For the past three seasons, CSI student-athlete and baseball pitcher James Mardikos has called “the mound” his home at the CSI Baseball Complex. The southpaw hurler has made a living making clutch pitching performances for the Dolphins, enjoying a pair of CUNYAC Championships in the process. He’s also a force in the classroom, where the Communications major focuses in Journalism and is due for graduation at the close of the Dolphins’ 2011 season.
But what exactly does it take to be a CSI Dolphin? What are the rigors associated with being a national-caliber student and athlete? Mardikos tells all now in a new CSI Athletics feature called “Mardy on the Mound” a new web log chronicling a year in the life of the CSI baseball senior, as they strive for national prominence. Join James and his teammates through the grinds of preseason workouts, fall-ball, classroom commitments, and finally…Opening Day and defending their 2010 CUNYAC Championship! Mardy, as known to his teammates, will make periodical contributions to his blog, giving insiders a taste of what Dolphins baseball is all about.
This week, James focuses on putting last season in the past as first pitch is nearly a month away, and gives us an introspective look at what he personally needs to do for success in 2011:
Time To Put Last Year Behind Us
Pitchers and Catchers for Major League teams don’t report to Florida and Arizona for another three weeks. For our squad, in another three weeks our first game will only be days away.
We finally start official practices this Saturday with our sights set on the beginning of the season in South Carolina and beyond. With that, it is finally time to put our highly successful season of a year ago behind us, because that 31-11 record we compiled won’t do us any good moving forward.
Our schedule this season won’t allow us to dwell on the past, especially early in the season. Of our first ten games we play the likes of Ohio Northern, Christopher Newport, National runner-up Cortland, ECAC Champ FDU-Florham, and New Paltz.
It won’t be an easy task without the seniors from last year such as Tommy DiPietro, Devon DiCasoli, and Tom Dewaters. But the talent and experience is still in our favor as we will have five seniors and a majority of upperclassmen to make up for the departed.
This is the last chance for me and the other seniors (Gale, Tingos, Pontebbi, Glennerster) to leave one more lasting impression on this program. We’ve been together for a while now and have been fortunate to be a part of this program which has taking such strides each year we’ve been here, we hope this year we will end up in not just an NCAA Regional but maybe even a trip to Appleton, Wisconsin for the D3 College World Series.
Personally, my main goal is to be more consistent. Last season while successful as a whole for the team, it was a very up and down season for me, and I’ve been working extremely hard since last season ended so I can be more consistent every time I take the ball much like I felt I was my sophomore year.
The pitching as a whole has been working just as hard. Belson has us all in great shape with the workouts he supplied us and all the returning guys such as myself, Gale, Tingos, Mulligan, Anderson, Pontebbi, and Colucci are ready to be the focal point of this team and get us where we want to be at the end of the season.
With the season fast approaching, I am going to try and keep all you readers up to date as much as possible with an excerpt every week or two so I hope your all enjoying it so far… thanks!