June 26th, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y - In week three of the season Mike Pepio (East Stroudsburg) pitched six and a third perfect innings in two appearances and has been named the Spotlight Player of the Week.
Pepio took the mound June 20th and pitched the final three frames in the Dutchmen’s 10-0 win over Glens Falls striking out five and earning the save.
Head Coach Nick Davey says the team has a better chance to win when Pepio is pitching.
“I’m excited when he’s on the mound because he really fills up the strike zone and really competes and gives us a chance to win every time he’s out there,” Davey said.
The Lake Come, New Jersey native was back on the mound again on the 23rd in the first game of a double header at East Field against Glens Falls. In the abbreviated seven inning game, Pepio relieved Teddy Paisley (Virginia) and tossed three and a third perfect innings and struck out four in a 6-5 loss.
Coach Davey says Pepio has benefited from seeing how hard his teammates prepare to pitch on and off the field.
“I think some guys have really showed him what it takes to be successful and I think he’s buying in,” Davey said.
Because of all that hard work, Pepio says his accuracy on the mound has gotten much better.
“I’m just commanding the strike zone better, I’m really getting after it on the mound when I’m throwing my first pitch curveballs to really get ahead on lefties and my fastball command in and out of at bats is really helping me,” Pepio said.
But Pepio does more than just play baseball, he teaches it. He has been teaching kids how to play throughout the season as a part of the Phillips Hardware Baseball Buddies program and little league instruction program the Dutchmen have volunteered their time for.
“Baseball can really have a positive impact on someone’s life and it definitely has on me when I’m being successful out there and I want kids to get out there and learn from what we're able to do and it’s a cool learning experience,” Pepio said.
Pepio says he also loves teaching baseball because he enjoys being around little kids.
“It’s fun to hang out with the little kids, I wish I was that little again,” Pepio said.
Pepio will be back on the mound this Wednesday where he is set to start on the road against the Oneonta Outlaws.