Former Red Hawk Baseball Pitcher Michael Vitale Signs with the Seattle Mariners

Montclair, NJ (7/13/10) – Former Montclair State pitcher Michael Vitale (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) recently signed a minor-league contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Vitale becomes the first Red Hawk to sign with an affiliated Major League Baseball club since Michael Vicaro signed with the Colorado Rockies during the 2007 season. Vitale will report to Pulaski, Virginia where he will pitch in the Appalachian Rookie League.

Vitale spent two seasons with Montclair State in 2008 and 2009. The lefthander went 8-6 with a 5.30 ERA tossing 103.2 innings in 32 appearances, 17 of them starts. He struck out 74 batters and also earned two saves.

Vitale was 4-4 in 18 appearances in 2008 as he helped Montclair State to the NCAA Upstate New York Regional Tournament in Auburn, NY. He recorded the final two outs for his only save of the year as he kept MSU’s hope alive in the NCAAs with a 7-6 victory over Ithaca College.

In his senior season of 2009 he was 4-2 with a 4.37 ERA in 14 appearances (nine starts). He pitched 55.2 innings striking out 42 while also earning one save. Vitale went 6 1/3 innings allowing six hits as he knocked off Rutgers-Camden in the first game of an NJAC doubleheader on March 28. He put together back-to-back quality starts with an eight-inning performance in a victory over Ramapo on April 8 and followed that up with six innings of one-hit ball in a 9-1 win over 10th-ranked Rensselaer.

Vitale joins fellow lefthanders Corey Hamman (2002) and Jeff Gogal (2004) in the minor leagues. Hamman is currently pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates’s Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis Indians while Gogal is with the Florida Marlins’ Single-A Jupiter Hammerheads.

Vicaro and three of Vitale’s former teammates, Jairo Mendez, Tim Stringer and Michael Streaman, are all currently pitching in the Independent Can-Am League. Vicaro, Stringer and Streaman are pitching with the Sussex Skyhawks while Mendez is in the familiar surroundings of Yogi Berra Stadium as a reliever with the New Jersey Jackals.

Read the article about Vitale in The Jersey Journal.