05/01/2011 3:04 PM
Cotuit Seeks Repeat after 2010’s Surprising Title
By CHRISTOPHER CURTIS
Many believe in the saying, “three times is a charm,” and for the 2010 Cotuit Kettleers, that rang true. After losing in the Cape Cod Baseball League finals the previous two seasons, the Kettleers finally earned their first championship since 1999 by defeating the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Field manager Mike Roberts led Cotuit to a 19-23-2 record, good for third-place in the West Division. This summer, the Kettleers hope to become the first repeat champion since the 2007 Red Sox. In search of their second consecutive championship, general manager Pat Murphy has built another exciting team.
Speed has always been Cotuit’s primary threat, and 2011 is no different. Returning outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt), grandson of Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski, led the Kettleers last summer with 14 steals. Other speedsters include freshman Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech), who leads the Yellow Jackets in hitting (.380); sophomore outfielder Patrick Biondi (Michigan), first in average (.308) and steals (21) for the Wolverines; and sophomore infielder Michah Johnson (Indiana), currently leading the Sooners with 18 steals.
On the mound, Cotuit is excited to see the return of right-hander Brady Rodgers (Arizona State). Rodgers impressed the Kettleers with a 2.34 ERA and a 38-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio last summer in 31.1 innings. The Kettleers also boast a pair of talented southpaws. Local product Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) is from Amherst and will look to earn a starter’s role. Freshman Dillon Overton (Oklahoma), drafted by the Red Sox in the 26th round of the 2010 MLB draft, currently has a 1.90 ERA for the Sooners.
A large portion of Cotuit’s success last year could be attributed to shortstop Deven Marrero (Arizona State), who Murphy refers to as the team’s “anchor.” Marrero led the Kettleers with a .308 average and played steady defense. He’s batting .329 this spring. Other infielders coming to Cotuit include Ryon Healey (Oregon), ranked as the top prospect from last summer’s California Collegiate League by Baseball America, and catcher Chris O’Dowd, son of Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd.