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Casteel to join surging YSU baseball program

Butler senior Colin Casteel, flanked by parents Kristen and Mark Casteel, signs a letter of intent to continue his academic and baseball career at Youngstown State University. Looking on, from left, are Butler baseball coach Josh Forbes and Colin’s brother, Kyle Casteel. John Enrietto/Butler Eagle
Butler right-hander hopes to crack Penguins’ pitching rotation

BUTLER TWP — For Colin Casteel, it’s all about growth as a pitcher next spring.

In 2024, it will be about helping the continued growth of the Youngstown State University baseball program.

Butler’s senior 6-foot-4 right-hander recently signed a letter of intent to continue his academic and baseball career with the Penguins. He plans to major in business administration.

“It’s close to home and it’s good competition,” Casteel said of YSU. “I feel like that program is on the rise and I want to be part of it.”

Casteel also considered Gannon and Slippery Rock before opting for YSU. He is one of three senior Butler pitchers advancing to college ball next year, joining Madden Clement (Virginia Tech) and James Desmond (Indiana, Pa.).

“Colin’s tall and lanky, he still has his baby face,” Butler coach Josh Forbes said. “His body is going to fill out and he’ll get stronger. He’s got a world of potential and I’m anxious to see how his career plays out.

“He’s got a lively fastball and he locates it very well. His changeup is coming along and he’s got a good slider. He’s only going to get better.”

He’s already pretty good.

Casteel fashioned a 0.98 earned run average in 41.1 innings pitched for the Golden Tornado last season. He struck out 26 and walked only eight.

“Control has been my big thing, but I know I have to improve all of my pitches to be successful at the next level,” Casteel said. “My goal, like just about every baseball player, is to play professionally. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll look to get a job on the business side and have a successful career that way.

“Either way, I feel like I’m going to the right school for me.”

Youngstown State plays in the Horizon League and went through a dark decade on the diamond, winning only 134 games while losing 381 from 2011-19. The team did not attain a 20-win season during that stretch.

Dan Bertolini has been the Penguins’ head baseball coach for seven years and is in the process of orchestrating a turnaround. YSU was 32-24 in 2021 — its first 30-win season in 26 years — and was 21-36 overall last spring. The Penguins put together consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 2005-06.

YSU has produced the last two Horizon League Pitchers of the Year — Matt Brosky and Collin Floyd — with Brosky being selected by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round of the 2022 MLB amateur draft.

“I’m hoping to get into the starting rotation there,” Casteel said. “If not, I’ll do what’s best for the team. I just want to play.”

Forbes said Casteel’s winning background — with the Golden Tornado and Pittsburgh Spikes — could prove beneficial to Youngstown State’s surging program.

“I’m sure he’ll get a chance to pitch there and show what he can do at the Division I level,” Forbes said. “Coming from a winning culture, Colin will instill more confidence to a program that’s already gaining in that area.

“I’m excited about what he’ll be able to do for them — and for us in the spring.”

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