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Colby Cusano slugged his way to a stellar summer with the North Haven Junior American Legion baseball team. Colby batted .324 with 34 hits and 20 RBI to help Post 76 enjoy a plethora of success on the field. (Photo courtesy of Colby Cusano )
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Colby Cusano brought a big-time bat to the North Haven Junior American Legion baseball team this summer, helping Post 76 notch 19 victories, including two in the State Tournament. Colby led North Haven in nearly every offensive category by posting a .324 average with 34 hits and 20 RBI, while batting out of the No. 2 spot in the order.
“I’m usually at the top of the order. I like second more than leadoff,” says Colby. “I’m not a big power guy, but I get on base any way I can.”
Colby typically finds a way to get on base by working the opposing pitcher. He grinds out long at-bats to either draw a walk or attack a mistake made by his counterpart on the mound.
“I think my biggest strength is I’m able to go deep into a pitch count. A lot of my at-bats go to 3-2 or 2-2. I get them working and make them throw a lot of pitches. I think it helps me to get better,” Colby says. “The deeper you get, the more pitches you’ll see. Not only will that help me in later at-bats, but it increases the probability I’m going to get a fastball.”
Tim Binkoski spent plenty of time working with Colby at the Junior Legion level prior to becoming head coach of North Haven’s Senior Legion squad. Binkoski appreciates how hard Colby worked in order to have such a productive campaign at the plate this year.
“Colby is the type of kid that comes to practice ready to work and, each year, he has gotten some aspect of this game better,” says Binkoski. “He’s learned to deal with the adversity of the game, failure of the game, which finally culminated to the season he had this year. He was a huge offensive force for the 17-U team.”
Colby is about to begin his senior year at Notre Dame-West Haven. He looks forward to being a member of the Green Knights’ varsity roster for the first time in his high-school career as a senior.
“I’ve been on the JV team, but this year I’ll be on varsity and, hopefully, will get some playing time,” says Colby. “I found it as a challenge. I want to be the best and, to do that, I have to beat the best. I didn’t think I’d play right away, so I think competing against the best of the best and challenging myself has made me better.”
Colby has patrolled the middle infield since he first started playing baseball. He can also play third base if needed, but Colby believes that he’s best suited to either play second base or shortstop.
“I’ve always been an infielder since I started out. I like how it provides the most action. Ground balls, pop flies—you get the best of everything—so I’ve always liked it. When you’re younger, the best kids always played in the infield, so that’s where I wanted to be,” he says. “This summer, I played mostly shortstop, but for high school and continuing, I’ll be at second base.”
Colby is unsure if he’s going to continue his baseball career at the next level. Right now, he’s mostly focused on what he can accomplish during his senior season at Notre Dame.
“I’m just hoping I can make an impact in any way that the team needs,” says Colby.
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