By Zach Kaplan
Penn State University
June 28, 2018
BOURNE– Calmly stepping into the batter’s box at Doran Park on Wednesday, Michael Salvatore (Florida State) looked to start a rally for the go-ahead run, as the Kettleers were tied at five with the Bourne Braves in the eighth inning.
On an 0-2 pitch, Salvatore drove a single into left field for his third hit of the day. As he worked his way over to third base by way of a fielder’s choice and wild pitch, Salvatore tagged up for the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Jakob Goldfarb (Oregon) as Cotuit took a 6-5 lead.
“Read the change-up. I just caught it before it dropped down,” said Salvatore about his late single. “It stayed up for a little and I just took advantage of it.”
In just his second game with the Kettleers, Salvatore went 3 for 3 with three singles and a walk, adding in two RBI’s and a run to provide the difference for Cotuit.
“He showed his maturity. I know [Florida State head coach] Mike Martin, and he has a particular style of play,” said manager Mike Roberts after the game. “His players fit in really well with the style of play that we have. I’m really pleased with how he picked us up tonight.”
Salvatore credited his successful first start in Cotuit to taking a patient approach at the plate, as he tries to pick up where he left off in Tallahassee.
“Just trusted myself swinging at good pitches. Being patient and just sticking with my approach.”
Salvatore started all 62 games at shortstop, one of just three Seminoles to do so this past season. He hit a .244/.333/.298 slash line to go with 58 hits, and led the team in stolen bases with eight.
The junior hails from Ewing, NJ, and was drafted out of high school in the 19th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Salvatore transferred to Florida State prior to this past season after playing two seasons at Northwest Florida State College.
“I didn’t feel like the timing was right,” Salvatore told SB Nation’s “Tomahawk Nation”, a Florida State blog, back in February during a phone conversation. “School seemed like the right thing to do and it gave me a chance to develop a little more.”
While the adjustment to Cape League pitching and wooden bats can prove difficult for some, Salvatore just wants to continue the success he found in his first full game with Cotuit. He spoke about some of the adjustments a hitter has to make.
“Definitely just being more patient. Gotta be quick on the ball,” said Salvatore. “You just have to be ready earlier, and be right on the ball with the barrel of the bat.”
As the rain wiped out Thursday’s game against Orleans, the Kettleers will now be back on the road Friday when they travel to Falmouth to take on the Commodores. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.