Fusco plays rounds, then takes the mound
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Junior Mark Fusco has managed to balance the lifestyle of a two sport collegiate athlete at Suffolk University.
Fusco plays for both the men’s golf and baseball teams. He has been a part of the golf team for two consecutive years while also contributing to the men’s baseball team for four years as one of the team’s pitchers.
During his high school career, Fusco also played golf and baseball. He also played basketball, but his height gave him a disadvantage, so it “did not work out.”
While in high school, Fusco did not initially have the intention of being a two-sport collegiate athlete.
“I was mainly a baseball player, but because I knew how to golf and my high school’s golf team was pretty good, I figured I’d give it a shot,” he said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.
At Suffolk, the golf season (which ended with the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA)) did not go as expected for Fusco, but he said he was still there for his team.
Fusco spoke about his golf performance, ”Last year, I was a pretty good competitor, but this year I was more of a team guy and didn’t perform as well as I would have liked too.”
He also recognized the 13-member roster for their contributions to the team’s season.
“As a team, we made some pretty good improvements. Owen Boggini and Demetrois Stamouli are a couple of really good freshman on the team, so the future is bright for Suffolk golf,” he said.
Practice wise, Fusco was unable to focus on golf as much as he would have liked to this season, but he did talk about the difficulties behind the sport.
“You’re out there by yourself. It’s comparable to pitching because you’re out there and you’re the person in charge,” said Fusco. “You are in control of what happens.”
Two years ago, the two-sport competitor missed both his golf and baseball seasons. He received ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, or Tommy John surgery, which caused him to redshirt for baseball. Fusco said that he is finally completely healthy and has fully recovered from his surgery.
Luckily for him there is no overlap in his practice schedule, and during his off-season he is able to work on both sports. In his off-season, he tries to go to the gym as much as he can and works at the golf course as a caddy.
“[Working as a golf caddy] works on my legs and I am constantly surrounded by golf,” said Fusco. “Carrying bags up and down hills is like killing two birds with one stone.”
Fusco explained that the two sports do have differences in their trainings. He mentions how golf is more core strength, whereas baseball is an everyday workout. Baseball workouts consist of lifting weights, running, and as a pitcher, he has to work out his legs a tremendous amount.
Balancing two collegiate level sports is a skill that not many people can accomplish, but Fusco talks about how time management is essential.
“It’s challenging obviously, a lot of time for both sports, but I also have to focus on school so I definitely have to plan out my time accordingly,” he said.
Fusco tries to take earlier classes for school, so that way he can make it to golf in the afternoon and baseball at night. He jokingly said that somewhere in between school and balancing two sports, he has to find time to eat.
With the golf season coming to a close, and baseball season approaching, Fusco looks forward to playing this season fully recovered.
“Now that I have recovered and now that I am healthier, I look to contribute more to the [baseball] team,” he said.
Last season, as a pitcher, he came out of the bullpen and pitched anywhere from one to three innings. Fusco even had the opportunity to pitch in the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship game in a 5-4 10-inning win over Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish, Maine on May 8 last year. As a team, the Rams hope to win their third GNAC.
Fusco says his individual hopes this season are, “To help the team as best as [he] can. This will be [his] first season fully recovered. Last season [he] was recovered, but only to an extent.”
The Rams baseball team will begin their spring season with the hopes of clinching a few titles, such as the National Athletic Collegiate Conference (NCAA).