Leto pitcher Jose Pupo, a Tampa Bay Times all-Hillsborough County selection, has signed with Florida Gulf Coast University, according to Falcons coach J.J. Pizzio.
Pupo went 7-3 with a 1.47 ERA this spring, leading the Falcons to their first appearance in the state playoffs since 2001. His 97 strikeouts placed him among the top 15 pitchers in the state in that category.
It was Pupo who pitched Leto into the regional round of the playoffs, allowing three runs – only one earned – on three hits and striking out eight in the Falcons’ 4-3 victory over Strawberry Crest in the District 6A-11 semifinals.
“We are really proud of him,” said Pizzio, who has previously described Pupo as “a grown man.”
His college signing completes something of a story with fairy-tale origins: Pupo came to Tampa five years ago, emigrating here with his family from Cuba.
Florida Gulf Coast plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jdhometeam.