Mike Paolo played for a state title contender this season when Marlboro’s baseball team came a game away from reaching the Class B final four.
Last week, after graduating, Paolo was getting ready as the starting pitcher for Newburgh’s Nuclears’ senior American Legion team.
“It’s kind of a weight off your shoulders,” said Paolo, of graduating, “but I do say I‘m going to miss Marlboro baseball.”
Paolo was a three-year starter for the Dukes, which won consecutive sectional titles during his two last seasons.
“Between last year and this year, we really had a special team,” he said. “I have been playing with these guys since I was eight years old, and I knew this year was going to be a big year.”
Through four games during the postseason, the Dukes did not give up a run until their season ended in the fifth postseason game in the regional final on Long Island against Center Moriches.
“Once we got on a roll,” he said, “we each had each other’s backs.”
This summer many Dukes became senior Nukes, and Paolo said a change in uniforms did not change the chemistry of the team he plays for this summer.
“It carries right over,” he said. “It’s a bunch of kids having fun playing baseball.”
In the fall, Paolo will head the Mount Saint Mary College, a D-III school, and he will play baseball there and study education with the hope of becoming an English teacher.
“Playing in college was the goal,” he said, “and the Mount seemed like a good fit.”