After the Experience of a Lifetime at St.Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York, Brian Pasquale Returns to Staten Island Play Baseball for his Hometown CSI Dolphins.
By Anthony Ferrara
Brian Pasquale spent the last three years as the backup catcher for a Division II Spartans squad that advanced all the way to the College World Series this past summer. I caught up with Brian to get his thoughts on why he made the decision to transfer and how it feels to be back home.
The Banner: Describe your experience playing for a Division II school. And also why you thought it would be best to transfer back home to play for the College of Staten Island after three years at St.Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill.
Brian: My experience there was really unforgettable. I learned a lot about the game and how to approach it in a more professional manner. Our team was pretty successful up there and that, for me, was something that meant a lot. In my second year there we won our conference; the Eastern Coast Conference (ECC). Last year we won 38 games, which just barely missed tying a school record. We won the conference championship again and then advanced on past the regional round. We ended up in the Division II Baseball College World Series. Unfortunately we lost the first game to Colorado Mesa in extra innings. That put us in an elimination game against Minnesota State-Mankato two days later, which we lost as well. So we went two and out and it was painful to me being the backup catcher because I really wanted to get a chance to go out there and help the team in those games; and really in all of the games during my years there. The competition level was so high that I only got a limited amount of playing time so that is mostly the reason that I am transferring back home. I’d like more of an opportunity to get on the field and be a contributor to the team.
The Banner: How do you think that living back home will affect your motivation both on and off the field? Do you think that you will have a harder or easier time focusing on baseball and school?
Brian: Well, I’m definitely excited to move back home. I’ll miss my teammates from St. Thomas, for sure. However, I’m just more comfortable in Staten Island. There are obviously more familiar faces around. I grew up here. With that said I think that my focus will be more locked in to baseball and school because I’m not living the dorm life anymore. There will be much less going on without the distractions that come with living on campus. I’ll just be going to class, going to hit or workout, and then coming back home. So yes, I think that I will be more motivated being around my family and the people that I grew up with. That will help me to work as hard as I can both on and off the field to be able to come in and make a positive impact on this team.
The Banner: Being on a championship team for the last two years, what are your expectations for this team? How do you personally feel like you can help out?
Brian: My whole outlook consists of coming in and becoming a catalyst for the team. I want to be somebody that they can rely on to play my role, contribute, and most importantly, help the team win. I’m not so much focused on trying to replicate what we did at St. Thomas Aquinas because this is a new team with a clean slate. I feel like I can come in and be helpful on both offense and defense. I definitely think that defense is one of the stronger parts of my game. I’ve always felt like I’ve had a good arm. Offensively, I know I can hit, but the added element of being able to use a metal bat this year really excites me. We used wood bats exclusively in the ECC. Overall I think it will help me in the long run. I feel like sometimes I would get jammed on a pitch using wood, but with metal it’ll be a little easier to hit. So that’s all a part of what I’m expecting myself to bring to the table this upcoming season.
The Banner: Last but not least, from my own days of playing baseball, I know that camaraderie with your teammates means a lot. I’m sure you built up plenty of friendships back at St. Thomas Aquinas. Tell me a little bit about how you envision yourself fitting in with your new teammates here at CSI.
Brian: The thing is, I may not know all of my new teammates personally, but I do know who they are. As you know, Staten Island is not a huge place so I’ve seen them around back during our high school days. I actually remember most of them from playing against them in high school and on travel teams. I’ve already been hitting and working out with some of the guys from the team. Nick DelPrete and Joe Palmieri are just a couple of names that come to mind. I believe that it will be an easy transition for me. But again, it’s not about me, it’s about the team. I think that we have a really good group of players and a chance to win a lot of games. Everybody’s work ethic so far seems to match the kind of work ethic that we had up in Sparkhill. I’m happy to be home and I can’t wait to get out there!