Joe Vitale graduated from Dowling College in 1990 after playing four seasons for Golden Lions.
Actions speak louder then words, especially in the case of Joe Vitale. Joe was known as a silent leader of the baseball team. He might not have said a lot, but Coach John Davide knew he could count on Joe for the win or a clutch hit. Whether it was on the mound or at the plate Joe gave a hundred and ten percent for the Golden Lions.
The Northport native, son Linda and Tony Vitale, grew up with three sisters: Gina, Anne-Michelle and Toni. He came to Dowling in 1985 from Northport High School where he was an all-county shortstop for the Tigers.
While at Dowling, Joe had an immediate impact as a pitcher and middle infielder. In his freshman year, the right handed hurler broke the school record for wins in a season with seven and set a single game record by striking out 16 batters against Mercy College.
The next year Joe would continue to excel. He became the first Golden Lion to throw a no-hitter in an NCAA game. Unfortunately for Joe, errors would be the downfall for the weekend and Dowling would lose 2-0 to Concordia College. At the plate, Joe knocked in a team high 43 runs and hit.349 earning First Team All-Knickerbocker Conference honors as a Designated Hitter.
In 1988 he continued to lead the team in almost all offensive and pitching categories again garnering First Team All-Conference honors, this time as a pitcher. As a result of their fine play, the Golden Lions would be invited to the post season ECAC South Championship for the first time in the history of the program
In his senior year, Joe had a superb campaign. He led the team and reached a career high as he hit .443 in 140 at bats. For the year he drove in 56 runners and once again led the team back to the ECAC South Championship.
In the Championship game against Philadelphia Textile, Joe was key in a 5-4 come from behind victory. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs he came through with a clutch hit and singled home Tom LoCascio to tie the game at four. Joe also came in relief and recorded 8 shutout innings of one hit ball for the win.
That season on the mound, Joe surpassed his previous record of seven single season wins and set the new record with nine.
His hard work and unmatched athletic ability as both a power hitter and pitcher landed Joe a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates and selection to the First District All-American team.
In addition to his pitching accolades, Joe still holds many Dowling career offensive records. Currently he leads in runs batted in with 168, triples with 10, and ranks in the top ten all time in batting average, hits, runs, doubles, and homeruns.
Today Joe resides in East Setauket with his wife Debbie and two children Nicholas and Victoria. He is the Vice President for Business Development at Carlin Systems in Bohemia and enjoys coaching his sons Little League team.
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