Dominic DeMiero was perfectly content playing his sophomore season for the Bellevue Bulldogs junior college baseball team when a golden opportunity presented itself.
DeMiero, who put together a sterling overall record of 7-2 with an earned run average of 2.74 in 13 starts on the hill during his freshman season, helped guide the Bulldogs to a fifth place at the NWAC tournament this past May in Longview.
The crafty left-hander won’t return to the Bulldogs for his sophomore season.
DeMiero committed to the University of Hawaii Division I baseball program in early July after visiting the campus in late June. The 2014 Mountlake Terrace High School graduate is excited about the opportunity to compete at the Division 1 level.
“It has been a long journey and has been something that every kid dreams about. It hasn’t quite hit me yet, but it is a pretty darn good feeling to be able to go play for a big university,” DeMiero said in a July 28 phone interview.
DeMiero said Bellevue Bulldogs longtime head coach Mark Yoshino played a pivotal role in him landing with the University of Hawaii baseball program.
“He (Yoshino) sat me down in his office two or three weeks before the season ended and he said a coach from Hawaii is on a flight right now to come see you throw,” DeMiero said. “It was right there in the middle of finals week and it kind of turned my whole world upside down and made things really crazy but in a good way.”
After visiting Hawaii this summer for two full days, DeMiero made up his mind to forego his sophomore season at Bellevue to play at Hawaii for his final three years of athletic eligibility.
“After seeing everything and taking everything into consideration, I thought there is a lot of people who would like to be in my shoes right now. I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” he said. DeMiero said he will be given the chance to compete for a spot in Hawaii’s starting pitching rotation.
“It will come down to how I perform in fall ball,” he said.
DeMiero credited Yoshino for doing everything in his power to help him attain his goal of reaching the D-1 level on the diamond despite leaving the Bellevue program one year earlier than expected.
“It was a very bittersweet thing. Mark is probably the best coach I have ever had and I have had a lot of good coaches. As pitchers, we spent most of our time with him because he worked with us one-on-one. That is why I didn’t even think about transferring early. I was thinking I was going back to Bellevue (2017 season) and I was totally fine with that,” he said.”
“I loved playing for Yosh (Yoshino). The fact that Yosh gave me the blessing to go to Hawaii and to take advantage of that opportunity really said something…It really kind of gave me that closure to completely move on and take that next big step.”