When Dominic Pianto heard the news that COVID-19 had canceled spring sports across the country, like everyone else, he was confused but was ready to start training for the next season.
Fast forward two months, and now Pianto is looking for a new home altogether.
Due to COVID-19, Furman University announced they would be closing down their baseball program for good due to funds lost.
“It is one of those things that happen in life where you have to move on and roll with the punches and try to make the best out of a crappy situation,” Pianto said. “I think we were all shocked, not just as players but the coaches as well.”
In his first season at Furman, Pianto threw five innings in five appearances allowing eight hits, five earned runs, three walks, and five strikeouts.
“I thought I was on track to having a good season,” Pianto said. “I was growing and developing on the field, and I thought as a team, it was going to shape out for a good season.”
Pianto is staying ready for whenever he finally gets his number called again. According to his high school coach, Chris Parker, Pianto is going through the recruiting process that he should have experienced as a senior with the Knights.
“I have been getting blown up lately on the phone talking to a good amount of schools that range from Division I to junior college,” Pianto said. “For my next step, I am thinking of a four-year school, and ideally, I want to play at the highest level possible. I am looking for a school that can develop me and set me up for a bright future.”
When word first came down that Furman would be shutting down their program, players, including Pianto, did not know if there would be restrictions put in place of where they could transfer.
As well-connected as he is, coach Parker searched through his rolodex and started calling every program he knew.
“After we learned the transfer would be direct because the program was disbarred, I started in the SEC and worked my way around to anyone and everyone,” he said. “I described him as the best arm I have had at JPII other than Mason (Hickman), and that speaks for itself. I always talk about his character is strong, his ability to lead, and his academic prowess. His work ethic is one that is preferred, and he does what he is supposed to do. His best baseball is in front of him.”
On the mound, Pianto describes himself as a dog, a pitcher that will challenge hitters and one that will be aggressive.
“When I have a feel for all my pitches, I think I am dominant,” he said.
After signing with Furman in 2019 as a starting pitcher, Pianto progressed as a bullpen guy and now is more of a closer.
With several training resources at his disposal, it is only a matter of time before Pianto moves on to the next stage in his life.
He will pursue a double major in Spanish and Accounting with the hopes of doing international travel after his playing days.
Hopefully, his playing days are far from over as his eyes are fixated on playing baseball for as long as he can.
“100 percent I have dreams of playing professional baseball,” he said.