by Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
June 17, 2018
COTUIT– After each out in the second half of Sunday’s doubleheader against Y-D, fans in attendance at Lowell Park could hear Reynaldo Pastrana bark out instructions to the fielders.
With an 0-2 count in the bottom of the fifth inning, Pastrana drove a pitch into the right field corner for a 2-RBI double that broke the game wide open. He would add an RBI single in the seventh inning, finishing with two hits and three RBI’s in his Cotuit debut, helping the Kettleers to an 11-3 win and a doubleheader sweep.
“I haven’t played in about three weeks, so I just tried to keep it simple,” said the catcher after the game. “I match up well against lefties, so I got lucky and was able to put a good swing on it.”
Pastrana wants to make an impact any way he can, both in the field and at the plate. And he’s one of very few catchers in college baseball that can do both.
A finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the top collegiate catcher in America, Pastrana tore it up this past season at Marshall.
“I like his gamesmanship,” said manager Mike Roberts after the game. “He had a really good year at school and he’s off to a great start. I try not to make too many judgements, but he really picked us up in the second game today.”
Starting in 49 games for the Thundering Herd, Pastrana led The Herd in batting average (.355), home runs (13), hits (71), and RBI (50). In addition, he added a .620 slugging percentage to go with a .406 on-base percentage as he terrorized opposing pitchers across Conference USA.
On the defensive side, Pastrana threw out 20 of 37 runners that tried to steal on him this past season at Marshall.
Pastrana has been a leader since his high school days, as a captain in both his junior and senior years at Southwest Miami High School in Miami, FL.
Since his arrival in Cotuit just a few days ago, Pastrana has been working heavily with pitching coach Jerry Weinstein and various Kettleer pitchers. While there is a lot to take in, Pastrana is appreciative of the support.
“He’s a great coach and he’s been around the game for a long time,” said Pastrana I’ve only been here for a couple days and I’ve learned a lot of new things so far.”
As for Pastrana’s plans to keep his success going forward, the catcher kept it simple. “I just gotta stay humble, this was my first game. We did the job and we just gotta keep it going.”
Pastrana and the rest of the Kettleers will get back in action on Monday when they host the Bourne Braves. First pitch at Lowell Park is set for 5:00 p.m.