Walla Walla Adds Another Lefty to Pitching Staff
Walla Walla, Wash. - The Sweets have dipped back into the talented pitching staff at Yavapai College with their latest signing. Walla Walla has added Tommy Costello (LHP) to their roster for the 2018 season.
"I can't wait to play ball in some good weather in front of some crowds," Costello said. "I heard the Sweets sell out quite a bit, so I'm really excited for that."
Costello grew up in Simi Valley, California and played for Sweets' head coach Frank Mutz at Chaminade College Prep High School. Over his final two years there, he compiled a 3-2 record with a 2.20 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 82 innings pitched.
"Chaminade was really the greatest time of my life," Costello said. "Coach Mutz and I really bonded well together. It was a great experience playing for him, and I'm excited to get back with him this summer."
Costello played his first collegiate season with Washington University before transferring last summer. He saw limited action with the Huskies but still had very high praise for the program.
"I traveled every weekend and had a good relationship with the coaching staff; nothing was really wrong, I just wanted a different opportunity for my baseball career," Costello said of his time with Washington. "I was very grateful for all the opportunities that they gave me, but I just wanted something different."
That something different came in the form of one of the best JUCO programs in the country, Yavapai College, where Costello transferred and is now playing. Part of what he has enjoyed so much about baseball at the junior college level in Arizona is the lack of NCAA restrictions on the amount of games a team can play. Yavapai schedules more than 60 games over a three-month season.
"It's a ton of baseball, and I love it," Costello said. "Yavapai has been great. The guys are a little different at the junior college level, more of a focus on baseball than anything else, which is what I like."
After transferring to Yavapai, Costello once again garnered a great deal of interest from a multitude of Division I programs. He ultimately chose to continue his collegiate career at University of the Pacific and will transfer there in the fall. He said he was drawn to the program because of head coach Ryan Garko and his vision for the future.
"I just really loved what they were trying to build up there and I wanted to be a part of it, so I jumped on board with them," Costello said. "I really want to play in the big leagues one day and Coach Garko... he did it... he played in the big leagues. He knows what it takes, and he's developed a lot of great prospects along the way."
The lefty hurler is joining an increasingly talented crop of pitchers for the 2018 Sweets. He said he joined the team to reunite with his former coach and because he heard so many great things about the program from his college teammates.
"Coach Mutz reached out to me and I wanted to play for him again," Costello said. "I have had a lot of buddies play for the Sweets, and they said their time there was great, very enjoyable. So I just got really attracted to wanting to get up there, play some ball and have fun with some people I've spent a lot of time with and getting to reconnect with them."
Sweets head coach Frank Mutz echoed that same sentiment and is looking forward to the opportunity to coach Costello again. He also said because of his familiarity with Costello that he knows how talented the sophomore pitcher can be and that he will be a key component of the Sweets' pitching staff.
"I'm excited to be reunited with Tommy this summer," Mutz said. "He was a three-year starter for me at Chaminade and during his senior season he was a tremendous leader and threw in several big games for us. I see Tommy as one of our six starters, but because of his versatility, I can see him throwing in any role. Our fans will love him; he's a tenacious competitor and a great guy whose character and work ethic is off the charts."
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