Susac goes yard on three-hit night

Giants catcher plates two runs as Scorpions win third straight

Andrew Susac hit 12 homers in 84 games in 2013. (Will Bentzel/

By Ashley Marshall / | October 21, 2013 9:02 PM ET

With many of the game's top hitting prospects suiting up in the Arizona Fall League, it's easy to assume that high-scoring games will rule the day.

On Monday, however, it was a lesser-known prospect who ended up stealing the show in a contest that saw one team being two-hit through the first seven innings.

Giants catcher Andrew Susac -- San Francisco's No. 15 prospect -- went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored out of the No. 8 spot to lead the Scottsdale Scorpions to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Glendale Desert Dogs. It was the team's third straight win.

Susac slugged a two-run homer -- his first of the fall -- off Michael Lorenzen to right-center field with one out in the first inning, he singled to left in the fourth and fifth and struck out to end the seventh.

"I got into a 3-0 count. They were pretty much nowhere near the zone," Susac said of his home run at-bat. "I took a fastball 3-1. It was a good pitch to hit, but I got my 3-1 pitch and I tried not to do too much with it. It ended up being a home run. That's how the game works sometimes.

"We've been doing a couple adjustments to make my hands quicker to the ball. I got in good counts and it was just one of those days I put the bat on the ball."

The outing raised his average to .368 and helped him reach base for his sixth consecutive game.

Behind the plate, Susac was just as important to the Scorpions' success. Scottsdale starter Aaron Northcraft (Braves) scattered two hits and issued a pair of walks while striking out four batters over three innings and five relievers shackled the Desert Dogs the rest of the way.

Pirates right-hander Tyler Waldron worked two hitless innings and Atlanta farmhand Shae Simmons worked around a free pass in a scoreless sixth. Bucs righty Zack Thornton fanned one batter in a perfect seventh before Jeurys Familia (Mets) lost the combined shutout on a hit, two walks and a run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth.

Fellow Mets prospect Cody Satterwhite loaded the bases on a pair of two-out singles and a walk in the ninth, but he escaped unharmed by inducing a game-ending flyout off the bat of Eddie Rosario (Twins) with the bases loaded.

"[Northcraft] did a great job establishing his fastball early," 23-year-old Susac said. "That's what he wanted to do coming into this game. His sink was good and his life was there. He got ahead early in the count.

"All he wanted to do was throw strikes. He was out in front of the ball, pounding [the] zone down and in to lefties. I think he was picking up the target early and throwing the ball straight."

Selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2011 Draft out of Oregon State University, Susac showed solid growth in his second year of pro ball.

He hit .256 with 12 homers -- both career highs -- with 46 RBIs in 84 Eastern League games with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. He also cut down on his strikeout rate and increased his slugging percentage from the previous year.

In 2012, the backstop hit nine homers and batted .244 with Class A Advanced San Jose in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League.

Offense has ruled the first two weeks of Fall League play. There had been an average of 10.3 runs scored in the first 32 games, with just three shutouts. At least three runs have been scored in every contest so far and the average team ERA is 4.80.

"I came in here with high expectations," Susac said of the AFL. "The talent is the best in the country. I'm having a great time. This is a great place to be. It's a true contest of the best of the best."

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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