By Ben Gainsboro, Stetson University
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
July 28th, 2019
COTUIT – Consistency.
It was the first thing that Coach Mike Roberts preached all the way back on June 10th, the season opener.
Oddly enough, the Kettleers (19-17-4) just so happened to be playing the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox that game as well.
“I want the guys to be consistent.” Roberts put that above all else.
Now, forty-eight days later, the Kettleers were playing the Red Sox again.
The same two teams, similar trajectories, and the message remained the same.
“We need one through nine to be more consistent from game to game,” Roberts said postgame. “Last night (vs. Chatham) we were really good against velocity pitching, today against a lot of changeups, a lot of curveballs, we didn’t handle it very well.”
The last two games have been “Prime Example A” of how Cotuit has played all season long.
Yesterday, they walk into Veterans Field, heads held high, and smack the Chatham Anglers, the team with the best record in the East, 10-3. They outhit the Anglers 15-4 and never gave them a chance to come back.
The Kettleers then return home, face another good team in Yarmouth-Dennis, and almost the exact thing happens to them what they did to Chatham just a night prior.
Y-D swung the bats confidently and strongly throughout the contest, mashing fifteen hits to the Kettleers six. The Kettleers beat Chatham by seven a night ago, they lose by eight (9-1) in this one.
Pitching-wise, Cotuit was snake-bit by a common foe: the free pass. While keeping walks to a minimum pretty well overall in the month of July, the Kettleers have now walked fifteen batters in the last two ballgames.
“We lost [Joe] Nahas and we lost [Zach] McCambley,” Roberts said postgame. “At this stage do we have five proven, experienced college starters? We do not.”
Now this is not to bash the guys that went out there and threw today for Cotuit. Far from it. Chris Holcolm (Tulane), Evan Justice (NC State), Cole Beavin (State College of Florida) and Kevin Conley (New Mexico) all showed signs of maturity in what proved to be a very challenging game all around for Cotuit. None of the pitchers allowed more than three runs.
Offensively, Cotuit was quiet, with the lone RBI coming from Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) in the ninth.
The main source of offense in the last two games has come from Matthew Mervis (Duke).
“I think he gives us an additional bat that we’ve been looking for,” Roberts said. “When he arrived, I honestly didn’t know much about the bat. But I’m really pleased with his progress.”
Mervis is 6 for his last 10 (.600) at the plate with two doubles and three RBI. Both of those doubles came during this game, and the big lefty is now hitting a rock solid .328 on the season.
Unfortunately for Cotuit, the rest of the lineup was rather quiet, combining for just four hits.
As the Kettleers look ahead on the schedule, they will see a massive game scheduled for tomorrow against the Wareham Gatemen. The Gatemen are currently one game above Cotuit in the standings with just a handful of contests remaining.
For Roberts, it is all about consistency in his pitching staff looking ahead.
“Ten-twelve years ago, everyone could pitch, now it’s [everyone can] hit. That’s going to be the key for us as we finish up this week and go to the playoffs. Do we have any depth in our pitching staff to get the best hitters in the league out? We’ll keep working and find out.”
The marquee matchup against Wareham (21-17-2) is set for 6:45 P.M. at Spillane Field.