BERLIN- Former Stephen Decatur pitching standout Mike Castrignano packed his bags and headed for Alpine, Texas this week to resume his professional career with the Big Bend Cowboys in the Continental Baseball League.
Castrignano, who was dominating at times during a stellar high school career at Decatur, went on to play at the next level at Delaware Tech, where he was first-team All-Conference and became the first pitcher in school history to pitch a perfect game back in 2007. He also pitched for the College Park Bombers in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate League in 2007, going 3-1 in seven starts with a 2.82 earned run average (ERA).
Castrignano signed his first professional contract with the River City Rascals in the Frontier League in 2008 before joining the Big Bend Cowboys last year. The Continental Baseball League is an independent league made up of six teams whose players are often scouted by major league teams.
Last year with Big Bend, Castrignano went 6-1 in 15 starts with one complete game and an ERA of 3.97. He held his opponents to a .237 batting average and was second in the league in strikeouts with 89 and third in the league in innings pitched with 81.2. He was named league player of the week last July 19 after striking out 13 during a six-inning outing.
Castrignano, who lives the rest of the year in West Ocean City and worked most recently at the Greene Turtle-West, was preparing to head back to Alpine, Texas this week for spring training for the Cowboys’ 2010 season. He will report in to The Dispatch throughout the season with occasional postcards of his progress, the team’s progress and the sights and sounds of minor league baseball in the nation’s heartland.