Michael DiSalvo was a three-varsity star lefty pitcher for the Washingtonville Wizards. In his senior year he was even awarded the role of team captain. When you think of pitchers it’s rare to think of them as leaders of the team due to the fact, they aren’t capable of being on the field every day. That is just one of many reasons that Michael is a special player. In his senior year he finished with a 2.66 ERA. His leadership was displayed through his performance and his way of verbally leading his teammates when he was off the field or not in the game. When asking DiSalvo’s high school coach Bob Bauer about his leadership skills he stated “He was by far the most vocal leader I had during games. There were numerous times where I even had to take him aside and calm him down that’s how passionate he was about winning along with being a leader.” After an outstanding high school career along with many offers to play baseball DiSalvo decided to call SUNY Oswego home for the next four years.
Coming into college as a freshman is no easy task, you have to adjust to a new lifestyle, make new friends and completely start over again. Joining a college and being an athlete is an even harder task to maintain. That’s what pitcher Michael DiSalvo had to do in the fall semester of 2016. In his freshman year DiSalvo didn’t get to see the field once all season. This was one of the biggest adjustments he had to face in his entire baseball career. When talking to Mike’s father Anthony DiSalvo he told me “Mikey never got to low on himself, even though I could tell it was really eating away at him that he had a whole year away from being in a live game.”
He has only pitched two innings over the last two years, but that doesn’t make Mike unmotivated. When asked about his playing time over the past couple of seasons he states “I came to this school to become a better player. Not seeing the field all the time like I did in high school turned me into a more-hungry player. I want to be the best I can be and show my coaches I deserve to be out their when I am an upper-classmen as I am now.” Not being the star of a team was only one of Mike’s biggest adjustments. When asking him about how he fit into this team as a freshman he told me “Being on a sports team was rough at first, I am an introverted person so meeting new people isn’t all for me. After being around these guys everyday for a month, they were like my brothers. I feel as if I was home and it really made me happy with my decision to come here knowing the friendships I built through being a part of this team.” Growing up with Michael and playing on the same high school team as him, I see a different person both mental and physical. When asked about his training over the past two years he stated “I take weight lifting a lot more serious than I did in high school. I see results of being able to throw the ball harder and my arm doesn’t get tired after throwing bullpen sessions.” These are the type of things he has been able to hone in on over the past two seasons.
Coming into this season DiSalvo’s expectations are high for himself and this team. Last year Oswego’s men were crowned SUNYAC Tournament champions. When asked about his experience being on that run he states “It was great. The chemistry of our team was phenomenal last year. As an underclassmen experience, that though it makes me go into these next two seasons wanting more.” This shows the winning culture that this college has created in the years DiSalvo has been on this team. He stated “In my mind the sky is the limit for this team and that’s been the mindset since the day I step foot on campus here. I just want to be a big contributor in one of these seasons. I really want and I feel like I need to prove to myself and everyone else that my hard work has paid off.” This is something Disalvo is looking to show everyone this season.
Having a lesser role on the team is never easy for an athlete but Mike believes that this year his role will be nothing but small. When talking to DiSalvo’s former high school and travel baseball Coach Bob Bauer about DiSalvo’s new college role out of the bullpen he stated “I coached him for twelve years and over that twelve years I called his number in a plethora of positions and I can tell you he barely ever let me down. The way he approaches the game batter to batter he will succeed in any position he’s put in on the field.” That’s a lot of high praise as Michael DiSalvo gears up for his third season as a pitcher for the Oswego State Lakers. Moving forward DiSalvo told me “I’m just trying to be the best pitcher and I want my name to be known around here these next two years.”