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Nighthawks notebook: For Cossetti, timing is everything

  • Andrew Cossetti (33) of the Upper Valley Nighthawks poses for a portrait at the Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction, Vt., on Monday, June 3, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

MONTPELIER — The Upper Valley Nighthawks had been waiting for a breakout game from catcher Andrew Cossetti.

The St. Joseph’s sophomore has had something of a rough summer. He entered Tuesday night’s game with the Danbury Westerners with a .179 batting average, managing only 10 hits and three RBIs with 22 strikeouts in 56 at-bats while appearing in 23 of Upper Valley’s 32 games. Cossetti started 47 games for the Hawks in the spring, batting .289 with 52 hits and 30 runs scored. When he got to the Nighthawks, his results at the plate hit a wall.

Then came Tuesday night at Rogers Park. Cossetti entered the game in the sixth inning for Bradley’s Dan Bolt and subsequently sent a pair of bombs over the fence. The Norristown, Pa., native finished the game 2-for-3 with five RBIs with his first two home runs of the summer. It was also his first multi-hit game since June 8, a 9-3 loss to Danbury at the Maxfield Sports Complex.

“I’ve been working hard with (Upper Valley hitting coach Brandon) Eady the entire summer, having a game where you see it pay off; it’s definitely rewarding.” Cossetti said before Wednesday’s game against the Vermont Mountaineers at Recreation Field, a contest whose start was delayed by an hour and 20 minutes due to rain. “The toughest thing is being able to control the controlables, you know? Keeping a positive mentality, getting to work every day and knowing the results will come from that.

“It’s not easy, especially because you always want to help the team. Going through a month where you’re struggling … like I said, focusing on getting better every single day, then knowing it’s going to pay off. Seeing it pay off is an amazing feeling.”

Cossetti, a steady presence behind the plate, entered Tuesday’s win with two hits in his last 17 at-bats over seven games. Eady expected a performance like that eventually.

“It finally clicked for him,” Eady said on Wednesday. “He’s a big power hitter. A lot times, the power hitters think they have to hit everything over the fence. A lot of times, you overswing. If you cut down the swing, loosen up and try to put the ball in play up the middle, good things will happen. That’s what happened last night.”

Cossetti had been doing extra work with Eady over the last few weeks, trying to break out of what was turning into a seasonlong slump. Both said the issue was timing, compounded perhaps by a lack of confidence with the bat.

“I think my timing was just off,” Cossetti said. “Yesterday, I made a conscious decision to make an in-game adjustment. It paid off. I wish I made it earlier in the summer.”

Eady said he hopes a breakout game can ignite Cossetti’s offense.

“It was really nice to see, especially for a kid that works so hard,” Eady said. “He really cares. He puts in the time. It was really nice to see him put it all together last night — two balls out.

“Hopefully, he can carry it out to the end of the year. He can be a huge bat for us going forward. He’s great defensively behind the plate. If he can deliver the offense we know he can provide, that’ll be huge for us.”

Big Bat Goes Home: Injuries and departures continue to affect the Upper Valley lineup. This time, it’s an important piece gone from the lineup during the NECBL Northern Division pennant chase.

Easton Kirk, the Wallace State Community College infielder and Troy University commit, departed the team on Monday with a left knee injury. Kirk was one the team’s hottest hitters after he joined the squad on June 30, getting four hits and four RBIs in his first three games. He settled into a .302 batting average in 12 contests with 12 hits, 11 RBIs and five strikeouts in 43 at-bats.

Kirk was also Upper Valley’s every-day first baseman. Gehrig Angiln, the Wright State utility player, played first base against Danbury on Tuesday. Anthony Quirion, the Lamar catcher and infielder, took first against the Mountaineers on Wednesday.

Bolt, the Upper Valley outfielder from Bradley, is also going home before the NECBL playoffs begin in early August for personal reasons.

All-Star Choices: Coaches and general managers will choose the players that will represent the Northern and Southern Divisions at the NECBL All-Star Game on Saturday. Upper Valley head coach Keller Bradford submitted his nominations earlier this week, providing the league with at least 10 possible candidates.

The All-Star Game will be held on July 28 at Vermont’s Recreation Field.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.