A love for all sports kept Jeremy Zezza in the game. By the time he was in high school, he narrowed his athletic prowess to baseball and basketball. That led to a tough decision once graduation time rolled around.
Ultimately, Zezza, a 2015 Wyoming Area graduate, chose to play baseball for Bloomsburg University, an NCAA Division 2 member. The Huskies recently finished their season with a .500 overall record and a 10-18 mark in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Zezza got in some time on the mound as a relief pitcher.
The former Warrior made five appearances for the Huskies this season. He made his collegiate non-conference debut against Seton Hill University on Feb. 19 during Bloomsburg’s trip to North Carolina. He struck out the side against Seton Hill in his only inning.
“The team and everyone are awesome,” Zezza said. “The atmosphere here is incredible and I’m having a great time.”
Against East Stroudsburg, Zezza struggled to get out of his only inning, and allowed two runs on a pair of doubles. The freshman then bounced back with a one-hit inning in his PSAC debut in a loss against West Chester.
Zezza joined the team as a walk on during early workouts last summer. The coaches asked him to come back in the fall and he ended up making the team. Originally, he was scheduled to be red shirted and sit out his freshman year. However, just days before the team left for spring training in North Carolina, Zezza was informed that he was added to the active roster.
“It turned really quick,” Zezza said. “I’ve had a great experience and I was really excited to make the team.”
Zezza has had to deal with the transition from a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher, along with making the transition from an everyday player to solely a pitcher. In high school, Zezza was a position player, pitcher and hitter for the Warriors. Now, at practice, he concentrates only on pitching, he said.
He’s also had to deal with the transition from pitching against hitter in high school to hitters at the Division 2 level. He said in high school you have three or four good hitters.
“At this level now, everyone is a No. 3 hitter,” he said.
When Zezza was at Wyoming Area, he was a star on the diamond and on the court. In his senior year, Zezza broke the Wyoming Area basketball single game scoring record with a 43-point performance against Lake-Lehman, breaking a 15-year-old mark.
As a kid, Zezza’s love for all sports made his decision to play baseball instead of basketball a difficult one. One of the reasons he picked baseball was the time he enjoyed on the Wyoming Area baseball team his senior season.
“I’ll never forget my senior year of baseball playing with all my friends,” he said. “That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in sports. That’s when I realized I want to play baseball in college.”
Zezza said sports are is the No. 1 thing in his life and he never thought he would be playing baseball in college. He gave thought to playing both sports, but decided on baseball.
Admittedly, Zezza misses the basketball court. That doesn’t stop him from hitting a few pickup games now and again around the campus of BU.
Being close to home is something Zezza enjoys as well. He said his family rarely misses a game, whether it’s his parents, grandparents or siblings.
He said he’s always thinking of them when he’s on the mound.
“A lot of my family comes to support me and it feels great to see them there,” he said. “My whole family has supported me throughout all my sports and they push me to do my best. That’s a reason why I can play college sports because I have those people in my life to encourage me to try my best.”
Zezza is the son of Jerry and Doreen Zezza of West Pittston. He is studying marketing at Bloomsburg.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick