Sorrentino: Newest Night Hawk ready to rock

Ex-Bear Thomas Sorrentino, who’ll turn 21 this week, will report to his new gig, NAIA’s Thomas University in August. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

BASEBALL

After two seasons with

Bishop State Wildcats,

ex-Bear inks with Thomas U.

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

The next rung on the baseball ladder for Spring Hill’s Thomas Cody Sorrentino is NAIA’s Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

The newest Night Hawk arrives in the Peach State fresh from two seasons of junior college activity with the Bishop State Community College Wildcats in Mobile, Alabama.

Thomas Sorrentino

The 6-foot, 210-pound southpaw pitcher and first baseman saw playing time during a pair of sub-par seasons: 2017’s 17-38 mark and last year’s 15-31 campaign.

Sorrentino, who graduated in 2015 from Central High as a three-time All-Hernando County all-star selection, took a year off before enrolling at BSCC.

The road to Georgia

Thomas was born at Spring Hill Regional Hospital to parents Al and Denine Sorrentino.

Denine played college basketball while Al, who has served as the Bears’ head baseball coach for eight seasons as well as school’s athletic director, is a career educator in Pasco and Hernando counties.

Thomas and brother Zach, who also graduated in 2015, have called Spring Hill home for their entire life.

Not surprisingly, Thomas traced athletic roots to baseball diamonds at age 5.

He recalls playing West Hernando Little League for two seasons prior to switching to Spring Hill Dixie Baseball.

He played baseball at the Anderson Snow Sports Complex from the age of seven until high school, alternating mostly between pitcher and first base.

As a youngster, Thomas also recalls playing recreational basketball at the Hernando County Family YMCA in Spring Hill while his mother served as a coach for three seasons.

Interestingly, when he attended Powell Middle School, he never played in any sports for the Panthers.

The main reason? The Panthers didn’t offer his favorite past time: baseball.

Thomas Sorrentino

“I don’t know when I got the itch for baseball, but I fell in love with the game when I was young,” recalled the black-tressed and brown-eyed Sorrentino. “When I pitch, I’m more of a control guy. I don’t try to blow the ball past people.

“… To my credit, I think I can throw any pitch on any count. Basically, I utilize two types of fastballs, one is a four-seamer and the other a two-seamer, plus a changeup, slider and a curveball. My velocity is mainly mid-80s.”

Once he matriculated at the Ken Austin Parkway campus at CHS, Thomas played four seasons under his father.

Al Sorrentino

From 2012-15, the left-handed hitting Sorrentino played in 99 varsity games and walked away with 98 career hits.

Playing fulltime at Central Park – a ballpark that’s tailored for pitchers – Sorrentino finished his prep career with an outstanding .363 batting average.

In a park where the ball does not carry, it’s understandable why Sorrentino managed to yank only two homeruns in 270 at-bats and collect 21 doubles.

Straddling the rubber, Sorrentino also pitched in 32 games, making 24 career starts.

Across 139.0 innings, Thomas posted a combined 8-10 won-lost mark with a 2.17 earned run average.

In four seasons, Sorrentino issued 46 walks, but fanned 113 batters.

Thomas Sorrentino           Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

He graduated from CHS with a fine 3.6 grade point average but his compass wasn’t set.

He says he didn’t have a scholarship in hand following the Bears’ commencement exercises, but could’ve walked on at Florida State College in Jacksonville.

“I remember at that time, I was a little scared of living home,” noted Thomas. “I was playing in 18-under men’s league in Clearwater when a Bishop State coach saw me play.”

It turned out to be Brooksvillian David Pugh, who was always searching for local talent.

With Pugh’s advice, Sorrentino opted to walk on at BSCC for an opportunity to play.

Little did he know that after one semester on campus, the Wildcats liked what they saw and offered Sorrentino a scholarship.

He and his roommate, Bradley Jarvis, served as the ’Cats two top hurlers.

In 51 games in 2017, Sorrentino smacked 45 hits for a robust .321 average, highlighted by knocking in 26 runs batted in.

But on the rubber, Sorrentino went 2-6 and yielded 56 hits in 33 innings. His ERA was the highest its ever been at 6.48.

This past season, his game reversed.

Sorrentino played less at first base and swung the bat like a pitcher, collecting seven hits in 43 at-bats, finishing at .163.

Thomas Sorrentino

But while his hitting slipped, his pitching continued to progress.

In 13 appearances, Sorrentino started 10 games and hurled eight complete game tilts.

Across a team-best 69.0 innings, he drastically improved to 7-2 overall.

While he issued 19 free passes he punched out a team-leading 65 batters.

His ERA dropped substantially to 3.13.

Summing up his two-year stay, he finished a composite 9-8 on the mound with a 4.22 ERA, highlighted by 87 strikeouts across 102.1 frames.

At the plate, he leveled off departing as a .284 hitter.

Thomas Sorrentino

“The experience was great at Bishop State,” noted Sorrentino. “I met a lot of good friends. It really helped me get to where I wanted to go.

“… As a freshman I hit well, but didn’t throw well,” he said. “This past season, I threw really well.”

On why Sorrentino opted for Thomas U.

“I saw they won 28 games and they have really nice facilities. And they’re adding stuff to the field. They seemed like they are going to make some noise.”

Staying in shape

Thomas University Night Hawks

Before reporting to Thomas University in August, Sorrentino is maintaining his Paul Reddick workout regimen.

After giving himself six weeks off to rest his arm, he’s expecting to return to long toss in a week’s time.

During the interim, he stays busy helping his mother with her lawn care business.

He’s also looking forward to playing alongside 2015 Hernando County Player of the Year – Justin Young of Hernando High at Thomas U.

Justin Young Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

“One of my goals is to hit 90 with my fastball. My goal is to be a professional baseball player,” explained Sorrentino.

In addressing what’s keeping him from attaining his dream, “I’m not sure. But I’ve gotta get on that Drive Line system to improve my velocity for sure,” he said.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” added Sorrentino. “It’s close to home so my parents can see me more than once. I want to see what I can do. Bottom line, I have to put myself in the best situation to get to the next level.”

Thomas Sorrentino

Sorrentino, who maintained a 3.2 grade point average at Bishop State, expects to study marketing at Thomas University.

“At Thomas, I’ve got two years to make it happen,” stressed Sorrentino. “It’s a crucial time for me. I’d like to play this game as long as I can.

“… My backup plan is to finish my marketing degree. It would be kinda neat to work with somebody like Nike or UnderArmour,” he shared. “I’m excited to see what Thomas has to offer and more importantly, what I can do with this tremendous opportunity.”

By the Numbers:

Central’s Thomas Sorrentino (2012-15)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

HITTING

Thomas Sorrentino
 

YEAR

 

GP

 

AB

 

R

 

H

 

2B

 

3B

 

HR

 

RBI

 

.AVG

2012

18

37

8

13

0

0

0

4

.351

2013*

25

66

18

28

6

0

0

16

.424

2014*

27

80

11

32

7

0

1

20

.400

2015*

29

87

12

25

8

0

1

22

.287

 

TOT

 

99

 

270

 

49

 

98

 

21

 

0

 

2

 

62

 

.363

* Denotes All-Hernando County.selection.

PITCHING

 

YR

 

AP

 

GS

 

CG

 

IP

 

H

 

R

 

ER

 

BB

 

KO

SO

0

 

W

 

L

 

ERAA

2012

3

0

0

7.1

7

0

0

4

3

0

0

0

0.00

2013

9

6

1

26.1

35

24

20

16

14

0

1

2

5.32

2014

9

7

3

47.1

36

13

9

13

44

3

3

3

1.33

2015

11

11

3

58.0

54

26

14

13

52

2

4

5

1.69

 

TOT

 

32

 

24

 

7

 

139.0

 

132

 

63

 

43

 

46

 

113

 

5

 

8

 

10

 

2.17

By the Numbers: Bishop State CC’s

Thomas Sorrentino (2017-18)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

HITTING

Thomas Sorrentino
 

YEAR

 

GP

 

AB

 

R

 

H

 

2B

 

3B

 

HR

 

RBI

 

.AVG

2017

51

140

19

45

6

0

1

26

.321

2018

24

43

7

7

2

0

1

8

.163

 

TOT

 

75

 

183

 

26

 

52

 

8

 

0

 

2

 

34

 

.284

PITCHING

 

YR

 

AP

 

GS

 

CG

 

IP

 

H

 

R

 

ER

 

BB

 

KO

 

SO

 

W

 

L

 

ERA

2017

9

1

0

33.1

56

42

24

12

22

0

2

6

6.48

2018

13

10

8

69.0

65

34

24

19

65

2

7

2

3.13

 

TOT

 

22

 

11

 

8

 

102.1

 

121

 

76

 

48

 

31

 

87

 

2

 

9

 

8

 

4.22

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

forty two + = fifty