In the SFCBL, South Florida Collegiate Baseball League, Owls of a feather compete together.
That’s the summer vibe for a handful of Florida Atlantic players who are competing with each other for the SFCBL title the ultimate prize that comes with it.
“I would like to hold bragging rights over my other teammates,” said FAU infielder Jared DeSantolo, who plays for the North Division leading Palm Beach Diamond Ducks.
Most of the 2020 FAU roster has been spread out throughout the league.
FAU Owls at SFCBL
DeSantolo has company within the Diamond Ducks in pitchers Jackson Vescelus and Adrien Reese, who pitched four shutout innings against the Boyton Beach Buccaneers on Tuesday while striking out seven. The Phipps Park Barracudas (pitcher Michael Schumer, infielder Cade Parker and outfielder Victor Castillo) is tied with the Diamond Ducks with having the most Owls players.
The South Division leading West Boca Snappers have two Owls in catcher Nick Toney and shortstop Wilfredo Alvarez. The Fort Lauderdale Knights (outfielder Mitch Hartiga), the Delray Beach Lightning (outfielder Jackson Wenstorm), the Florida Pokers (pitcher Dante Visconti) and the Pompano Beach Clippers (infielder BJ Murray) each have one Owl.
The Buccaneers have three incoming FAU freshmen on their team. Chief among the trio is infielder Nolan Schanuel, who went 2-for-3 against the Diamond Ducks to raise his batting average to .300.
“It’s exciting to watch the kids we got coming in and what they can do,” DeSantolo said. “It’s good to get to know them before we get to school.”
The stories that come from playing against each other have been bountiful. A game between the Pokers and Barracudas pitted roommates Visconti, Parker and Castillo against each other.
“[Visconti] struck me out the first time and teased me for a whole week and then I told him the next time I faced him I was going to get a hit and the next week he through against me and I got a hit. We laughed about it for a while,” Castillo said. “We give him a hard time because he plays like he’s the best guy out there but we love it. He competed and makes us compete.”
“We have fun when we meet each other outside of the game,” Parker said. “We talk about our competition and it’s fun to get a couple hits off your buddy.”
“I actually faced my roommate Jared DeSantolo the other day and drilled him on my last pitch,” Hartigan said. “It’s interesting that we get to compete against each other.”
FAU Baseball in 2020
DeSantolo finds it a little weird to go from competing with FAU teammates to against them in the same year but it’s not something he’s no used to.
“We’re used to it because we do it in intersquads almost every day in the fall,” DeSantolo said, “so it kind of gets back to that feel of fall ball.
The Owls finished the 2019 season 41-21 in the Athens Regional. The Owls were 10-6 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. DeSantolo and other players are appreciative about getting to play during this time of crisis. The summer season doesn’t make up for the lost spring.
“Nothing makes up for losing basically a whole year of college ball,” DeSantolo said. “But they gave us back our eligibility back, which is cool. I’m excited for next year. I think we’re going to have a really good team, even better than last year.”