Walking onto the field, pitchers Jimmy Fitzgerald and Pat Maybach are noticed less for their differences than for the traits they share.
A couple of tall, left-handed pitchers, who this spring stand at the top of the Salve Regina rotation, both cut imposing mound figures, with an air of confidence stemming from what they’ve accomplished at this level.
But behind those figures are two completely different back stories. And two very different pitchers.
"Jimmy throws a lot harder than I do," said Maybach, a sophomore from Saunderstown, R.I., "and he’s more explosive. I’m more a command pitcher, get a lot of groundball outs, a lot of flyball outs."
At Salve, located in Newport, R.I., the optimism is palpable. The Seahawks return nearly every position player from a team that went 36-12, winning its second consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference title and two NCAA regional tournament games, as well as their two top pitchers.
Maybach, named the Rookie of the Year in the CCC, still is waiting for his first college loss. He went 9-0 as a freshman with a 1.36 ERA, his final victory keeping his team alive in the NCAA New England regional.