When the Cotuit Kettleers took home their seventeenth Cape Cod League championship in franchise history, the core of catchers guided a staff of top level arms to peak success.
A member of that group is Matt Donlan, and his journey to the Cape spans back to his earliest memories of his interactions with the game of baseball.
“I have been playing baseball for as long as I can remember,” Donlan recalls. “I have two older brothers, so I was always at the field watching them. We would always play around the house and watch the Red Sox.”
Playing baseball and basketball growing up, the former two-sport athlete began to prioritize his game on the diamond during high school. In his career at Guilford High School in Guilford, CT, Donlan hit .315 with a .819 OPS. With the opportunity to play at the next level, the catcher headed north and committed to Stonehill College.
“A kid from my town went to Stonehill and had a great career there,” Donlan remembers. “I went up for a camp, and it all worked out. I am very grateful for my time there.”
As a freshman, Donlan played in 38 games hitting .234 with four doubles as a Skyhawk.
“It was definitely a big jump, going from twenty games to forty games at the collegiate level,” Donlan said. “It took its toll by the end of the year, but I learned a lot. It being a full time commitment was the biggest takeaway from high school to college.”
During that summer in 2019, Donlan played 26 games for the Sag Harbor Whalers in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. Following their postseason elimination, one opportunity led to another, with Donlan quickly getting to the Cape to join Cotuit for the end of what would turn out to be a championship.
“The staff was hands down the best group of pitchers I have ever caught or even seen pitch,” Donlan expressed. “Catching guys like Kyle Nicolas throwing a 100 mile-per-hour fastball and an 89 mile-per-hour slider was awesome, but it was a learning experience. The way they went about their business and preparation was awesome, and a lot of them had success in the draft.”
After COVID-19 wiped out the college season in 2020, Donlan returned to the field in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League back in his home state with the New Britain Bees. He would find a new aspect of his game in the power department, hitting three home runs in just ten games.
As Donlan pursues his next step in college baseball, he awaits the opportunity to continue to improve his game and keep playing at a high level.
“I am just excited to take that next step,” Donlan said. “I want to learn and get better in the months before the season and make an impact with a team ready to win.”
With an extensive resume up to this point, the future remains bright for the backstop from Connecticut.