I went to Cotuit on Sunday for a very good pitching matchup between Cotuit lefthander Chad Bell from Walter State Junior College and Orleans lefthander Jimmy Reyes from Elon.
I had seen Bell throw in a relief appearance early in the season and came away nonplussed, but I had been meaning to give him a second look after he became a starter and threw a no-hitter.
I had also heard good things about Reyes, and only saw him throw three pitches when I caught the tail end of one of his appearances a few weeks back.
In addition to the pitching, Sunday's game featured the best managerial tantrum I have seen all summer when Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson ran out to argue a call at third base in the seventh inning. He yelled at both base umpires and chest bumped the home plate umpire who was attempting to stop Nicholson from continuing to get in his partner's face after Nicholson was already tossed. Nicholson finally absquatulated, but he caused another stir by stopping briefly in the Orleans bullpen on his seemingly aimless wander toward the woods surrounding the field. It was good times.
Cotuit won 7-4 in a game stopped by darkness after 7 1/2 innings.
Reyes was probably the better of the two southpaws. He is average height with an athletic build at 6'0" 190, though the 6'0" listing might be generous. He has a tight motion but throws with some effort and falls off the mound toward third base. Reyes is what you would call an advanced pitcher because he has four pitches, he mixes them well, and he has very good command. Reyes' fastball sat between 86-88 mph and had good tailing action in on left-handed hitters. Despite his limited velocity, Reyes was not afraid to challenge hitters inside. His 73-75 mph curveball was a very good pitch. It had slow, sweeping break but its late movement and Reyes' ability to spot it made it effective. Reyes also threw a slider with a similar trajectory but less depth than the curveball and a 78 mph changeup. Reyes isn't really a high ceiling guy, but he is solid and his command and know-how could translate to success at higher levels.
Bell was also solid and in a similar mold to Reyes. Bell is big with a solid build at 6'4" 215 but still has room to fill out. He has good arm action and throws with minimal effort but he does have balance issues and tends to fall off the mound toward third base. Bell's fastball sat in the 86-87 mph range and had some sinking action. His 78 mph floating changeup was perhaps his best pitch, but he tends to slow his body down when he is going to throw it. Bell showed a good curveball with sharp break during some of his warmup sessions between innings, but he didn't have feel for it during the game and really threw it effectively. He relied more on his average 79-81 mph spinning slider. Bell also has a poor pickoff move to first base for a lefty, and twice he failed to cover first base on ground balls to the right side. Bell his decent stuff, he's been very successful this summer and probably has the potential to add a few mph to his fastball. But he is not outstanding and Cotuit has better pitchers than him.
One of those pitchers is right-handed reliever Daniel Tillman from Florida Southern who has now thrown 21.1 innings this summer without allowing a run. Tillman didn't have his best stuff Sunday, to the point where resting third baseman Zack Cox from Arkansas came into the scouts' area during Tillman's appearance to ask if anyone noticed anything wrong with Tillman. His low 90's fastball/slider/changeup combination is still pretty good and has confounded hitters all season.
Among hitters, designated hitter and usual catcher Cameron Rupp had a big game for Cotuit. Rupp drove a fastball for a solo home run and added an RBI double down the leftfield line later in the game. Rupp is a big guy at 6'2" 235 with big power, but he doesn't have great balance at the plate. He also has a plus arm when he catches.
Cotuit shortstop Chris Bisson from the University of Kentucky made a couple of athletic plays in the field. Bisson leads the league in stolen bases and is clearly a very athletic player, but he often misses the routine play and he had made 16 errors in 39 games coming into Sunday.
Cotuit leftfielder Zach Cone from the University of Georgia did a good job using the whole field when he hit a three-rbi double to the right centerfield gap. Cone also has a good arm in the outfield and held Orleans third baseman Michael Olt from UConn at first base on a hit down the left field line.
I plan to be at Brewster at Bourne on Monday.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Bourne 7 Hyannis 6: Designated hitter Rob Segedin from Tulane went 3-for-4 and second baseman Pierre LePage from UConn went 2-for-3 for Bourne. Bourne first baseman Kyle Roller hit his league-leading ninth home run of the summer.
Harwich 1 Chatham 0: Left-handed starter Aaron Meade from Missouri State, the Yankees' 28th-round pick in June, pitched seven shutout innings for Harwich, allowing four hits and striking out five. Chatham left-handed starter Tyler Lyons from Oklahoma State, the Yankees' 10th-round pick in June, allowed one run on seven hits and struck out seven in 7.1 innings pitched.
Wareham 6 Falmouth 5: Leftfielder Alex Dickerson from the University of Indiana went 2-for-2 with a home run for Wareham. First baseman Hunter Morris from Auburn went 2-for-4 with a home run and leftfielder Brian Fletcher from Auburn went 3-for-4 for Falmouth.
Y-D 15 Brewster 5: First baseman Mickey Wiswall from Boston College went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs for Y-D. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia homered for Brewster.
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