Shaler Area grad Gumto carries load for Cal (Pa.) bullpen |
District College

Shaler Area grad Gumto carries load for Cal (Pa.) bullpen

Josh Rizzo
Cal (Pa.) Athletics
Shaler Area graduate Patrick Gumto pitches for Cal (Pa.)
Cal (Pa.) Athletics
Shaler Area graduate Patrick Gumto pitches for Cal (Pa.)

Patrick Gumto wasn’t consistently sharp with his curveball command entering his freshman year at Cal (Pa.).

Getting Division II batters out with off-speed pitches required the Shaler Area graduate to dig in his memory. Gumto, with the guidance of Vulcans pitching coach Joey Noro, worked on improving his slider, a pitch he last threw in middle school.

With the slider in tow, Gumto became a workhorse in Cal’s bullpen, making a team-high 20 appearances and finishing with a 4-1 record.

“That developed because my curveball wasn’t as consistent as it could be,” Gumto said. “I needed a pitch I could throw for a strike. When I go with a slider, I could throw it consistently and it became one of my best pitches, if not my best pitch.”

After a few days, Gumto was showing a high level of comfort with the pitch. What helped, according to Noro, was the slider appeared to come more naturally than the curveball.

“He settled in when he started to control that breaking ball,” Noro said. “One day we were talking in the outfield and started toying with a slider grip. He got it in two days. He used it in a midweek game, and it clicked with him. With his arm slot, the slider was the grip that worked best with him.”

Gumto’s strong performance came during a ground-breaking season for the Vulcans. Cal set school records for victories overall and in conference, finishing 37-15 and 19-9. The Vulcans just missed an NCAA regional bid.

Being a bullpen staple was a new experience for Gumto.

Until college, Gumto worked almost exclusively as a starter.

“The biggest difference was I needed to throw strikes and do my job as a reliever,” Gumto said. “You can come into any situation. In one of my last appearances, I came in with the bases loaded and no one out against Slippery Rock. That was something I never had to deal with before.”

Gumto was able to get consistent swings and misses. In 2623 innings, Gumto recorded 36 strikeouts. He only conceded six extra-base hits — a home run and five doubles.

Noro was confident in whatever situation Gumto had to handle.

“That was one of the things we weren’t worried about,” Noro said. “He had pitched against high competition before. Compete level wasn’t going to be an issue for him. He got a lot of chances because of the makeup we knew he had.”

Gumto wants to continue displaying his mettle.

Should the program follow suit, Cal might have a chance to challenge for one of those hard-to-land regional playoff spots.

“Next year, we will come in with a chip on our shoulders,” Gumto said. “Next year, we are coming in to prove we are the best team in the PSAC.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

Categories: Sports | College-District
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.