How the Ketts fair halfway through the 2024 season

Team mound visit - Chris

Cotuit, Mass. – It’s hard to believe, but just like that, we’re halfway through the 2024 Cape Cod Baseball League season. The Cotuit Kettleers have seen their fair share of ups and downs, however, 20 games in, and the Ketts have been one of the best teams in the league with a 12-8 record, third best in the CCBL.

“We’ve grown as a unit, these guys like each other and now we’ve got the Team USA guys back and they’ll be here the rest of the summer,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “We’re becoming more cohesive with these guys becoming closer. Unless injuries happen, they’ll be together the rest of the year.”

Following a 1-3 start to the season, people wondered if Cotuit would rebound. They did just that, and then some, going 11-5 including a six-game winning streak where they outscored opponents 45-12. Even though the Ketts have cooled down a bit, they still hold one of the top pitching staffs in the league, along with some solid offensive contributions.

How the Ketts stack up numbers-wise

Cotuit’s offense ranks top five in hits (157), home runs (18) and runs scored (107) while also boasting individual star offensive players like Tanner Thach (UNC Wilmington) and Jarren Advincula (Cal Berkeley).

Thach currently sits in second place for home runs and is in the top five in RBI, SLG and isolated power. Advincula has been the league’s best contact hitter, holding the league-leading batting average, of .403 with the most hits and second-most runs scored. Both have also played exceptional defense, committing no errors over 20 games.

On the pitching side of things, Cotuit has been dominant, boasting a top-three pitching staff in every statistic. Including a very impressive 3.91 team ERA while averaging 10 K/9 and only walking four batters per game.

The Ketts boast nine pitchers with an ERA of under four, the second most of any Cape Cod team. That unit is led by Mikey Ebner (Southern California) who has yet to give up a run or hit in 11 innings of work and earned the Week 2 CCBL Pitcher of the Week.

Plug and play

With the constant revolving door for a Cape League clubhouse, it’s important to continue getting production from the players you bring in to replace guys who have left. Since the start of the season, Cotuit has lost 17 players for various reasons, but it continues to find pieces that it can plug in and not skip a beat.

Players like Tyler Cerny (Indiana), Charles Davalan (Arkansas), Joey Volchko (Stanford) and Aidan Hunter (College of Charleston) have stepped in and filled that role perfectly. Cerny has even become an everyday player for Cotuit, starting in 17 games while being a very solid player in Roberts’ lineup.

Davalan has been a platoon guy who’s played reliable defense and has got some clutch swings off at the plate, like his solo home run in a 4-2 win over Falmouth.

Hunter and Volchko have been part of a dominant bullpen, combining for a 2.09 ERA, 12 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP in four appearances.

Rest of season outlook

As of now, Cotuit stands as the third-best team in the Cape League and second in the West Division, just two games behind Wareham.

The Kettleers will have plenty of time to make up ground and potentially take the top spot in the rankings heading into playoff time. However, they’ll have a tough road to get there, playing 11 of the 20 remaining games on the road, six of which are against teams with a winning record.

On the bright side of things, Cotuit only has five players eligible for the MLB Draft this summer, so the team could see some familiar faces for most of the year.

Kettleers trot out onto the field - Dennis