By GIB SNYDER III
OBSERVER Sports Reporter
Aside from the inside-the-park home run, the triple is the rarest extra-base hit in baseball and with nine on the season, Dunkirk alum Vinny Bomasuto set a new single-season record for the Monroe Community College Tribunes.
Photo courtesy of Monroe Community College Athletics Dept.
Dunkirk Class of 2011 alum Vinny Bomasuto has been on a tear this season, setting the Monroe Community College single-season record for triples with nine.
"I don't think he knew at the time," MCC head coach Mike Kelley said. "I think he knew he was close. I know he knows now."
Bomasuto has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Tribunes this season, as he leads - or is tied for the lead - in 10 offensive categories.
"Coming into this year I put him in the three hole," Kelley noted. "And I thought he'd do very well. But I didn't anticipate he'd have as many triples as he has now. He's definitely capable of putting up numbers like he's doing."
Bomasuto leads all MCC regulars in average (.438), on-base percentage (.500), slugging percentage (.788), OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage, 1.288), doubles (tied with seven), RBIs (22), runs (tied with 20), hits (35), walks (11) and stolen bases (9).
"He's a natural athlete that learns things quicker than others," Kelley said. "And when you work hard like he does, he's going to gain ground faster than someone who's not as athletic as he is."
The nine triples tie Bomasuto with East Central Community College's Tim Anderson for the NJCAA Division II lead while his .788 SLG places hims sixth in Division II and his .438 AVG has him sitting 18th in the country.
"I don't think he's really made any major adjustments," Kelley said. "I think his approach may be a little different and he's gained a year of experience."
As a sophomore, Bomasuto has grown into one of the leaders for MCC.
"He's probably our number one vocal leader," Kelley said. "Sometimes I even have to calm him down a little bit. He's always in the game from start to finish."
As he did for the Marauders during his high school days, Bomasuto has had success on the mound, where he has gone 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA. In three starts Bomasuto has allowed six runs (three earned) on 14 hits while striking out 14 and walking three over 15-2/3 innings of work.
"That's probably the biggest thing he's changed," Kelley said. "He's a little bit better 0-2 when he's on the mound. He's a guy who really just throws strike after strike. We've had to teach him to throw balls at times just to get hitters to try and chase (pitches).
"He's added a changeup that works really well for him," Kelly continued. "His breaking ball dives a little more in the strike zone. It used to be more of a slider that dived in the strike zone. Now he's throwing pitches in the strike zone that bend out, which is something he lacked last year. He was more of a thrower last year. I think he kind of understands how to go after hitters by not throwing just strikes every single time."
Bomasuto had a successful freshman campaign last spring when he batted .302 with eight doubles, scored 22 runs and stole seven bases. On the mound however, he was unable to carry over the success he had as a senior in high school when he pitched Dunkirk to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Class B Final Four.
"He relies more on his offspeed stuff when he gets ahead in the count," Kelley said. "Again, another year of experience on the mound and I think he understands how to get hitters out a little differently than last year. I think in high school he probably blew everyone away, but at this level, he's got to pitch more than throw and he's made that adjustment this year."
In 22-1/3 innings in 2012, Bomasuto allowed 23 runs (19 earned) on 30 hits while striking out eight and walking five. He finished the season 2-1 with a 7.66 ERA.
Bomasuto has had such success this season in all facets of the game that Kelley had a tough time deciding where the sophomore is most valuable on the diamond.
"Right now, probably at the plate," Kelley said. "But I can't really say. He's really just valuable everywhere. His defense is spectacular and offensively he's our most steady hitter right now.
"If I had to say where he's most valuable, I'd say offensively," Kelly continued. "But he's also extremely valuable on the mound. We just have a pretty deep staff, so he doesn't have to go out there every third day. We can put him out there when we really need to. He's just valuable in every sense of the game."
Because MCC is a two-year school, Bomasuto will be looking to make the move to a four-year program this summer, but Kelley wouldn't be surprised if professional teams start to take an interest.
"There's really nobody that hasn't (shown interest)," Kelley said. "Everybody that I've talked to from Division I, II and III has shown major interest.
"There's really nowhere that he can't play and he's proving that right now," Kelley continued. "And if he continues to put up the numbers he is now, I expect some professional interest."
With great success may come great rewards for Bomasuto, but Kelley doubts that he will feel any pressure to perform as the season wears on.
"I don't think he feels pressure," Kelley said. "He can probably play any position on the field if we needed him to. He's always extremely loose, excited to play and ready to play. I can't imagine - knowing him for two years now - ever being nervous about anything."