It is tough transferring from one college to another. You are trying to make new friends and adapt to the new environment, and other different psychological and social factors must be taken into account, too. Now add onto that the responsibility of a Division I athlete training on and off the field along with the classes, picking a major and so many other responsibilities.
For senior designated hitter and catcher Marco DiRoma, it was difficult a first semester after transferring from John A. Logan Community College. However, after a tough first semester, DiRoma has adjusted and turned into one of the best players on the Billikens baseball team this season.
“When I got here, I said ‘Okay, I’m at a university. Now I really need to start taking care of things for myself’… and at first it was overwhelming. I struggled my first fall here because I could not find a balance,” DiRoma said.
This season, DiRoma has a .300 batting average, a .433 slugging percentage, one home run and 18 RBIs. DiRoma also had the longest hitting streak of the year, at eight games. He also recorded a 19-game on-base streak this year.
After a tough first semester, DiRoma had to prove himself because he was not an everyday player on the baseball team, but after a lot of work, he began to play on a more consistent basis toward the end of his junior year.
After his junior year, DiRoma dedicated himself to training during the off-season to make more contributions .
“I worked hard every day. I was at the baseball field two hours at day, throwing and hitting, and I made sure that I lifted every day. I think the biggest transition that I made was I lost 25 pounds and became more a Division I athlete,” DiRoma said.
DiRoma had high expectations going into this season.
“My expectations were high. They are very high. I was confident in the program, my teammates especially with a couple of pieces coming and a lot of people returning,” DiRoma said.
DiRoma said that his mindset has changed from last year and explained that he needs to be a leader on the field. DiRoma said that he needs to maintain a positive mindset because he describes baseball as a game of “ups and downs.”
DiRoma said that maintaining that positive attitude his senior year was a sign of “maturity” from his junior to senior year.
“You realize that although stats are nice, it is nice to produce for the team…you need to be a leader,” DiRoma said.
DiRoma is happy with this season, but he thinks there is more work to be done.
“Sweeping the series against La Salle was a big confidence builder for us, but we are not done winning this season,” DiRoma said.
DiRoma said that the main thing to continue their success this season is to get on base.
“When we have runners in scoring position, we need to execute. You don’t need to always hit home runs or big doubles, you need to just come up and have ‘team at bats,’” DiRoma said. DiRoma mainly wants his teammates to have “unselfish at bats.”
DiRoma has certainly matured and adjusted from his tough first semester at SLU. His baseball production has shown that he dedicated himself to be a Division I athlete, and his maturity has aided the Billikens baseball team in big moments this season.