Chaminade ace Brendan Spagnuolo is well-armed and confident

Chaminade pitcher Brendan Spagnuolo poses for a portrait Chaminade pitcher Brendan Spagnuolo poses for a portrait at Burns Park in Massapequa on March 19, 2014. Photo Credit: James Escher

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Brendan Spagnuolo sat in the dugout next to his manager, Michael Pienkos, and shared a laugh. The conversation centered on Spagnuolo's delivery to the plate.

"I talked to him in-between innings about his leg lift to the plate with runners on base and that you've got to be quicker," Pienkos said.

Spagnuolo quickly responded to Pienkos with this line during Chaminade's team scrimmage: "'Don't worry coach, there's not going to be too many kids on base,"' Pienkos said.

That's the kind of confidence the Chaminade senior righthander has in himself. And Spagnuolo will carry it with him into his first start of the season Tuesday when the Flyers open on the road against St. Anthony's at 4:30 p.m.

But the staff ace doesn't want to give anyone the impression that he is cocky.

"I try to stay as humble as possible without the chip on the shoulder," said Spagnuolo, who signed a letter of intent to Vanderbilt. "If you go and look at the major-league players, there's an inner self-confidence that you need to go in there saying, 'I'm going to shut things down and get these outs.' That's what I try and do."

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It has paid off for Spagnuolo, who will be playing this summer for the Midland Redskins, an elite team in Ohio and one of the top amateur baseball program in the country.

Matt Harvey (2007) and Zack Greinke (2002) are some of the big names who played for the Redskins. Ken Griffey Jr. also played (1985-87) for the team and the future Hall of Famer is expected to be on the coaching staff, Spagnuolo said.

"I'm confident and looking forward to it," said Spagnuolo, a Massapequa native whose repertoire includes a low 90s fastball, a good changeup and a hard curveball.

"I love being out there center stage. I take a lot of pride in how I carry myself on the mound, with my competitiveness and will to win."

Not bad for a shortstop turned starting pitcher who also relieved a lot last season for Chaminade, which finished 15-11 after its loss to St. Dominic in the CHSAA semifinals in 2013.

Spagnuolo went 3-1 with two saves and had a 0.81 ERA in 30 innings in 2013. He didn't allow any runs or hits in two innings of relief in the postseason.

"Brendan has a confidence about him that is kind of different from the other kids," Pienkos said. "He knows that when he steps on the mound, he feels he can dominate anybody. Just give me the baseball. I love that in any kid. This kid's got it."

He's just not going to brag about it.

"I hate when a kid goes around and yells, or talks about how good he is," Spagnuolo said. "That's not me. I like to show class and respect and stay confident, smart and hardworking."

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