By Laura Amato
Patrick Morrissey is usually a starting pitcher. But a few weeks ago the Holy Cross baseball standout, who has been playing for the Midville Dodgers scout team this summer, was presented with an opportunity he wouldn’t normally get during the high-school season.
For one game Morrissey was a closer. And he loved it.
The ace came in to wrap up the game against the Great Lake Canadians July 2, earned his team the save and even managed to put up a strikeout during his one inning of work. For Morrissey, it was a step out of his comfort zone, but one he’s confident taking this summer.
“I don’t know how to explain it really,” Morrissey said. “You do pitch differently when you close. When you’re starting, you don’t really begin at 100 percent, but when you close, you put everything into every pitch.”
As far as Morrissey is concerned, summer is the perfect time to take a few chances on the mound.
It’s an opportunity to expand his game, fine-tune his skills and, take a slightly different approach to pitching.
Of course, he’s still trying to throw strikes every time he winds up. That probably won’t ever change.
“I’m just keeping my control and staying consistent in the strike zone,” he said. “I’m just trying to keep pounding the strikezone basically.”
In his first four games this summer—including the save—Morrissey went 2-1 on the mound, posted a 1.40 ERA and struck out 19. He gave up just seven hits in 15 innings of work.
Of course, those numbers are par for the pitching-course for the rising senior. Morrissey boasted a 0.89 ERA at Holy Cross this spring, racking up 99 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. For good measure, he also tossed a no-hitter.
While he isn’t fighting for a city title this summer, Morrissey has kept his competitive edge simply because he’s wearing a Midville uniform. He knows that there are still expectations from the Midville coaching staff during the summer.
“Greg (Modica) is a good coach and he basically pushes us to our limit,” Morrissey said. “He gets the best out of us. He really does.”
Midville’s schedule—and by extension Morrissey’s—has been hectic the past few weeks. The squad competed in Indianapolis earlier this month and the hours spent traveling forced the team to bond quickly.
It’s an impressive feat, particularly with players from all over the city coming together, but if you ask Morrissey, it’s not any more impressive than him coming in for a save.
“We mess with each other, but when it gets down to the game we’re serious,” he said. “It’s really a good bonding experience. We’re just playing as much as can and we’re really starting to build some good bonds with each other.”
Morrissey is excited for the rest of the summer with Midville and is anxious to get on the mound as much as he can. For him, summer is the chance to get better and that’s exactly what he intends to do, no matter when he comes into a game.
“It’s been really fun so far,” he said. “I’m hoping to find my college as soon as I can, keep pitching and get into the gym. It’s just about getting better.”