By: Matt McHugh
July 8, 2017
BOURNE – Infielder Luke Alexander (Mississippi State) has really hit his stride as of late, and with a home run in Saturday’s 7-4 win at Bourne, he extended his hitting streak to eight games.
After hitting just .190 in his first seven games, Alexander has raised his batting average up to .310 after this streak. His longest hitting streak at Mississippi State this season was six games.
“I don’t think about it,” Alexander said. “I just take it day by day, and then whatever happens, happens.
To start the season, Ako Thomas (Michigan) was the everyday second baseman for the Kettleers, but when he went home with a knee injury, Alexander stepped into the everyday role.
“That’s what’s so wonderful about our game,” coach Mike Roberts said. “You have guys who are waiting to play, and practice hard. In Luke’s case he’s played extremely well. That’s what makes a team. You have to have guys come off the bench and contribute and we’ve done an excellent job of that.”
At Mississippi State, Alexander showed flashes of his potential, but couldn’t quite put it all together in his sophomore season, compiling a .222 average with five home runs. Saturday’s home run was not only his first home run of the season, but also his first extra base hit.
“It feels good to get the first one out of the way,” Alexander said. “It’s nice to drive the ball out of the park.”
Also, Alexander provides plenty of versatility, not only in the field but also as a switch hitter who can hit the ball to all fields. Of his 12 singles this year, exactly six have gone to the left side and six have gone to the right side.
The Kettleers have their longest homestand of the season coming up, with three straight games at Lowell park. The Harwich Mariners are their next matchup on Sunday at 5 p.m.
- In his first appearance out of the Kettleers bullpen, Noah Davis (UCSB) was excellent, throwing three shutout innings. Davis started three games for the Kettleers, and now sports a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings pitched this season.
- Centerfielder Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) returned to the Kettleers lineup on Saturday. He missed four games with a leg injury, and last played on July 1. He went 1-4 with an RBI double as the designated hitter in Saturday’s win.
- Utility infielder Blake Reese (Florida) joined the Kettleers on Saturday, but did not play. Reese won the national championship with the Florida Gators, and hit .233 this year while seeing time all over the field.
- Griffin Conine (Duke) belted his fourth home run of the season on Saturday, and that ties him for second in the league. Falmouth’s Marty Bechina (Michigan State) leads the league with seven.
- Michael Toglia (UCLA) is heating up as well for Cotuit, hitting .400 in the past seven days. His 1.062 OPS in that time is the seventh-best in the league.
- Coach Mike Roberts and the Kettleers love their small ball – the Kettleers have 17 sacrifice bunts this season, by far the league leading mark. Chatham and Hyannis are tied for second place with eight sacrifice bunts each.