Minor League Sports

Former Hawkeye Nick Roscetti tries to take advantage of chance with Wisconsin

Iowa's Nick Roscetti (3) fields a Maryland ground ball during a game at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Sunday March 27, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa's Nick Roscetti (3) fields a Maryland ground ball during a game at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Sunday March 27, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — You’d like to think every kid gets a full chance when they’re in pro ball, though that’s probably not reality.

Nick Roscetti feels like he’s getting his right now, and he’s aiming not to throw it away.

The former Iowa Hawkeye infielder is in the Midwest League with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and hitting his way into more playing time. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored in his team’s 7-2 win Thursday night over the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“Always be ready for an opportunity and take advantage of it,” Roscetti said. “All throughout high school and college, that’s what I’ve been taught. When you get an opportunity, be ready for it. I get out there every day, and whether I’m starting or not, I get my work in. Just get ready for my chance and make the most of it.”

Roscetti was a 26th-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016 but had his first pro season cut short by a broken foot. He hit .264 in 45 games last season for Rookie-level Helena.

The Springfield, Ill., native has hit from day one with Wisconsin. His batting average stands at .326 after Thursday’s game.

“I’ve been talking to our hitting coach, Hainley Statia, a lot,” Roscetti said. “I’ve really slowed down my approach. I’m seeing the ball, making good contact. I’ve tried to put the ball in play, tried not to strike out a lot. When you put the ball in play, good things happen. I’ve just kind of rolled with that.”

Roscetti said he keeps in touch with most of his former Hawkeyes teammates, several of whom also are playing professional baseball. First baseman Jake Adams is with Quad Cities in the MWL and pitcher Nick Gallagher with Lake County.

Already 24 years old, he’ll probably have to start moving fast to have a shot at the big leagues. But he’s not thinking that way right now.

He can’t.

“That (injury) kind of set me back a little bit,” he said. “But I’m just trying to take it one game at a time. As long as I feel like I’m performing like I need to perform, I’m not worried about the other stuff I can’t control. I’m just trying to play the game the best I can, and if something like getting moved up, or even getting recognized more, that’s my goal. Just keep playing hard.”

The Kernels (25-26) dropped the finale of this three-game series and nine-game homestand, as Wisconsin (24-30) scored a pair of go-ahead runs in the sixth inning against losing reliever Carlos Suniaga (2-3) and added three more in the ninth against Jared Finkel.

Cedar Rapids plays a weekend series at Burlington and has Monday off, returning home Tuesday against Beloit.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

 

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