By Matt Feldman
July 13, 2016
BREWSTER — Cotuit (10-17-1) powered its way past Brewster (11-16-1), 5-2, Wednesday night at Stony Brook Park in Brewster. The charge was led by a 2-for-4 showing from Tim Susnara (Oregon), and the dynamic pitching foursome of Cal Becker (Sonoma State), Ross Achter (Toledo), Connor Simmons (Georgia Southern) and Josh Roberson (UNC-Wilmington). The Kettleers’ pitchers gave up just two runs on four hits, striking out eight in the victory.
Dorrian “one of the most improved guys”
After joining the Kettleers as a temporary player at the beginning of the summer, Pat Dorrian (Lynn University) has nestled into a day-to-day starting role for head coach Mike Roberts’ Cotuit squad. On Wednesday night, Dorrian started at third base and batted in the four-hole.
Dorrian made several slick plays in the field, a sight that has become all but customary to those who watch Cotuit games. The four-hole slugger also notched an RBI-bunt on a safety squeeze play in the first inning which scored Quinn Brodey (Stanford), putting the Kettleers ahead, 1-0.
“(Dorrian has) done a really nice job,” Roberts said. “It’s nice to have a cleanup guy that can bunt. He’s very detailed, he works hard at his game, and he’s really one of the most improved guys.”
Susnara is back to spring form
Susnara started behind the plate for the Kettleers Wednesday, and he was flawless both offensively and defensively. He batted 2-for-4 at the plate, with one RBI, and was also a brick wall at the catcher position, making several plays and calling a game which saw four different pitchers make an appearance for Cotuit..
“Well I think it’s getting back to how I was at Oregon,” Susnara said. “I came (to Cotuit) and had two good starts, then I don’t know what I did. I switched something, and it didn’t go well.”
Susnara struggled for much of June and early July, but has since caught stride both behind the plate and in the batter’s box.
He said he forced himself to step back. He started showing up to the field early with A.J. Balta (Oregon) and cranked the speed as high as it went on the pitching machine, drilling away in the cage. And he said it’s paid off— he’s feeling back to his old form that he was in at the end of the spring, and he’s becoming increasingly more confident with Cotuit’s pitching staff, a combo that will be important as the season goes on.
Cotuit’s pitching staff has been “perfect”
Following Wednesday’s four-hit showing from the Kettleers’ pitching staff, Susnara called the staff’s performance recently “perfect”. Roberts said it started with Becker being strong from the onset, and the pace was kept up throughout the game by his relievers.
“Our pitching has really improved. We’re throwing strikes,” Roberts said.
At one point late in the sixth inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, Cotuit reliever Simmons found himself sitting in a 3-1 count. Instead of coming at the batter with a fastball, like many pitchers might, Simmons opted for two straight curveballs, both strikes, that got the Kettleers out of the inning.
“You talk about two crucial strikeouts,” Roberts said. “Those were big.”
Susnara said that he’s now confident that Cotuit can win games by only scoring two or three runs, because the pitching is looking extremely good right now. He said that Simmons especially, when he threw all curveballs except for one pitch, was “filthy.”