Baseball Profile: Closing Statement

Mason Smith

Greg Pellici does not look like your typical closer. In fact, the 5-foot- 7-inch pitcher is the shortest player on the City College baseball team.

“If you look at him on the baseball field he doesn’t have a striking presence,” Head Coach Teddy Warrecker said. “His ability definitely belies his appearance,” he added.

Pellici said he gets to play the game he loves on an everyday basis.

However, the road to get to this point was not without its twist and turns.

The Connecticut native’s journey to Santa Barbara started in Carson City, Nev. There he met and befriended City College infielder Sean Costella when the two played summer ball for the Carson City Big Horns.

The two parted ways as Pellici returned home with hopes of playing baseball at the University of Central Connecticut, a Division I school.

Later that fall, Pellici was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkison-White syndrome, a heart condition that can cause the heart to beat irregularly.

After two heart surgeries, an episode of “The Hills”, and some convincing from Costella, Pellici drove 3000 miles to come play at City College.

“He brings a lot of fire to the team,” Costella said. “He’s a good guy and a good friend.”

Pellici was a position player before coming to City College, but was immediately turned into a pitcher by Warrecker after he saw Pellici’s arm strength in practice.

“I just told him the other day, there is not really a big market for left-handed throwing and right-handed hitting outfielders,” Warrecker said.

Converting Pellici to a pitcher may have been just what was needed to give his baseball career a boost.

Pellici has signed a letter of intent to attend Pepperdine because of the school’s excellent athletics and academics. He plans to major in business.

“The baseball there is incredible right now. I want to go there and contribute,” Pellici said. Pepperdine’s baseball team is currently ranked tenth in the nation and could really help Pellici reach his ultimate goal of being drafted.

“The round mound of shutdown,” Warrecker said, referring to a nickname he gave to his closer. He added that it is a compliment.

Although Coach Warrecker has a must shave policy, Pellici admitted, with a scruffy grin, that he gets little leeway because he is the closer.

“Being a closer you have to have a little something. A little attitude, a little swagger,” Pellici said.

When asked what the Vaqueros need to do to pull themselves out of the recent slump, dropping 5 of their last 6 games, Pellici responded, “What we really need to do right now is come together as a team; it needs to be a team effort. There are nine positions out there for a reason.”

Pellici says he does not like to think about life after baseball.
“When it’s all said and done, you just want to sit back and see your baseball career as a success,” he said. “Either way, the people I met, the relationships I have, and the places I have been and seen are what are most important to me.”