By Ben Gainsboro, Stetson University
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
July 23rd, 2019
What Happened: The Cotuit Kettleers (17-14-4) tied the Bourne Braves (13-20-1) in an abbreviated eight inning game at Lowell Park on Tuesday night.
A Few Game Nuggets:
2 hours and 15 minutes is how long this game took. It is the Kettleers shortest ball game since July 11th, a 2-0 victory over the Harwich Mariners. That game was 2 hours and 10 minutes.
2 hits and 0 strikeouts for Oraj Anu (Kentucky) in this ballgame. In the last four games that Anu has appeared in, he has accomplished this feat on three occasions (vs. Bourne, at Hyannis, vs. Bourne). Also, in his last four games, he has zero strikeouts. That is zero strikeouts in ten at-bats. Why is this noteworthy? Anu went through a stretch earlier in the season for the Kettleers when he struck out 11 times in 24 at-bats.
3 hits for Joey Loperfido (Duke). The outfielder also had both RBI for Cotuit in this one, both coming courtesy of a two-run triple in the first inning. Loperfido was a home run shy of the cycle in this ballgame.
210 is how many points Loperfido’s average has risen since his early season slump. His average after the first five ballgames was just .083. Now, just a few weeks later, that number has jumped to a stellar .293. With the departure of Allbry Major (Xavier), Loperfido figures to step into a much larger role in the Kettleers outfield, his natural position.
13 innings pitched for Sean Sullivan (Cal) in his last two starts. He has allowed a grand total of zero runs in his last two outings. He also has four more strikeouts (12) in that span than hits allowed (8).
4.50 ERA was Sullivan’s stat line after his first two starts of the season against Orleans and Falmouth. Since then, he has dropped his ERA by 2.33, as it currently stands at a stellar 2.17.
0 walks combined in Sullivan’s last 13 innings of action.
0 errors for the Kettleers in this game. Cotuit’s defense now has just one error in their last two games, something Coach Mike Roberts stressed on improving earlier in the season.
Whichever way you look at it, Cotuit’s offense has been one of the best in the CCBL through the first 35 games of the season. They are third in batting average (.254), first in home runs (32), first in RBI (163), and first in slugging percentage (.398).
Although the pitching numbers don’t quite match the offenses prolific numbers, Cotuit is exceptional in one important area: home runs allowed. With 32 home runs hit and just 16 home runs allowed (second least in the CCBL), the +16 differential in long balls is a big reason why the Kettleers have 17 wins so far on the season.
Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State) went hitless on the night, but he still ranks fourth in the CCBL in batting average (.347). That, combined with his 7 home runs and 27 RBI make him a prime candidate for the CCBL MVP.
Another surprising category that Gonzales leads in? Total bases. He has 75 on the season, with the next player a whole 7 bases behind him.
When Cotuit is winning after 5 innings, the Kettleers are a stunning 16-1. In other words, the bullpen knows how to close games when leading.
When Cotuit is losing after 5 innings, however, they are just 1-9. Getting out to an early lead and getting a quality start from the starter continue to be key components for the Kettleers moving forward.
Gonzales currently holds a 10-game road hitting streak, dating back to June 24th. Cotuit actually struggled on the road mightily for a late June stretch, but Gonzales’ excellence with the bat away from Lowell Park has gotten them back on track since then.
What’s Next? Cotuit (17-4-4) head back to Brewster (14-19-1) for the first time since June 14th, the Kettleers fourth game of the season. First pitch at Stony Brook is set for 5:00 P.M.