By Laura Amato
It was worth the wait.
Sal Ferro didn’t have many Division I offers a few months ago and the St. Francis Prep baseball star worried he’d never be able to live out his college dream. That changed earlier this month when the left-handed pitcher committed to LIU Brooklyn, a choice that was so easy, Ferro was almost surprised he had to actually say the words.
“I always wanted to play Division I baseball,” Ferro said. “And since I’m short, I don’t really look like I can throw it and I didn’t really get the offers I wanted. So when they offered me, I knew I had to accept.”
Ferro had a dominant senior season with the Terriers this spring, racking up victories on the mound, but the southpaw is quick to point out that his success mostly came from the fun he was having.
He wasn’t just focused on his record on the mound, but on every aspect of his game — including hitting. And while Ferro doesn’t expect to hit much at the college level, he knows the chance to step into the batter’s box this spring made him a better all-around athlete.
“They put me in the lineup and I ended up being one of the best hitters on the team,” Ferro said. “It helps because I’m having more fun. I always loved hitting, so it just makes it more fun. When you hit well, you pitch well and everything just kind of fell together.”
Ferro’s confidence has also grown in the last few weeks, playing summer ball for the Midville Dodgers. He tossed 21 innings in four games last month, picking up a pair of victories and striking out 33. Ferro also allowed just two earned runs and gave up five hits, while also throwing one complete game.
“I’m just trying to throw strikes and try to gain some velocity before I go to college,” he said. “And then I want to get into the weight room as much as I can. Every day, if I can.”
Ferro took his official visit to LIU Brooklyn a little over a month ago and knew — almost immediately — he’d found the program for him. He was impressed with the campus, the location and, most importantly, everything the program has to offer.
“They’re rebuilding right now. But last year they only had seven pitchers and they were able to win 22 games, so I know they can make it work,” Ferro said. “And two of those pitchers were actually primary outfielders, so if they could make it work like that, then I’m pretty confident in that group.”
Ferro was told he’d likely start in the bullpen — the Blackbirds are in need of a good lefty closer — but if he can rack up the strikes and the strikeouts, there’s a possibility he could work his way into the starting lineup. It’s the chance Ferro has been waiting for.
“I think I can help. For sure,” he said. “I just want to win games.”
There’s still plenty of summer left and plenty Ferro wants to improve on, but he can’t quite mask his excitement for what’s next. After all, he’s always wanted to play at the college level and after the murkiness of the future just a few months ago, Ferro is more than ready to take on anything that’s thrown his way.
“I’m excited,” Ferro said. “I think we’re going to be good. Their hitting was great last year, but it was just the pitching that was a little weak and I can help that. I want to win a championship.”