The Windy City ThunderBolts will have more of a local flavor to the 2012 squad with their latest addition, right-handed pitcher Mike Recchia. After sporting just three Illinois natives on the roster that concluded the 2011 season, the Bolts bring in Recchia, who not only is a resident of the Prairie State, but hales from Standard Bank Stadium’s backyard in Crestwood.
An Eastern Illinois product, Recchia began his professional career in 2010, signing as an undrafted free agent with the New York Yankees. He spent the remainder of the 2010 season as a teammate of Windy City pitcher Matt Jernstad with low-A Staten Island, where he posted a 4.93 ERA in 22 relief appearances.
2011 was the breakout year for the 22-year-old hurler. After a solid start with Staten Island, in which he had a 3.00 ERA in nine appearances, he was brought up to Class A Charleston, where he thrived the rest of the season. In 22 games with the RiverDogs, he went 3-1 with an ERA of just 2.33. Recchia was particularly impressive after the All-Star break. In his 11 second-half appearances, he accrued all of his wins while allowing just six earned runs in 28.2 innings, a 1.88 ERA. During that time he struck out 23 men and walked just three, posting a near incredible 0.77 WHIP.
Prior to his professional career, Recchia was the ace of the Eastern Illinois staff. His sophomore season in 2009 was particularly impressive, as he went 8-2, the sixth highest win total in EIU history, while striking out 62 in 65.2 innings over 13 games (12 starts). His ERA was 3.02, second best in the Ohio Valley Conference and 45th in the country.
Over the course of his three-year collegiate career, Recchia went 16-9 with a 4.20 ERA in 50 games (32 starts). He had two complete games as a starter and two saves as a reliever.
Just the fifth professional baseball player ever to come out of the Village of Crestwood, Recchia was arguably the most successful ballplayer in the history of Shepard High School. His senior year with the Astros, he set school records in home runs and RBI as a hitter and strikeouts as a pitcher.
He is the second Crestwood native to sign with the ThunderBolts since 2004. Eric Fussell pitched for the championship teams of 2007 and 2008.
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The Windy City ThunderBolts open their 14th Frontier League season on Thursday, May 17th vs. Joliet with a special one-game homestand fetauring discount beer and post-game fireworks! Season tickets, flex plans, and group outing opportunities are available now! Call 708-489-BALL or check out wcthunderbolts.com for more information!