Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014
by Gary McPherson for The Central Record
EVESHAM—Pitching is usually ahead of hitting in the early going of any baseball season.
For Cherokee, that premise has led to an 0-2 start, despite a pair of solid outings from their starting
The Chiefs dropped their home opener to Egg Harbor Township, 3-2, mustering only four hits in the nonleague matchup April 5.
Senior Frank Rosetti was the hard luck loser, scattering four hits over five innings,
while striking out six.
Through their first two games, the Cherokee bats have produced just three total runs.
“Coming into the season, I wasn’t too worried about our offense,” said Cherokee head coach Marc Petragnani. “But based on the results of the preseason, I feared we might start the season slow
The Eagles (3-0) got a run in the second on a single by pitcher Austin Fottrell and added two more in the fifth on a two-out triple by Todd Henry.
Fottrell cruised through the first six innings, allowing just three Chiefs as far as second base.
In the 7th, with their backs to the wall, Cherokee finally got to the senior righty.
With two outs, the Chiefs loaded the bases. Closer Jordan Wisser was brought in to slam the door.
But senior center fielder Mike Follett had other ideas. Follett’s two-out single brought the Chiefs to within one.
Unfortunately for Cherokee, the rally would end there. Wisser induced a ground out to the next batter, dropping the Chiefs to 0-2.
Petragnani said he and his staff don’t want his hitters to get over anxious and begin to press.
“They are here for a reason. They all have the ability to perform at the plate,” he said. “They just have to relax and do what they have done in the past."
Rosetti’s strong performance was the second in two days for Chiefs’ pitchers. Matt Curry turned in a gem the day before, only to fall to Mainland, 2-1.
Petragnani has the same advice for his pitchers as he does his hitters. Keep working and don’t get
“They can’t be blamed for the loss. Just look at Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels when your offense isn’t producing,” said Petragnani.
“When you are the pitcher and only give up three runs in five innings, we should be in it. Hopefully we pick him up next time he is on the hill.”