Orleans, MA- The Kettleers dropped their second straight game on Thursday night despite outhitting their opponent. Cotuit fell to Orleans 6-4 as they couldn’t overcome an early four-run deficit after allowing a handful of free bases. Despite two straight losses due to errors and walks, head coach Mike Roberts is confident in the direction of the Kettleers. He said, “We just got to clean up, we got to throw more strikes. The walks are hurting us and a couple of passed balls and wild pitches. That’s hurting us a little bit, but overall, I really like our club and we’ll be fine.”
Harrison Cohen (George Washington) made his first start of the season. Cohen cruised through the first two innings but ran into control issues in the third inning. He finished with a final line of 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 3 BB, and 4 R. Joey Walsh (Boston College) limited the damage in the third inning with two strikeouts.
The Kettleers’ bats struggled to get going early in the game. Orleans’ Conner Thurman tossed three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit to keep the Ketteers scoreless through five innings. Only Dylan Beavers (California) was able to produce a hit versus the San Diego product. After Thurman came out, it was only a matter of time till the Cotuit bats would get going.
Hambleton Oliver (Baylor) was able to keep the Kettleers in the game in the middle innings. Oliver allowed just one run, an unearned run, over three innings. Oliver mixed his pitches and kept the ball low in the zone to induce consistent weak contact. Oliver posted a line of 3 IP, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 R, and 0 ER.
The Baylor product showed off his high level of pitchability on Friday night. Roberts is looking forward to seeing more of Oliver this summer. He said, “He held it in check for us. He’s a pitcher, Hamilton knows he’s not going to throw the ball by a lot of people, but he has plenty good enough stuff to pitch anywhere. I thought he did a great job tonight. He showed his maturity and I look forward to him being out there.”
Brett Roberts (Florida State) started a sixth inning rally with his first hit of the summer. Roberts chopped a grounder down the 3B line for a leadoff double. He was driven in by Cole Cummings (UC Santa Barbara) on the Kettleers’ first triple of the season. The deep drive into center field drove in two runs for Cummings’ first two RBI of the season. Cummings scored on a groundout to cut the Orleans lead to one in the sixth.
Roberts provided a spark in the bottom of the order in his first start. He finished the night with two hits and a run scored. The Florida State product was also robbed of a third hit late in the game. Head coach Roberts was impressed with the way his DH swung the bat, saying, “Brett swung the bat well and hit the ball hard. Brett’s got beautiful hand action.”
A pair of unearned runs pushed the Firebirds’ lead to three after 7. Luke Gold (Boston College) brought some life back to the 3B dugout and Cotuit’s fan base as he got every bit of a 1-1 breaking ball. Gold sent the hanging breaking ball well over the scoreboard behind the left field wall for his first hit and homer of the summer. Gold made an impact that Roberts was expecting when he him inserted into the lineup for his first start. “Luke proved in the ACC that he’s a very good offensive player, we’re working on the defensive side and he’s doing fine. It was great to have him in the lineup tonight.”
The Kettleers got the tying run to the plate after Brooks Baldwin’s (UNC Wilmington) second hit of the day and season. A fly ball off the bat of Matthew Donlon (UConn) fell just short of a game-tying homer as the right fielder reeled it in on the warning track. Max Gieg (Boston College) didn’t allow an earned run over two innings in his first appearance of the season. Despite Gieg’s strong outing in relief, the Kettleers couldn’t finish the comeback against the Firebirds as they were set down in order in the ninth.
UP NEXT- The Kettleers will travel to Yarmouth-Dennis to face the Red Sox at 5:00 PM on Friday. Ryan Long (Pomona-Pitzer) will get the start for Cotuit on the mound. Long didn’t have a 2021 season at Pomona due to Covid-19. The right-handed pitcher has compiled a 3.61 ERA over 92.1 innings pitched in his career. Roberts is looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow and trying to snap their short losing streak. “We are looking forward to going to YD at five o’clock tomorrow. It’ll be fun.”