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. Coming out of Washingtonville High School being a lefty pitcher, he had many offers to choose from. At the end of the day, Oswego State University was the place he wanted to call home for the next four years.
In high school he was the top pitcher on his team and coming to Oswego was no easy change. 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.