Three Long Islanders take the mound on college baseball’s biggest stage


Three pitchers from Suffolk County are starting for their teams on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament regionals on Friday, showcasing the region’s emerging talent.

Two of the local hurlers are playing for No. 1 seeds in their respective regionals, while the third is pitching for a No. 2 seed.

Here’s a breakdown of the three Suffolk pitchers, and where you can catch them in action today:

Jason Decaro — North Carolina

At just 18 years old, Jason Decaro, a freshman from Northport and St. Anthony’s High School, will start for North Carolina against the Long Island University. Decaro, who boasts a 5-1 record with a 3.80 ERA, has been the No. 1 starter for the Tar Heels, leading the team in their last five weekend series and their opening ACC Tournament game. He struck out six and allowed five hits in seven innings in the ACC tournament win over Pittsburgh.

North Carolina is ranked No. 7 in the nation heading into the College World Series.

“I’m pretty pumped,” Decaro said. “I think all the guys are. We’re really ready to go for tomorrow. We’ve prepared all week and we’re ready to go, so I’m excited.”

Playing in the Chapel Hill Regional, UNC (42-13) will face LIU (33-23) at Boshamer Stadium, with the game broadcast on ESPN+ at 6 p.m.

LIU won the Northeast Conference Tournament and is making its second NCAA regional appearance in three years.

Joey Savino — Virginia

Joey Savino, a graduate student from Ronkonkoma and Connetquot High School, started Virginia’s opening game against Penn (23-24) in the Charlottesville Regional. Savino transferred to Virginia after three seasons at Elon, and has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.18 ERA this season. At Connetquot, Savino earned All-League, All-County, and All-Long Island honors. He also received the Paul Gibson Award for being the best pitcher in Suffolk County.

Virginia, ranked No. 16 nationally with a 41-15 record, opened the regional at Disharoon Park at noon. The game was being broadcast on ESPN+. Savino pitched 5.2 innings, striking out eight and giving up two earned runs. Virginia led 4-2 heading into the ninth inning, at the time of publication of this article.

David Falco Jr. — Wake Forest

Graduate student David Falco Jr., a native of Center Moriches and a transfer from Maryland, will start for Wake Forest against Virginia Commonwealth in the Greenville Regional. Falco, who captained the Center Moriches baseball and basketball teams and was offered a free agent contract by the Atlanta Braves after graduating high school in 2019, has compiled a 2-4 record with a 5.40 ERA this season.

Falco brings experience and leadership to the Demon Deacons, who are making their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Wake Forest (38-20), seeded No. 2 in the Greenville Regional and ranked No. 22 in the country, will face VCU (37-21) at 6 p.m., with the game available on ESPN+ and ESPNU.

This is the Demon Deacons’ 16th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance.

Top images: (From left to right) David Falco Jr., Joey Savino and Jason Decaro.

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