BROADALBIN — During the regular season, Michael Magliocca made some relief pitching appearances, “to eat up some innings,” as the junior put it.
In the playoffs?
Magliocca became the Broadalbin-Perth baseball team’s pitching ace.
Broadalbin-Perth won four games in eight days earlier this month to claim its first-ever Section II championship since the former Broadalbin and Perth school districts merged starting with the 1987-88 school year. During the postseason, Magliocca carried the Patriots in their quarterfinal win and delivered 5 2-3 strong innings in their championship victory.
Those two starts on the mound? Yeah, they were the right-handed pitcher’s only ones made during the 2021 season, as the Patriots’ No. 3 hitter served exclusively as a starting infielder through the team’s first 19 games.
“But,” Broadalbin-Perth head coach RJ Pingitore said, “when it came down to win or go home, we had to put the ball in one of our best competitor’s hands.”
“He’s so confident out there,” Broadalbin-Perth senior catcher Jake Terwilliger said after the Patriots’ 6-5 championship-game win Tuesday against Ichabod Crane. “He calls the game. Whatever he wants to do, it’s fine by me, because he gets out there, he throws and you know you’re going to get a good outing from him.”
Despite his minimal usage as a pitcher during the regular season, Pingitore said the confidence Magliocca brings with him to the baseball field made him a logical pick to start two of the biggest games of the season for the Patriots. On the season, Magliocca pitched 31 innings across seven games, and struck out 42 batters while compiling a 1.26 ERA. In the playoffs, Magliocca struck out 10 batters in a complete-game shutout in Broadalbin-Perth’s 1-0 win against Greenville in the quarterfinals, then struck out seven batters and allowed two earned runs in the championship game before he was removed after reaching the pitch-count limit.
“We knew we were going to be in a good spot with the ball in his hands,” Pingitore said.
For most of the season, though, Magliocca primarily starred with his bat. Usually the team’s starting second baseman, Magliocca shifted to shortstop in games that Ryan Visco — who registered walk-off hits in Broadalbin-Perth’s semifinal and championship games — pitched for the Patriots. At the plate, Magliocca hit .408, registered a .627 on-base percentage, collected nine extra-base hits and stole 29 bases during Broadalbin-Perth’s 16-6 campaign.
But there were flashes that Magliocca could offer Broadalbin-Perth valuable innings in the playoffs. In relief outings, he regularly worked out of jams when he entered games. When the Broadalbin-Perth coaching staff was figuring out its starter for the quarterfinals, Pingitore said Magliocca’s name kept coming up — and, once decided, the head coach who graduated from Broadalbin-Perth in 2012 delivered the word that Magliocca would make his season’s first start.
“That was kind of a shocker for me. But I took it, and I went into the game with the most confidence in the world — and now we’re here,” Magliocca said Tuesday on the field after his team won the championship. “So I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Magliocca moved from the pitcher’s mound to third base with two outs in Tuesday’s sixth inning, as Ryan Savoie pitched the rest of the way and recorded the win after Ichabod Crane tied up the game in the seventh before Visco’s walk-off RBI single. Magliocca, though, kept the Ichabod Crane bats mostly silent, and provided the pitching start the Patriots needed to help them claim their first area championship.
“He pitched,” Pingitore said, “with fire.”