16 June, 2005

Kettleers Looking for Healthy Success

After a year of waiting for its top-tier players to arrive and then watching some of them struggle through injuries, the Cotuit Kettleers are welcoming the chance to start from scratch this year.

The Kettleers will have the benefit of experience with head coach Mike Roberts returning to the Cape for his second straight season, his fifth in the league overall. Joining Roberts is Justin Maxwell, a former Brave before joining the Kettleers last summer. Maxwell, a fan favorite out of Maryland, is returning for his third season in the CCBL and is expected to grab as much attention as in years past with his deftness in centerfield.

Joining Maxwell in a return trip to Lowell Park are Jason Donald (Arizona), Bryan Harris (LSU) and Casey Huspeth (Southern Florida).

Roberts is waiting for a busload of players, as some of the top prospects continue to be involved with the College World Series and Team USA tryouts. "There are so many temporary players right now, it's tough to call," says Roberts, head coach at the University of North Carolina from 1976-1998.

In addition to the returning trio, Roberts has brought in newcomers Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech), Jeff Rey (Mississippi State) and Roberto Lopez (USC).

The club continues to attract top-quality pitchers and is expected to be deep again in the bullpen. Missouri's Nathan Culp and Taylor Parker are expected to cause headaches for hitters, as are Notre Dame's Jeff Manship and Derik Olvey.

The father of Baltimore Orioles hit-master Brian Roberts, Mike Roberts is joined by assistants Jeff Ditch, Mike Terhune and Devin McIntosh in the dugout. Roberts has dedicated this season to his father, Ed, who passed away in March at the age of 93.

"Brian will tell you that the summer he spent in Chatham was one of the best he can remember," says Roberts. "And my father spent two weeks here that same summer and I think he talked to every single person in town. I know he enjoyed it here very much."

The Kettleers open against the Braves tonight at home and travel to Brewster tomorrow night.

By Silene Gordon