USF Grad Excels in Pro Baseball Relief Pitching Debut
July 5, 2009
Story courtesy of St. Francis Sports Information
University of Saint Francis (Ind.) graduate Mickey Cassidy made the most of his first opportunity in professional baseball recently.
Cassidy, who helped USF to its best record ever in 2009, signed with the Bay Area Toros in Texas City, Texas near Galveston, Texas. The Toros are in the Continental Baseball League. Cassidy made his first appearance on the mound in relief against the Coastal Kingfish earlier this week. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, yielded two hits, fanned one and didn't allow an earned run in the Toros' win. Cassidy got the win since the Toros starter only pitched 4 1/3 innings.
"I took over in the fifth with one out and runners at second and third," Cassidy recalled. "I got the first batter I faced to pop out to second and the next guy to ground to first. I took the throw from our first baseman to get the third out.
"The only other thing i remember is taking deep breaths before coming in and trying to stick with a similar routine as I did at USF," Cassidy continued. "Baseball is baseball, no matter what state you're in. The guys are tougher to get out, a little bigger, faster and stronger, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to throwing strikes and keeping batters off balance. The coaches were very pleased with my outing and we won all 4 in the series against the Coastal Kingfish. It puts us one game out of first place with a series this weekend versus the Texarkana Gunslingers."
Cassidy said the hardest part is getting used to the heat.
"It's over 100 every day, but I'm having a great time playing ball," Cassidy said.
Cassidy, a native of Toledo, Ohio, said the team is not affiliated with a major-league organization, but that scouts attend nearly every game. Cassidy played shortstop, right field and picked up a USF record nine saves for USF in 2009. He played five weeks in Canada before attending a pro showcase in Detroit, where he was noticed and picked up by the Toros.