Home Run

0
96

Base_080316ASyosset product a success in summer league

The Syosset-Jericho area has undergone a renaissance of athletic development, with numerous stars shining in high school sports and some continuing their success into collegiate athletics.

One such phenom is Troy Scocca, graduate of St. Dominic High School, who attributes a baseball-filled childhood to his strong passion for the sport.

“When I was young, every kid used to play tee-ball,” said Scocca. “But my Dad also took me to Mets games, played catch with me in the backyard and took me to the batting cages.”

Scocca attended South Woods Middle School in Syosset, where he thanks coaches and staff for helping him make the often difficult transition between middle school and high school.
As a star of the St. Dominic Bayhawks in high school, Scocca attracted attention from various Division 1 teams, including the Fairfield Stags, of Fairfield University in Connecticut. Scocca remembers their staff approaching him after a game in his junior year, expressing their interest in his talents and offering him a tour of their campus.

Base_080316B“The campus was very beautiful,” Scocca said. “I wanted to play for a Division 1 team and in a successful program if I could.”

Fairfield baseball head coach Bill Currier, who gave Scocca the tour of the Fairfield campus, also recalls drawing interest in him early in their relationship.

“Troy was a strong kid, had a very good arm and a good bat,” Currier recalls. “He seemed to like the game, was willing to work at it and was a good student.“

After a short adjustment stage, Scocca became a central player for the Stags, with Currier even citing him as an integral part of their 2016 MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) championship run.

“He worked [on his game] and over the past two years he’s been a productive offensive player,” said Currier. “He’s hit in the middle of our order, usually somewhere around the five or six hole. He’s had a lot of big hits for us in this championship season.”

His continuous success in Fairfield led Currier to find him a spot in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), a NCAA-sanctioned summer baseball league and one of the most prestigious of its kind. Currier had previously coached at the University of Vermont, so his connections to Brian Gallagher, general manager of the Vermont Mountaineers, allowed Scocca to join the reigning champions of the NECBL.

Base_080316C“I know it’s one of the top three places in the league to play,” said Currier. “So I knew Troy would have a good experience, he’d be taken care of and he’d get great opportunities.”

And as soon as Scocca entered the Mountaineers in June 2016, he seized those opportunities with a vengeance. He has led the Mountaineers in RBI throughout the season, with 27 since July 28, tied for fourth in the league. He also boasts the third best batting average on the team with .299.

“He’s made some clutch hits, played good defense for us and is certainly making some good progress,” said Gallagher.

On June 27, Scocca made his mark on the Mountaineers franchise by accomplishing one of the rarest feats in baseball—hitting for the cycle. By hitting a single, double, triple and homerun in a single game, Scocca became the first player to do so in Mountaineers history.
“That was the experience of a lifetime,” Scocca reflected. “I didn’t know that I was the first one to hit it in a Mountaineers uniform until afterwards. I was just happy that we got the win that day.”

“That was certainly a career day for him,” said Currier. “Hitting for the cycle might not happen even once in your career, but to have it happen in a NCAA-sanctioned wood bat league, that’s pretty special.”

The accomplishment earned Scocca the title of NECBL Player of the Week and a place on the NECBL All-Star Team. For the Mountaineers as a whole, after beginning the season on a humble 2-11 start, the team holds the fourth best record in their division at 17-21, good for the playoffs if they can maintain the standing. Gallagher cites Scocca as a big part of their recent success, as one of their “everyday players” in a constantly changing roster. He sees him as essential component of a potential back-to-back championship season.

Currier, on the other hand, hopes this summer league success translates over to the NCAA season.

“I want to see him to move up a little bit in the lineup and continue to work hard to become a better outfielder. I think he has the chance to become one of the premier hitters in the league this year and a first team All-MAAC player.”

While Scocca shares these aspirations, he also searches for something greater.

“I hope that I can go back to Fairfield and have a great year, hopefully we can win the MAAC championship again,” said Scocca. “But my main goal is to get drafted at some point. Hopefully, at this time next year I will be drafted to an MLB team.”

As the future looks bright for this rising star hailing from Syosset, Scocca also takes the time to thank his supporters on Long Island.

“Shoutout to my mom and dad for all the support and always being there for me,” said Scocca. “Shoutout to my friends for taking the time out of their days to come out, hit with me and practice with me. It’s been a great experience to grow up in Syosset, meet so many caring people and form such great relationships over the course of my life.”

Leave a Reply