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Dowling's Tyler Badamo finds new pitch

Dowling College starting pitcher Tyler Badamo delivers in

Dowling College starting pitcher Tyler Badamo delivers in the first inning against Molloy College in an East Coast Conference Championship playoff baseball game. (May 9, 2013) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

For the first time since he could remember, Tyler Badamo decided not to throw a baseball for nearly three months.

“From mid-August to about mid-December, I did everything as far as strength and conditioning goes, but I didn’t throw a ball at all,” said the Dowling College senior ace. “I gave my arm a break so I would be ready to go this season.”

It’s early, but it appears that was a good choice. Badamo, a former All-Long Island star at Mt. Sinai High School, is 1-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. He’s expected to start the East Coast conference opener when Dowling (9-6) hosts Molloy College (4-6) at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

The right-hander, who was selected in a coaches poll as the ECC preseason pitcher of the year after winning the award last season, attributes much of his success to a newly found slider, a pitch he discovered shortly after he resumed throwing.

“When I came to college, I threw a fastball and a knuckle-curve that was good but not consistent,” Badamo said. “Last year I added a changeup and recently developed a slider that comes out of my hand as a fastball. It’s my go-to pitch right now.”