Mike Barsotti '12, All-Time Wesleyan Strikeout Leader, Signs Pro Contract with Joliet Slammers, Debuts Sat., July 14

Mike Barsotti, a 2012 graduate of Wesleyan University, signed a contract Fri., July 13 to pitch for the Joliet (Ill.) Slammers, a member of the Frontier League, an independent professional baseball league.  He made his pro debut the following day, throwing a 1-2-3 8th inning during a 4-0 loss to the Southern Illinois Miners.  He was named the M&M Bank Player of the Game for the Slammers after inducing a ground out, a fly out and a pop out while throwing just nine pitches, seven of them strikes.

Barsotti finished his career as Wesleyan's all-time leading strikeout leader with 233 over his four years, averaging one strikeout an inning over his career. The Friday starter in league weekends the past three seasons, he led the team in ERA his senior year with a 3.62 figure while going 4-4 with 68 strikeouts and just 12 walks over 64.2 innings pitched, giving him a fine 5.7:1 strikeout:walk ratio.  Barsotti tied for third in the NESCAC in innings pitched in 2012 and ranked second in strikeouts.  Over his four seasons, Barsotti posted a 15-15 record with 43 appearances, 35 of them starts, with 12 complete games.

Barsotti was twice named the NESCAC pitcher of the week during his career, including in March 2012 after throwing a three-hitter with 13 strikeout, no walks and no earned runs allowed against Bowdoin, a team that went on to qualify for the NCAA Division III tournament.

"The entire Wesleyan baseball family is so proud of Mike," said Wesleyan baseball coach Mark Woodworth. "This is a great accomplishment and a credit to his desire and work ethic. He was a great teammate and he improved so much over four years. This affirms that he is one of the all-time greats in Wesleyan baseball's long and tradition-rich history."

A native of Philadelphia, Barsotti attended Germantown Friends School before enrolling at Wesleyan, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in government this past May.

The Joliet Slammers are the defending Frontier League champs, having taken the title in 2011 in the 14-team league.  Joliet plays in the West Division and at league all-star break (July 9-12) stood 20-28 at the midway point of its scheduled 96-game season.  The team won its first game game after the break Friday, July 13 at Southern Illinois, winning 5-1, before Barsotti saw action Saturday.  The Frontier League boasts 22 alumni who have gone on to play Major League Baseball in the last 18 years.  Current Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod is the last to make the jump, having played for the Windy City ThunderBolts in 2009.