Serafin hopes for the pros

He’s not a hitter.Joe Serafin makes that clear. So when judging the senior and captain of the baseball team by stature, it begs the question, what position does he play?Ask any opposing America East batter and they could surely tell you about the mean breaking ball and changeup that the 5’11” lefty throws.Head coach Bill Currier would be the first to tell you that Serafin is not blessed with a pitcher’s body, but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the deadliest pitchers in the conference — and reigning America East Pitcher of the Year. “He competes every pitch out there on the mound and doesn’t give in to anything and that’s a big reason why he’s one of the best,” Currier said.Serafin’s success is not something new — it has been a work in progress since he was just a kid playing little league for Simsbury, Conn.”I’ve played baseball all my life, we had a very successful little league team — we made it one game from the little league world series,” Serafin said.His success as a pitcher has carried him through youth leagues, high school and most recently, a roster spot at UVM.A player used to success, Serafin made an immediate impact at Vermont.”Coach gave me a shot to have a roster spot here and I took that chance and ran with it and I’ve had success since my freshman year,” Serafin said.As a freshman, Serafin won his first five decisions en route to being named to the America East All Rookie team, showing good command on his pitches and topping out in the high 80s.His success continued through his sophomore season until a freak injury slowed his progress during his junior year.”It was a dumb injury down in Florida playing football, I rolled my ankle when we were on a spring trip,” Serafin said.The injury held him out of the 2007 season, but he remained a crucial part of the team as a voice from the bench.”It was a tough year, I sat out, became the bench captain that year,” he said.  “But I had that anxiousness to come out and do the best I could.”The stocky pitcher rebounded from the injury in a dominant fashion in the 2008 season, leading the conference in ERA and becoming the America East Pitcher of the Year, all while avoiding the plate as a hitter.”I had a couple at bats in high school, I’ve had one at bat here, against Central Connecticut — I won’t forget it,” Serafin said laughing. “I struck out to end the game.”Additionally, his excellent play in the New England College Baseball League (NECBL) garnered him some MLB buzz.”Hopefully he gets a shot (at the pros) here at the end of the year, he’s a left hander, he deserves everything he’s got and hopefully he gets a chance in June,” Currier said.Serafin, who knows his baseball future is bright, appreciates the road he has traveled and the memories he has forged at Vermont that he says will remain with him forever.”This program has done a lot for me, it’s made me who I am, I’ve created some great friendships, great teammates and met people I’ll never forget for the rest of my life,” he said.Right now, Serafin hopes to remain in the moment and improve every day, hopefully ending up on a MLB roster by the time summer comes around.”I’m hoping to improve this year and get better so scouts will come out and see me some more,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll finish off strong and get picked up by somebody.”