Steve DiTrolio doubles as Diamond Nation’s recruiting coordinator and head coach of the Diamond Jacks Super 16U squad.
That young squad will have an intriguing pitching rotation fronted by three lefthanders already committed to Division 1 colleges. DiTrolio, a former assistant coach at Somerville High School, cannot wait see the damage his 16U staff can do on the summer circuit.
“I am looking forward to coaching these three directly,” said DiTrolio. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with them in practices and watch them develop the last few years.”
When the Super 16U squad takes the field and lefthanders Truman Richter, Donovan Zsak (in photo above) and Kyle McCoy take their turns on the mound this summer, it will be must-see-TV, to borrow a phrase.
“I think they push each other without really knowing it,” says DiTrolio. “I see how they interact at practice and are very interested in each other’s development. Donny’s curveball, Kyle’s slider and Truman’s two-seam are all plus pitches in their arsenal. But, by no means, are they limited. Each has a two-to-three pitch mix. These dudes can flat out pitch.”
Richter, at 5-10, 170, boasts a mid-80s fastball that seems to get on you even quicker and has some late movement that creates additional issues for batters. Just a sophomore at Voorhees High School, Richter can mix it up with a curveball, changeup and slider.
“I just started throwing the slider,” said Richter, a Virginia Tech commit. “It’s looking really good. It’s getting better and better every bullpen. It’s got more of a late, tight break to it. I think it will be my best pitch eventually.”
While Richter holds out hope for at least a partial high school season, his is also anxious to join his summer team.
“I cannot wait to get on the field with the guys,” says Richter, “and with our lefty trio. We are going to be unstoppable. We’re going to win a lot of games this summer.”
Richter worked hard on his mechanics last summer under the direction of Diamond Nation pitching coach Brian DelRosso.
“Truman has been on of our best guys on the mound for awhile,” said DelRosso. “He played-up in a few tournaments as a younger player and was still able to get his fastball by guys and keep them off balance with his off-speed pitches. He consistently makes competitive pitches.”
Zsak is a 6-2, 170-pound sophomore at St. Joseph (Met.) High School and is already committed to Virginia. He features a low 80s fastball and a curveball that he used to register a 5-2 record and 44 strikeouts in 26 innings as a freshman. That is remarkable given St. Joes’ typically rugged schedule.
“I really love to compete on the mound and attack hitters with my fastball,” says Zsak. “I’ll mix in a slow curveball and I’m developing a changeup that coach DelRosso has been working with me on. Our Super 16 pitching staff has three D-1 commits and each of us has something different to offer. McCoy is a big kid, mixes his pitches great and his fastball sneaks up on hitters. Richter has a great curveball and can really throw the baseball hard.”
Zsak left his high school coach impressed after an effective freshman campaign.
“Donny showed us a lot as a freshman,” said St. Joseph coach Mike Murray. “It is was nice to see the adjustments he made after his first couple outings.”
Zsak pitched well in a 3-0 loss to perennial power Seton Hall Prep then retired nine straight to close out an extra inning victory over South Plainfield in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
‘He always wants the ball,” says Murray. “I think the Seton Hall loss was his coming out party. He had six or seven strikeouts in the South Plainfield relief effort. He’ll be one of the best lefthanders in the state over the next couple years.”
Whether or not we return to the high school field this spring, Zsak is pumped for the summer.
“I’m excited also for the great lineup of hitters we have,” said Zsak. “We hit. We can run and can really play great defense behind our pitchers.”
The Maryland-bound McCoy figured to be at or near the top of the Hunterdon Central rotation this spring despite being just a sophomore. An impressive baseball acumen pairs nicely with his physical abilities. He is 6-3, 160 and throws a fastball in the low 80s, topping out thus far at 83. But it’s McCoy’s off-speed stuff that is more impressive to this point.
He has unusually good command of his changeup for a sophomore and adds a curveball and a quickly developing slider. But he is even more impressed with the other two-thirds of the lefty trio.
“I have been with Donovan and Truman for awhile and I know they can handle any moment in any situation,” says McCoy. “They both really know how to attack hitters and they never back down. Those guys are my brothers and they are straight up studs.
“I feel like we can compete with anyone. This team is the most exciting team I’ve ever been a part of. They are all just great teammates and we bond really well.”
DiTrolio believes it’s not accident this talented trio of lefties are about to elevate their game at the 16U level.
“It’s because of their work ethic and dedication to improve,” says DiTrolio, “that our Super 16U staff is shaping up to be one of our best we’ve had in a while.”
Fortifying that trio of D-1 lefties for the Super 16U will be righthanders Christian Parejia, a sophomore at Passaic Tech, Jared Greenzang, a sophomore at Hopewell Valley, and Clemson commit Chris Maldonado, a sophomore at Seton Hall Prep.
“They’ll help carry the load of a heavy tournament schedule,” says DiTrolio.