This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published May 30, 2019
The East Haven baseball team features a veteran group of guys who’ve been playing together for several years. It’s that type of dynamic that sparks a player like Giro Esposito into having a solid season. Giro and the Yellowjackets are both enjoying their fair share of success in 2019.
“I’ve been playing with these teammates forever. It’s always been about having fun with the team, and we always have fun when we play, especially when we win,” Giro says. “There are a lot of senior guys this year, so we have a lot of energy. The positive energy helps gather momentum and really helps us get over the top to win important games.”
Giro has been a middle infielder throughout his career and is playing second base for the Easties. Giro takes great pride in his defensive skills in the infield.
“I’ve always had a good glove. The main thing for me was always defense, so I always practice hard to have a strong defensive game,” says Giro, who’s also played for East Haven’s Senior American Legion team. “I take a lot of ground balls, so I get a lot of reps in. It’s really fun playing second base.”
Giro is also making some noise at the plate this season. He’s sporting a batting average of .330 on the year and was recently moved up in the Yellowjackets’ lineup.
“It’s been really cool to bat second. My approach is to make contact and get a good pitch I like and try to drive it,” says Giro. “I try to get on base, so the guys in the dugout get energized.”
Head Coach Butch Johnson loves the scrappy nature in which Giro plays the game. Johnson knows that Giro can make a difference in a number of ways with his versatility.
“He’s just one of those kids that you don’t have to tell him what to do. You don’t have to tell him to get everybody going. He just leads by example and he’s always working. He just goes out and does it,” Johnson says. “He always makes a really, really big play. He’s been solid all year.”
Giro decided to suit up for East Haven cross country as a sophomore and ran with the team for three years, serving as a senior captain last fall. Giro was inspired to join the program by his cousin Alphonse DeLucia, who competed for the Yellowjackets.
“I joined the team, and it was a good group of kids. It got me in shape, and Coach [Anthony] Russell is a great guy,” says Giro. “It was a great experience leading a bunch of kids. Not many athletes get to do that, so I’m very honored and humbled to have that ability to lead a team.”
Giro will attend Albertus Magnus College in the fall and hopes to walk on to the school’s baseball squad. For now, though, he’s focused on helping the Yellowjackets go on a nice run in the Class L State Tournament. Giro knows that confidence will be crucial in East Haven’s quest.
“Baseball is a mental game and to get some energy or momentum going is key. If you’re playing defeated, you’re not going to win,” Giro says. “Stringing hits together gets the guys riled up and, when you have confidence, you feel you can win versus any team.”