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Pre-game pitching routines: Rap, Zeppelin and Chinese food

Matt Vogel of Patchogue-Medford pitches in a game.

Matt Vogel of Patchogue-Medford pitches in a game. (Credit: George A. Faella)

It’s game day and some of Long Island’s best pitchers are taking the mound. For many, pitching preparation doesn’t start when the school bell rings – it’s an all-day affair.

Patchogue-Medford’s Matt Vogel always has his iPod with him, listening to some of his favorite hype-up tunes.

“Music is a big part of my life,” Vogel said after a Newsday photo shoot Thursday night. “I have to listen to music before every game. It calms me down and relaxes me.”

Vogel’s iPod is made up of his own eclectic style. No genre is off limits for the senior.

“You’ll find anything on there – country, rap, and hip hop,” he said.

Some of Vogel’s favorite artists include Luke Bryan, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne.

“My parents listen to everything, so I listen to everything as well,” he said.

Port Washington’s Bryce Keller’s iPod is a little more old school.

“Usually, I listen to Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix,” he said.

Pre-game rituals don’t end with blasting music.

“I’ll eat Chinese food before I pitch,” Center Moriches’ Patrick Bryant said.

Two hours before a game, Bryant can be seen chowing down on General Tso’s chicken. Bryant s also a careful stepper when he walks to and from the mound.

“I never touch the foul line,” he said. “I usually hop over it.”

Kings Park’s Joe Guercio makes sure that he doesn’t change anything when he has a game in the afternoon.

“I try to wear the same exact clothing before every game,” he said. “For home games, I wear a maroon long sleeve shirt under my home jersey. For away games, I wear the same exact shirt, just without the jersey.”