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Butera brings versatility to lineup as Chatham heads to Cotuit

by Jesse Dougherty
Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Butera brings versatility to lineup as Chatham heads to Cotuit

Blake Butera (Boston College) doesn’t think too much when he looks at a given night’s lineup card. It’s his second summer playing for Chatham and manager John Schiffner, and he knows that Schiffner likes to move guys around — especially him. His adaptability would be dizzying if he didn’t take it in stride. 

“Last summer showed me that I could maybe hit anywhere in the order and play anywhere,” Butera said. “I could hit leadoff and then I could hit fifth, ninth, second or third. It’s something I pride myself in, being able to move around.”

Chatham (8-9-1) takes to the road to face Cotuit (9-9) at Lowell Park at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and Butera — if he plays for a third straight day — won’t know his spot in the lineup or field until close to game time. The Kettleers most recently beat Bourne 16-6 on Monday, and Jordan Hillyer (Kennesaw State) will take two wins and a 0.90 ERA into his third start for the Anglers. 

Butera was leading the team in hitting before missing a week and change with an injury, and is now hitting .289 with three doubles, four RBIs and five runs scored. And as Butera continues to produce at the plate, his versatility allows Schiffner to keep that production in the lineup.

“That’s just Blake. Always willing to do anything you need,” Schiffner said. “You want to have his bat in there so it’s good that he can play a lot of places because it makes it easy to fit him in.”

After primarily playing second and shortstop at the beginning of the season, Butera started at third and hit sixth in a 5-4 win over Hyannis on Sunday. Butera said it was the first time he had played third base in his life — not at Boston College, not at Mandeville High School, not in Little League. 

After looking slightly confused in Chatham’s infield-outfield warmup he settled into the game and looked sure of his hands, arm and footwork at the unfamiliar spot. It unearthed the player inside of him, the Jack of all trades who induces a cogent need for his services. 

In the next game, a 7-3 loss to Harwich, Butera again played third and this time hit fifth in the Anglers’ order. Any other natural top-of-the-order hitter could have been thrown off by the adjustment, from table setting to the heart of the power alley. But it’s the kind of adjustment Butera has come to expect. 

“He’s such a team player,” infielder Garret Hampson (Long Beach State) said of Butera. “I think that’s what it is. He’s versatile and I think he’ll just do whatever it is that the team needs him to do.”

Broadcast information   

Broadcast coverage of the Anglers and Kettleers begins at 4:40 p.m. with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show. Watch and listen on TRZ Teamline or listen by phone 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more information.