By Matt Feldman
July 19, 2016
FALMOUTH – The Kettleers (11-20-1) struggled Monday night against Falmouth, unable to put any offense together in a 12-0 loss at Guv Fuller Field. It was Cotuit’s third loss of the season to Falmouth, and Cotuit’s worst loss by run differential this season.
Strikeouts plague Kettleers
Cotuit’s offense was quieted for the second straight night against the Commodores. After a 3-0 loss Sunday night, the Kettleers came back Monday and posted just four hits at Guv Fuller Field. Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) batted 2-for-3 in one of his best offensive performances of the season, but Cotuit was otherwise stifled by Falmouth starter Brendan King (Holy Cross).
King struck out eight in the six inning appearance, his longest of the season. He has 34 strikeouts on the season for the Commodores.
“(Falmouth’s) pitchers go out there every night and go after it,” Cal Stevenson (Arizona) said. “If they don’t get you on the off speed pitches, then they can get that fastball by you as well. So you’ve got to be ready to hit, and tonight we weren’t ready.”
After King was pulled at the beginning of the seventh inning, the final three Falmouth pitchers posted four strikeouts in the last three innings of the game to slam the door on Cotuit. Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said that while pitching and defense are extremely important, you can’t look past the fact that the Kettleers struck out 12 times Monday night.
Stevenson pitches again
After a shaky start from Jason Bilous (Coastal Carolina) and a relief appearance from David Gerics (Pomona-Pitzer) which saw two more runs surrendered, Roberts called Stevenson in from right field to pitch in the bottom of the eight inning. Stevenson last pitched on June 23, against Falmouth, facing eight batters in two innings and allowing just two hits and no runs.
Stevenson came in the game with just seven warm up pitches, and with the bases loaded, he walked the first batter he faced, putting Falmouth up 8-0 late. In the very next at bat, Deacon Liput (Florida) smashed a grand slam to deep centerfield that sailed over the head of Cotuit centerfielder Jack Klein (Stanford). The shot put the Commodores up 12-0, a tally which would hold the rest of the game.
“I didn’t want to do it, but I can’t say no to coach,” Stevenson said. “I’ve got to go out there and get the job done for the guys, and unfortunately I didn’t go out and do that.”
3 straight losses
After a mid-July tear which saw the Kettleers win four straight games, Cotuit has now lost its last three.
“Again, it’s a tough game. You’ve just got to keep plugging,” Roberts said. “Right when you think you’re beginning to play a little bit better, all of a sudden couple games creep up on you.”
The losses put Cotuit three-and-a-half games behind Bourne, and sitting firmly in last place with just twelve games remaining on the season. Roberts said that this year’s team reminds him of teams that have made late-season playoff pushes, but Cotuit needs to turn some things around. He said that the team doesn’t have to change its approach, but it needs to change how it plays between the lines, and one of the Kettleers’ biggest challenges has been swinging the bat with men on base.
“I’ve looked back to ’07, when we really struggled,” Roberts said. “I kind of go back experience-wise and look and see … what’s the reason that you can’t put it together? And I think there’s lots of reasons, but I think the number one reason is overall baseball maturity.”