Matt Zalon Aims To Pitch His Way To Glory
Matthew Zalon was on the mound and the dynamo pitcher from James Madison High School was having one of his best pitching days in the PSAL Brooklyn A East baseball competition.
Soon it was the bottom of the sixth inning and still no batter could handle Zalon’s accuracy, such was his magnificent control.
He wasted little time in effecting yet another strikeout to set up his team for a 10-0 rout of the Bushwick Campus.
Matt ended with a zero ERA in that game and set the tone for his best performance in PSAL competition after three seasons.
In the just-completed regular season, Zalon compiled five wins from six starts and helped James Madison compile an impressive record that saw them ending second to Grand Street Campus in the tough East division.
Madison ended with 13 wins and three losses and set the stage for a long-awaited return clash with archrivals Grand Street in the playoffs.
Rated the number one team in the competition, Grand Street inflicted one of the three losses suffered by Madison. Zalon is confident they will turn the tables on their rivals and go on to lift the championship trophy in his final year of high school competition.
The right-hander feels more ready than any other time in his career to carry Madison to glory this year.
“I have already struck out the two best batters in the competition and my confidence is sky-high,” he said.
Success is nothing new to Matt. In addition to being a star pitcher, he is also a good batter. And impressive results in the classroom have earned him scholarship offers. Zalon settled for SUNY’s Old Westbury College where he will start this fall.
Ideally, he would love to break into the professional ranks, but he is cautious and wants to make education just as important a priority as baseball. “I need to have something to fall back on because not everyone can make it to the pro ranks,” said the youngster who will pursue a degree in business administration.
Being part of a baseball family, seventeen-year-old Matt was groomed from the time he started walking to play the game at the highest level.
His father, Phil, a former player, has been a strong guiding force and has ensured his two sons take up the game from a very early age. Older sibling Mike played competitively as well, and Matt is well poised to supersede their achievements.
Old Westbury plays in the NCAA third division and Zalon is confident the competition will be strong enough to take his game to the next level and help him break into the professional ranks.
The Yankees are almost every New Yorker’s favorite baseball team, but Matt has been a lifelong Mets fan and would love dearly to suit up for the less popular of the two city teams.
Now in his final year of high school competition, Zalon is making the best of his opportunities since making the cut as one of three starting pitchers for his school in the annual PSAL competition.
“I think I have improved a lot this year due to the
Continued on page 37 great work my club coach has put me through,” he explained. Apart from his school team, Matt was good enough to force his way into the Brooklyn Braves youth team and its coach Rob Arato has been instrumental in fine tuning his pitching and swing techniques this year.
Having laid the foundation for big-time success this season, Matt is eagerly looking forward to the PSAL playoffs. And with strong support from his family and club coach, the sky will be the limit for the fast improving Madison pitcher as he makes the transition from high school to college competition.