By Jon Mettus
July 15, 2016
HARWICH — It took 11 innings, but the Kettleers topped Harwich, 2-0, at Whitehouse Field on Friday night. Tim Susnara (Oregon) hit a single up the middle to plate the eventual winning run in the top of the 11th and Pat Dorrian (Lynn) sent another home on a Line drive into left field.
It’s the second time in a week that the worst team in league (now tied by record) has outlasted the best (now tied by record). The Kettleers extended their longest winning streak of the season to four games.
Jack Klein and Greyson Jenista make game-saving plays
Colton Hock (Stanford) backed up off the mound toward the plate holding his right arm in the air, pointing at a fly ball deep to center as pitchers do during fly outs. But in this instance, it was more of a hope than a certainty. Over the fence and three runs would score. Down for a hit and one, maybe two, runs would cross the plate.
But Jack Klein (Stanford) got on his horse and tracked down the ball to make the jumping catch at the warning track and prevent any scores.
“Jack out there working his butt off, making that catch at the fence at 400 (feet) was phenomenal,” Hock said.
Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) took his stab at a game-saving play in inning earlier in the second when a ground ball was hit down the line with runners on first and second.
Jenista dove to his left to make the stop on a hard-hit ball that had a chance to send the first run of the game across the plate.
“He’s played outstanding at first base,” Roberts said. “That almost got up the line and Greyson has handled that play a lot this year.”
Kettleers down to 13 pitchers
With Jared Padgett (Mississippi State) officially released on Thursday due to a sore arm and Cal Becker (Sonoma State) having signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cotuit is down to just 13 arms.
Justin Hooper (UCLA) is going to be leaving Aug. 1, too, Roberts said earlier in the year, to start summer school.
Roberts said the team will probably bring in another pitcher. He added that David Gerics (Pomona-Pitzer) will fill Becker’s role with both being righties.
“You always are a little bit concerned about that particularly as you go to late July,” Roberts said. “We’ll continue to look.
“We’d like to pick up a pitcher or two.”
Alonzo Jones ‘a little dormant’ on base stealing attempts
Roberts made a commitment to Alonzo Jones Jr. (Vanderbilt) at the beginning of the summer to make him a better base stealer. But more than midway through the season and with five stolen base attempts, Jones — one of the fastest players in the leauge — has swiped just one bag.
Roberts says that Jones needs to improve on his anticipation of when to run and “activating” his body earlier instead of just lifting his leg then turning to run.
“He’s always been able to be stationary and just take care of everything in his career up to this point,” Roberts said. “Well. that’s a little difficult to do. … He needs to be little bit livelier.
“Alonzo is a Carl Crawford type guy growing up. Voom. Now he’s got to learn a little bit more fundamental technique.”
Mike Roberts called Friday night’s win over Harwich “as good a baseball game as you’re going to see in the Cape League” and “similar to a playoff game.”
The Kettleers are on their biggest winning streak of the season and finally don’t have the worst record in the league — they’re tied with Chatham. They’re just 1 1/2 games back from a playoff spot and 5 1/2 games back from first place in the West.
“The talent level has changed dramatically,” Roberts said. “… I’m just, right now, trying to stay out of their way.”