87.4 F
Spring Hill
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
HomeSportsBaseballSavarese Gets All-American Titles

Savarese Gets All-American Titles

- Advertisement -

BROOKSVILLE — As Michael Savarese was wrapping up a stellar high school career in 2023, there was speculation that he could be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. But Hernando High coach Tim Sims said he saw a better, although slower, path for his right-handed pitcher to follow.

That involved moving on to Pasco-Hernando State College, where Sims said Savarese would get top-notch instruction from coach Lyndon Coleman and pitching coach Brady Bogart, a former Inverness Citrus HIgh and Saint Leo University pitcher. As it turned out, Sims’ prediction was correct.

An exclamation point to Sim’s prediction and Savarese’s first college season came Monday when he was named a National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Second-Team All-American. And that only was reinforced Tuesday afternoon when it was announced that Savarese had been selected as a National Baseball Coaches Association second-team All-American.

“It went pretty much the way I wanted it to go,” Savarese said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “It was a good first year. I think I grew a lot.”

- Advertisement -

In one regard, the growth was literal. At PHSC’s first weigh-in last fall, the 6-foot-3 Savarese checked in at a slender 205 pounds. Coleman and Bogart immediately started Savarese on a weight-lifting and nutrition program that brought his weight to 220 pounds and added a little velocity to his fastball. In another way, the growth was figurative.

“It was another level up from what I was used to in high school and I had to adjust,” Savarese said. “At this level, everyone’s good and there aren’t any easy outs. You might be able to do something one time, but you can’t get away with doing it a second time. I think one of the biggest things I learned this year was that you always have to stay one step ahead of the competition.”

Savarese may have been more than a step ahead of the competition as a freshman. After finishing his Hernando High career among the all-time leaders in strikeouts (right up there with former major leaguers Bronson Arroyo and Mike Walker), Savarese did more of the same in the college game. In 15 appearances (14 starts), Savarese recorded 104 strikeouts to rank ninth in the nation in Division II.

Savarese went 9-2 and, faster than anyone expected, became the ace of Paso-Hernando’s staff. “Michael was slated to come out of the bullpen when the season started,” Coleman said. “But we were just devastated by injuries to our pitchers early on. I found myself thinking, “Where am I going to turn to? I have no one to start” Then, I said, ‘Hey, Michael Savarese was one of the best high school pitchers in the state last year, so I’ll go with him.’”

That move paid off fin a big way for Coleman. Savarese held opposing batters to a collective .191 batting average while posting a 2.96 earned-run average as the Bobcats finished with a 33-22 record.
“What Michael did was the same thing Michael did in high school. He dominated,” Coleman said. “Calling pitches for Michael makes you feel like every pitch is coming with a 1-2 count.”

Savarese said what he did as a freshman is just part of a progression he hopes someday will lead to a career in professional baseball. Major League Baseball, once again, will hold its annual draft in July. Once again, there is talk that Savarese could be drafted because several teams scouted him this spring. But there are no guarantees.

“If I get drafted, great,” Savarese said. “But I’m totally fine with another year here. I’m very comfortable with my teammates and my coaches and I know I’ll only get better if I’m here for another year.”

How much better can Savarese get? “He’s already very good,” Coleman said. “There’s really not a lot that he needs to improve on. I guess, with any pitcher, you always want to see an increase in sustained velocity. His fastball this season was topping out at 94 miles an hour and he was steadily between 87 and 92. I’d like to see him get up to where he’s topping out at 96 or 97. But, really, it’s not out of the question that someone as big and strong as Michael could someday hit 100 miles per hour.”

Savarese isn’t quite at 100 yet. But he’s working on it. Savarese said he’s not playing any organized baseball this summer. Instead, he’s working on an individual throwing program. “I think that’s the best way to go at this point because I threw a lot of innings this year and in my senior year of high school,” Savarese said. “I’m happy about how this season went, but I know I can get better.”

Hernando pitcher Michael Savarese gets congratulated by teammate Tyson Morgan after 6-0 win over Satellite High (FILE PHOTO) [Photo by Joseph Dicristofalo]
Hernando pitcher Michael Savarese gets congratulated by teammate Tyson Morgan after 6-0 win over Satellite High (FILE PHOTO)
[Photo by Joseph Dicristofalo]

Patrick Yasinskas
Patrick Yasinskas
Pat Yasinskas is an award winning writer now in the fifth decade of a career writing about sports on all levels. He previously covered the National Football League for The Tampa Tribune, The Charlotte Observer and ESPN.com and has written numerous freelance stories on all sports for multiple national and regional magazines and newspapers. He's covered 23 Super Bowls, been a member of the Selection Committee for The Pro Football Hall of Fame and co-authored a book on the NFL's Carolina Panthers in 2007. He began his career covering sports in Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties for The Tampa Tribune while a student at Saint Leo University in the late 1980s. His first full-time job was covering Hernando County sports for The Tampa Tribune from 1990-92. He's thrilled to be back writing about sports in Hernando County, where it all began.
- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.

Most Popular