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Elmira's Valesente Bound For Bucs

David Valesente in action at the 2011 Pecos League All-Star Game (Courtesy Alpine Avalanche/Todd Fuqua)

According to the Ithaca Journal, former Elmira Pioneer David Valesente (2007) is close to signing a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Valesente, 23, is one of 10 former Elmira Pioneers currently playing professional baseball. He was a member of Elmira's first summer collegiate championship team in 2007. The Saint Joseph's (Pa.) product batted .333 with seven hits, six RBI and four runs scored over six playoff games. Four of his seven postseason hits came in the championship series against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Valesente appeared in 33 regular season games and drove in 11 runs. He finished third on the team with 75 defensive assists.

The Ithaca, N.Y., native played collegiate baseball at Saint Joseph's (Pa.) University. He was a two-time Philadelphia All-Big Five selection and he was named to the 2007 Atlantic-10 All-Rookie team. David's best offensive season came in 2009 during his junior year. Valesente topped the Hawks in overall hits (65), runs scored (39), doubles (15), on-base percentage (.459) and defensive assists (122). He added a .369 batting average, five belts and 35 RBI and was named SJU's Most Valuable Player.

Last summer, Valesente played in the independent Pecos League with the Alpine (Texas) Cowboys. He earned a selection to the Pecos League All-Star Game. The former Lansing Bobcat batted .292 over 43 games and drove in 22 runs.

David's father, George, has been the head baseball coach at NCAA Division III Ithaca College for over 30 years. The elder Valesente was a pitcher in the Washington Nationals organization and advanced as high as Triple-A.

From the Ithaca Journal


ITHACA -- It seems like just yesterday that David Valesente was hustling out to home plate as a grade school-aged bat boy for the Ithaca College baseball team, dragging a bat that was nearly as tall as he was back to the home dugout.

His father feels the same way.

Of course, his dad is Bombers head coach George Valesente, and he, too, marveled at the passage of time that has turned that little boy into a budding professional baseball player.

David, 23, is in the process of tying up some loose ends at his home in Philadelphia before heading to Bradenton, Fla., where he's expected to sign a contract with the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates.

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