Unable to pitch for the past two years due to an injury to his throwing shoulder, Dalton Durossette will return to the mound next spring.
The former Ceres High School multi-sport athlete/2020 Central Catholic grad will take a step forward in his comeback when he joins Modesto Junior College’s baseball team.
Coaching the sport at Central Catholic reignited Durossette’s competitive fire and desire to play again.
“Danny Ayala (head coach) and Billy Hylla (athletic director) asking me to coach was a blessing,” he said. “That made me get back into baseball and challenge myself. If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be throwing.”
Durossette injured his throwing arm while pitching against Placer during his senior year at Central Catholic.
He knew something was wrong when his fastball dropped from 90-plus to 70 miles per hour.
He opted against having surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder because of the length of the recovery process and there was no guarantee he’d be able to regain his pitching velocity.
“Getting the news from the doctor that I tore my labrum, I shut down,” said Durossette, who gave up a baseball scholarship to NCAA Division-I Santa Clara University so he could take a much-needed break from playing sports. “I went into hibernation. My hope was gone. It took a lot out of me. I didn’t throw at all. I did some rehab—shoulder mobility and band work. I slowly progressed to playing catch and that’s what made me miss the sport.”
“Taking two years off to rest, heal and get healthy was the best option. My arm feels great. God has a plan for everybody. Everything happens for a reason.”Dalton Durossette
“Taking two years off to rest, heal and get healthy was the best option,” Durossette added. “My arm feels great. God has a plan for everybody. Everything happens for a reason.”
Durossette made two appearances at pitcher with the Sonoma Stompers in the California Collegiate League this summer.
He retired all six batters he faced during his first outing in June.
He allowed no earned runs with three strikeouts on the mound in July.
“There were college players from all over the nation,” Durossette said. “For not playing in two years, I did well. I had fun. It was a success. I hope to build on it this upcoming season at Modesto Junior College.”
Durossette attended a workout with the Houston Astros leading up to the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft.
He threw 15 pitches on the mound in front of scouts on June 10 at Chabot College in Hayward.
Durossette’s fastball topped out at 93 miles per hour.
“There were about 20 Astros personnel there,” he stated. “I talked with the head scout. I got some excellent feedback. He said I did a fantastic job locating my pitches. They haven’t offered me anything yet. I hope to get drafted next year. As of now, I’m planning on going to Modesto Junior College. If I play well, my value will go up. I’ll have more options.”
Durossette played multiple sports at Central Catholic.
He compiled a 1-0 record with a 3.28 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks during his final season of baseball. Central Catholic’s 2020 campaign was shortened to just six games due to public safety concerns related to COVID-19.
Durossette batted .357 from the plate with one homer, one triple, nine RBIs and four runs in four games. He had on-base, slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages of .471, .714 and 1.185, respectively.
Durossette had a productive junior season with the Raiders.
He posted a 3-1 record with a 2.10 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 40 innings.
He hit .311 with one triple, one double, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and 10 stolen bases as Central Catholic finished 18-13, reached the finals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs and placed second in the VOL standings (8-4).
Durossette still had an itch to compete last fall so he joined the Modesto Junior College football team.
A late addition to the Pirates, Durossette earned the starting punter position and was a backup tight end.
“I can’t throw a baseball to save my life,” he said at that time. “I can throw a football. It’s different motions.”
Durossette drew interest from Pac-12, Mountain West Conference and Big Sky Conference football programs for his play on the gridiron in high school.
He garnered first-team all-Valley Oak League recognition at quarterback and punter senior year.
He passed for 1,773 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions as the Raiders compiled a 6-6 overall record, advanced to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs and finished in a three-way tie for first place in the VOL standings (5-1).
He had six punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Durossette attended Ceres High prior to transferring to Central Catholic in February 2018.
He garnered second-team all-Western Athletic Conference recognition in varsity football his sophomore year with the Bulldogs.
He threw for 1,709 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine picks.
A standout pitcher and infielder in varsity baseball as a freshman, Durossette was named to the WAC First Team.
He batted .410 with one homer, three doubles, 22 RBIs, 34 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Durossette amassed a 7-4 record with a 2.53 ERA, one no-hitter, one shutout, three complete games and 56 strikeouts on the mound.
A product of Ceres Youth Baseball, Durossette served as the lead instructor at the Ceres Blaze program’s July 26-27 clinic.
“I thought it was a success,” said Durossette, who started playing the sport at the age of four at Costa Fields. “Most of the kids were young. It was pretty enjoyable seeing the smiles on their faces. We had them doing specific drills that got them out of their comfort zones. We worked on basic stuff. We challenged them.”
Durossette will work with Central Catholic’s quarterbacks during the football season this fall.
“Once I’m done playing, my plan is to become a coach like my dad,” he said. “I enjoy being around sports. It’s cool being able to help kids out.”