After three-week hiatus, baseball student-athletes set to resume play in summer leagues

Joseph Pesce will play summer ball in New England.
Joseph Pesce will play summer ball in New England.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Three weeks after completing their collegiate season, 13 NYIT baseball student-athletes will compete in summer leagues beginning Memorial Day weekend.

The bulk of the players will participate in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball and Long Island Collegiate Baseball leagues.

Here's the full rundown:
Brandon Alberto, North Adams SteepleCats (New England Collegiate Baseball League)
EJ Cumbo
, Long Island Thunder (LICBL)
Matt DeAngelis, Jersey Pilots (Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League)
Brendan Dowd, Long Island Sound (LICBL)
Andrew Florides, Long Island Lightning (LICBL)
Joey Fusco, Long Island Diamond Spikes (LICBL)
Zach Kleinwaks, Long Island Sound (LICBL)
Ryan Kuskowski, Long Island Lightning (LICBL)
Ben McNeill, Long Island Road Warriors (HCBL)
Joseph Murphy, Riverhead Tomcats (HCBL)
Chris Mott, Long Island Road Warriors (HCBL)
Joseph Pesce, Worcester Bravehearts (Futures League)
Nick Vitale, Shelter Island Bucks (HCBL)

Additionally, five NYIT signees are slated to join them:
Kieran Dowd, Long Island Sound (LICBL)
Dean Fazah, Long Island Nor'Easters (LICBL)
Joe Keller, Long Island Sound (LICBL)
Ryan Mueller, Long Island Nor'Easters (LICBL)
Mike Rodriguez, Long Island Diamond Spikes (LICBL)

Alberto was named East Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 23 and to the league's weekly honor roll on April 30. He went 5-4 with a 3.02 ERA and three saves in 17 appearances (four starts) this past season.

Cumbo had been penciled into the lineup as the Bears' center fielder and leadoff hitter this season as a freshman after a standout prep career at W.T. Clarke High School in Westbury. He appeared in six early season games before suffering a season-ending injury, however.

DeAngelis drove in 10 runs, including a game-tying two-run double in the eighth inning in an eventual win against Mercy on March 31.

Brendan Dowd, who appeared in 24 games for NYIT this past season, will be teammates with his brother on the Sound. They also had played together for one season on the East Islip High School varsity squad, when Brendan was a senior and Kieran was a sophomore.

Florides, an infielder who has yet to appear in a game for NYIT, spent four years in the minor leagues with the Blue Jays. He appeared in 62 rookie-league games during that span, primarily in the Gulf Coast League. Toronto drafted him in the 27th round in 2013 out of Holy Cross High School in Flushing.

Fusco led the Bears with a .339 average, .380 on-base percentage and .496 slugging percentage this past season. He earned ECC Player of the Week honors on April 23. Fusco earned an interdisciplinary studies degree and participated in NYIT's graduation ceremonies on Tuesday, but has remaining eligibility.

Kleinwaks hit .278 in 27 games for Bears.

Kuskowski led the Bears in 2018 with 25 RBIs.

A standout defensive shortstop, McNeill started all 39 games for the Bears, hitting .321 with three home runs and eight steals.

Mott appeared in five games as a redshirt sophomore in 2018 after transferring from Suffolk Community College.

Murphy made nine appearances for the Bears as sophomore, producing 12 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings.

Pesce, a two-time ECC Rookie of the Week, hit .306 at home during his freshman season.

Vitale appeared in five games as a sophomore.

The LICBL opens play on Saturday.

The HCBL begins on June 1.

Pesce has his season open the following day in the Futures League. So does DeAngelis in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.

Alberto's team, also in New England, opens play June 5.