Senior pitcher Craig Zysk never threw a pitch until college. But you wouldn’t know it.
“Originally I came in as an outfielder and I decided to give pitching a try,” Zysk said. “My dad was a pitcher in college, so I felt like I already had the natural mechanics.”
After a while I decided to focus just on pitching and see where it could take me.”
Zysk currently leads the Springfield College baseball team in wins (4), appearances (11), and ERA (2.53). He has held batters to a .210 batting average.
Zysk gathered two wins and a save in his first trip to Arizona this spring during the baseball’s annual trip.
“Arizona was an amazing experience,” he said. “One I’ll never forget.”
When asked about what helped him get to where he is right now Zysk responded,
“Hard work, continuous repetition, and lots of practice, have gotten me to the point where I am now.”
“I always knew that I had the ability,” Zysk added. “But considering the number of innings I pitched last season I am kind of shocked at the success I am having.”
If you’ve gone to a game you might have heard Zysk cheering his teammates on and considered him the unofficial leader of the team. No one has shown more fire in the dugout. Some people refer to him as a Mario brother because of his black, thick mustache.
“You don’t always have to be a captain to be a leader in the dugout,” Zysk said.
“The mustache is a fun way of representing my intense passion for the game, and it also helps to intimidate opposing players. I’ve even gotten some comments from umpires.”
Zysk throws three pitches. Zysk features a two-seam fastball, curveball, change-up, and sometimes throws sidearm as well. What makes him so deceptive is his three-quarter release, and his ability to change planes with his arm slot.
“During the summer I started and relieved so I got experience in both parts of pitching,” Zysk said. “The more innings I’ve thrown has helped me to build my confidence on the mound.”
Springfield has clinched a berth in the NEWMAC tournament for the first time since 2009. It’s the first time they have made the tournament in the new format, which features the top four teams in the league, instead of the top six.
“I’ve always thought we had the talent and now we’re putting all three aspects of the game consistently together, pitching, fielding, and hitting,” Zysk said.
Jared Gidan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pride wrap up the regular season with a key series against Babson, and two nonconference games against Amherst and Elms College.
The first round of the NEWMAC tournament bgins next weekend as the Pride will look to continue with their success.