SAUGUS — Pitcher Todd Tringale knows there’s a big jump ahead of him going from Saugus High to Division I UMass Amherst. So he decided it was in his best interest to spend his summer giving himself a firsthand look at what awaits him on the college mound.
Tringale, a right-hander, signed with the North Shore Navigators of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League last week.
“I was really excited,” Tringale said. “Earlier over the winter, I contacted them to see if they had any open spots on the roster. I wanted to play competitive baseball before going to college. They told me they didn’t have any open spots but that didn’t mean that one couldn’t open up during the season. I wanted to go into college being comfortable and knowing that I could face good players.
“I went to Navs games when I was younger. I always knew that I wanted to play in as many levels as I could. But another reason I wanted to join the Navs is they do so much for the community. They have kids running on the bases after games and things like that. The kids look up to the players and I wanted to be one of those players that kids look up to.”
Tringale, a three-year varsity player, wrapped up a phenomenal senior season with the Saugus High Sachems last month. In Saugus’ season opener, Tringale flashed his talents with a 17-strikeout, complete-game effort en route to a 1-0 win over Stoneham. He surpassed the 100-strikeout mark and was named Most Valuable Player of the Northeastern Conference North. Tringale helped carry Saugus to another Division 3 North state tournament appearance.
“I think it was better than anything I could’ve asked for to end my senior year,” Tringale, who committed to UMass Amherst last August, said. “At the beginning of the season me and (Saugus head) coach Joe Luis set little goals for myself and the team. We accomplished things that haven’t been accomplished by Saugus baseball in a while. All my goals that I talked with Coach Luis about I accomplished. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Now it’s all about turning the page on his high school success and gearing up for his next endeavor.
“I want to get another opportunity to go out there and work with whatever’s going on,” Tringale said. “I’ve been setting little goals for myself. When you’re at this level it’s really hard to pitch for strikeouts. I want to work on trusting my fielders, which I definitely can with this team, getting outs and working through innings quickly.”
He made his season debut in Sunday’s 13-10 win over the Bristol Blues. Tringale went three innings in the start, allowing three earned runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
It didn’t take him long to notice an elevated level in competition when throwing the ball against top collegiate talents.
“It was something I wasn’t used to,” Tringale said. “Kids compete at the plate against the pitcher. It’s fun to watch. I’m a player that likes batters to compete with me. I like seeing competitive players compete against one another. I was a little nervous out there. I settled in during the second inning. I think I’ll be a lot more comfortable the next time (Navigators) coach (Mike Odenwaelder) gives me the ball, now that I have a better understanding of the competition level.”