM.