By: Matt McHugh
June 21, 2017
COTUIT — The Cotuit Kettleers (4-3) continued their recent slide on Wednesday, as they fell 6-3 to the Harwich Mariners (3-4-1). After winning their first four games, the Kettleers have dropped three straight games, the last two coming at Lowell Park.
The Kettleers dug themselves into a hole early, as starter Dylan King gave up two hits and a walk to start things off. After retiring the next two batters, a two-run single from Jordan Verdon (San Diego State) gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
But the Kettleers fought back, picking up a run on a solo shot from Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) in the fourth inning. Jenista, who hit one home run last season for the Kettleers and nine at Wichita State this season, picked up his first home run of the summer.
In the fifth inning, the Kettleers added four more hits, three of which came with two outs, and Griffin Conine (Duke) tied the game up at 3-3 with an RBI single. Conine now has seven RBIs this season to go with his .464 average – both marks are second in the Cape League.
King had settled down to that point, allowing just one hit and striking out four batters in his next four innings of work. He retired the last nine batters he faced.
“He made a really good adjustment and threw the ball extremely well after he gave up those three runs in the first inning,” coach Mike Roberts said. “All I said was instead of worrying about strikeouts, just to concentrate on getting ground balls.”
King added: “In the first inning I left some pitches up, but after that I kept the ball down and let my defense work.”
Roberts turned the game over to Chase Cohen (Georia Southern) in the sixth. Cohen was solid in his only other appearance of the season, going four shutout innings against Falmouth.
Cohen retired the side in order in the sixth inning, but unraveled in the seventh. Verdon led off the inning with a solo home run to break the tie. Three more hits, a walk, and two stolen bases helped produce two more Mariners runs in the inning.
“I think Dylan [King] and Chase [Cohen] had the same problem,” Roberts said. “Ball was just up too much. We have to go in and out more. When you pitch up, the ball gets in the outfield. When you pitch down, it doesn’t get in the outfield as much.”
“It’s tougher for big guys to keep the ball down, with [Dylan] King at 6-4 and Chase [Cohen] at 6-2,” Roberts added. “They have to use their legs more to pitch down, but we’ll work on that.”
The Mariners will continue their road swing on Thursday as they travel to Bourne (3-2). Meanwhile, the Kettleers go back on the road, as they head to Yarmouth-Dennis to face the Red Sox (4-1-1).