Video by Jon Perez
By Jon Mettus
June 15, 2016
COTUIT — All Tim Susnara (Oregon) had time to do was take a few practice swings.
He had just jogged in from the bullpen where he had been catching, shed his gear in the dugout and picked up a bat on his way to the plate for the Kettleers biggest offensive moment of the game.
“I wasn’t sure if I was hitting for the next guy or that guy,” Susnara said. “And coach Roberts said ‘You’re hitting,’ so I was like ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ I mean there’s nothing really much you can do.”
Cotuit was tied with Brewster, 2-2, and the bases were loaded with two outs. The first pitch flew by like it was 105 MPH, Susnara said because his timing was off not having been able to watch the pitcher throw. With a full count, Susnara belted a line drive into center field that scored Jack Klein (Stanford) and gave the Kettleers a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning that they wouldn’t release.
“Atta boy, Timmy,” catcher Hagen Owenby yelled from the top of the dugout, pointing in the air toward Susnara.
Off the bat of Susnara and thanks to 4 1/3 innings of one run relief by Ross Achter (Toledo), Cotuit (1-4) snagged its first win of the season, defeating Brewster (2-3), 5-3, at Lowell Park on Wednesday. Susnara’s RBI single was his first hit of the year and Achter picked up the win for his efforts.
The Whitecaps managed to load the bases against Achter with one out in the ninth, but he surrendered just one run before striking out the final batter of the game.
“It’s just playing better,” head coach Mike Roberts said. “Look out there and there’s no errors on the scoreboard.
“(Starting pitcher Dave) Gerics and Achter really picked us up tonight. … And of course Timmy coming off the bench and getting a really clutch base hit.”
Kettleers starter Dave Gerics (Pomona-Pitzer) got into a little bit of trouble to start the game, loading the bases and needing a double play to get out of the inning unharmed. A walk, a stolen base and a double equaled a run given up in the second. Another double in the fourth accounted for Gerics other charged run.
But each time Brewster got on the scoreboard, the Kettleers answered right back a half inning later.
Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) blasted a long ball over the fence in straightaway center field to knot the game at one in the second. Then Jack Klein (Stanford), in his first game back with Cotuit, punched in a run with a single up the middle for his first hit of the year.
It came down to the sixth. With Brewster reliever Hansen Butler (North Carolina) on the mound two outs into his first inning, Klein drew a walk. Ryan Hagan (Mercer) followed with a single before Weiss drew a walk to load the bases.
Dayton Dugas (Wichita State) was due up, but Roberts wanted a veteran at the plate because the pitcher was going deep into counts with hitters. He called on Susnara, even though he struggled at the plate with the Kettleers last summer.
Susnara fell behind 1-2 before watching the next two pitches fly by outside of the strike zone. He smacked the following one back into the outfield and headed out to first.
“He was the right guy in that situation because he’s veteran and he knows me,” Roberts said. “I think that was the perfect situation for Timmy.”
When it was done, Susnara tossed his gear back on and went back out to the bullpen. He stood in front of the pitchers sitting on the wooden seats and imitated the swing that just gave Cotuit the lead and eventually the win.
The Kettleers are back in action on Thursday, hosting the Orleans Firebirds at 5 p.m.