By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
July 2, 2019
Cotuit’s pitching held off Bourne, shutting the Braves bats down at Lowell Park for most of the night Tuesday.
Cotuit starter Joe Nahas (Georgia Southern) was simply dominant, earning his first win as he tossed six innings in which he only surrendered two hits and one run.
Nahas did this without an extensive scouting report, making his performance even more impressive.
“Since we hadn’t played them yet the scouting report wasn’t as detailed.” said Nahas following the game.
“I looked over [the scouting report] a little bit. I saw some tendencies in some hitters but a lot of guys seemed like they could hit the ball all over the place. They have a lot of contact hitters and that’s what was true in the game.”
Nahas has been especially tough to hit for right handed batters. Going into the second inning today righties against Nahas were a stunning 0-31 with 21 strikeouts in the Cape League.
Jackson Greer (East Tennessee State) was the first righty of only two to get a hit off of Nahas as he pulled one to left.
Greer would be the only run Nahas gave up as he would eventually come around to score on a sacrifice fly to right by Henry Davis (Louisville).
Nahas has thrown eighteen innings for Cotuit over three relief appearances and two starts posting a stellar 1.50 ERA.
Bourne looked ready to tie the ball game in the top of the seventh trailing Cotuit 2-1 with one out and men on first and second.
Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) got the call to relieve Beck Way (Belmont Abbey) of the mound.
Only Schmitt didn’t come in from the bullpen in left as is usual but instead displayed his versatility as he took the hill from third base.
“[Coach Roberts] just said don’t let that run get in so I just tried to get in there and throw strikes and keep hitters off balance.” Schmitt said post game.
Schmitt did exactly what his skipper asked of him and more.
Schmitt only needed seven pitches to retire Jared Poland (Louisville) and Kyle Hess (Pittsburgh) as he struck both batters out on splitters in the low 80 mile per hour range.
The team responded with some insurance in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs to go up 4-1. Schmitt would prove he didn’t need any insurance at all as he retired all eight batters he faced to record his first save for Cotuit.
“I like to mix it up.” said Schmitt “I’ll start a hitter off with a splitter, that doesn’t bother me. I like to keep people off balance.”
Schmitt did just that, striking out four and shutting the door to secure Cotuit a 4-1 victory.
The Brian Roberts Factor
Brian Roberts, son of Coach Roberts and former Major League second baseman has had a very positive influence on the club according to Joe Nahas.
“I think having him around has helped the guys play at a higher level with more intensity.” said Nahas.
The two-time MLB All-Star spoke with many Kettleers in the dugout before the game.
Roberts shared the general message he gave to the players.
“I was telling them about my experience here in the Cape League. This is a very difficult league to play in. If you’re struggling don’t get down, don’t get frustrated. There have been a lot of very good players that have gone on to have great Major League careers that had a tough time on the Cape. I also told them to embrace the opportunity that they have here.”
Cotuit sure embraced that opportunity today as the Kettleers moved into first place in the West Division with the win.
Cotuit (9-7-2) takes on the Commodores (6-7-1) at Arnie Allen Diamond in Falmouth Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 6 PM.