Former Southington and UConn right-handed pitcher Joe Rivera is playing for his second independent professional baseball team out west this summer.
Rivera began the season with the Tucson (Arizona) Saguaros of the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs. He is now pitching for the San Rafael (California) Pacifics of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball. San Rafael traded for Rivera on Aug. 1.
Rivera pitched in 23 games for Tucson and was 0-1 with a 2.13 ERA and nine saves. In 25.1 innings pitched, Rivera struck out 43, walked 25 and gave up nine runs (six earned) on six hits.
Through Monday, Rivera has pitched in five games for San Rafael. In six innings, he has a 0.00 ERA and has allowed four hits. Rivera has struck out 13 and walked two.
The former Southington and University of Connecticut standout backstop has seen his batting average hover around the Mendoza line (.200) throughout late July and August.
Susi’s average dropped from .200 to .195 after going 0-for-3 in a July 28 game, and it fell as low as .192 after a game on Aug. 6. Susi got back over .200 in a huge way in an 8-0 victory over Asheville on Aug. 10. The left-handed hitter went 2-for-3 with a home run, his third of the season. Susi walked, drove in four runs and scored two more while raising his average to .203. Susi’s homer, a three-run shot in the bottom of the second inning, put Greensboro ahead 4-0. The Grasshoppers are the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who signed Susi on June 12, 2018.
Susi reached base in each of the four games he played in after Aug. 10, including one hit in three of those contests. He was hitting .207 before going 0-for-7 over his past two games. Through Monday, Susi has three home runs, eight doubles, 18 RBI, 23 runs scored, 18 walks and a stolen base in 47 games.
Susi has been good at catcher for Greensboro, starting 45 of the 46 games he has played at that position. In 388.1 innings, Susi has handled 406 total chances. He has 361 putouts, 36 assists and nine errors. Susi has 12 passed balls, but he has thrown out 12 baserunners trying to steal and has compiled a fielding percentage of .978.
Susi also pitched in a game this season. He took the loss in that one appearance and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in 0.1 inning.
The former Southington power bat got to travel out of the country for his baseball experiences in July and August.
Scafariello played for Team North America in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from July 12-21. The Quinnipiac University career record holder for home runs did what he does best, launching a solo shot in a July 17 loss to Curacao. He finished the game with the home run, a single, a run scored and two RBI, the only runs North America scored in the game.
Scafariello finished with four hits in six games, including three singles and a home run, to go along with a run scored, two RBI and two walks (one intentional). He played two games at first base and three games in right field. Scafariello had 22 total chances and recorded 19 putouts and two assists against one error.
Scafariello headed to Canada in late July after being signed by the Ottawa Champions of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. He played five games before being released by Ottawa. Scafariello had two hits, an RBI, four walks and a stolen base in five games.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com