Lack of offensive production continues to hurt Kettleers in loss to Chatham

Team mound visit - Chris

Chatham, Mass. – Over the last several days, a glaring issue has been the lack of production from the Cotuit batters. The Kettleers have dropped three of their previous four games, three of which were two-run or less losses. The same could be said Friday as the bats never found their footing in a 4-2 loss at Chatham.

“We need production from our entire lineup, 1-9, and we’re just not getting it,” Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts said. “Our production is lacking, but hopefully the guys from Team USA can help boost our lineup.”

Even with that issue, the Cotuit pitching staff has been magnificent over the last two weeks. In fact, in 11 of the last 13 games, the Kettleer arms have held opponents to four runs or less, something that Roberts continued to rave about.

“Our pitching and defense have been exceptional and have given us a chance to win every night,” Roberts said. “I hate that we’ve lost games the last few days because the offense hasn’t been as good. But regarding our pitchers, I can’t do anything other than just compliment them all.”

In the first, it seemed like the offensive production was going to be the least of worries, Cotuit rattled off three hits, one that plated Tanner Thach (UNC Wilmington). Just as it started going perfectly for the Ketts, Chatham did even better, plating three runs in the bottom of the first as they quickly jumped on Kettleers pitcher Janzen Keisel (Oregon).

The right-handed pitcher would quickly rebound following the first-inning collapse, going 2 2/3 scoreless innings including five strikeouts.

From the second inning on, Cotuit had several opportunities to make some noise but failed to capitalize on those chances. The team left 10 men on base and stranded a runner in six consecutive innings.

However, Thach and Tyler Cerny (Indiana) would be the two bright spots out of the lineup. That duo combined for six of Cotuit’s nine hits.

“I made some adjustments today,” Cerny said. “For a while, my hands were very stiff with the bat, and it wasn’t very comfortable. I loosened up today and it felt much more fluid. I think it really helped me find success.”

The Ketts finally showed some life in the eighth when Thach nearly hit a leadoff home run, but it just bounced off the top of the wall for a long double. He would later come in to score on a Brandon Compton (Arizona State) RBI groundout. Thach finished his day going 4-for-5 with two runs scored.

“I felt like I had been getting beat all over the plate on some places that I usually don’t miss,” Thach said. “I got some early work in with coach, and it carried over into the game, I was able to hit the ball a lot easier, get off a better swing and it showed. I felt really good today at the plate.”

Following a run by the Anglers in the eighth inning to counteract the Cotuit run, the Ketts found themselves with a golden opportunity at hand. Bases loaded, two outs, down by two and Matt Klein (Louisville) at the plate. Klein jumped at the first pitch of the at-bat, but unfortunately popped it up to end the ballgame as Cotuit dropped a close one, 4-2.

“Tough loss tonight but we get Devin Taylor (Indiana), Brooks Bryan (Troy) and Max Belyeu (Texas) back tomorrow and I’m excited to have them back in the lineup,” Roberts said. “For these guys to come back, I think it really shows how much they love baseball and hopefully the village of Cotuit. Those guys should be a big boost to us.”

The Kettleers will be back in action Saturday night against the Bourne Braves at Lowell Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Tyler Cerny - Chris
Art or Photo Credit: Tyler Cerny fields a throw from the catcher. Photo by Chris Jones (High Point University).