Coming off of a big season and a run into the NCAA tournament, the Seton Hill baseball team is hungry to start their season.
Coach Marc Marizzaldi commented, “Last seasons success has brought us some preseason recognition and high rankings and does give us some momentum going into this year, as well as a bulls-eye on our backs.”
The team realizes that the record is 0-0 going into the season and they have to find ways to compete and go further than they did last season. With a 2014 record of 41-17-0, the team was selected second in the PSAC west preseason poll. To go along with the pre season honors, Mike Bittel and Pat McCarthy were named to the NCBWA Division II Preseason All American Teams as honorable mention selections. National rankings are in the conversation as well for the Griffins; the team has been named in the top seven teams in the nation according to multiple polls.
The griffin roster supports a hefty 41 players, which includes a stout freshman class with 14 men.
“Everyone is expected to play a part in our success and dedicate themselves to being the best at their respective roles” said Coach Marizzaldi “We have some experienced veterans who have achieved at high levels, and some inexperienced young players who continue to learn the game.”
Coach also believes that the team has to trust each other in order to maintain the “unbreakable chain.”
The weather is effecting the baseball season just like it does every year. Most all of the practices have taken place late at night in Sullivan Gym. On a rare decent day, the team will go outside to the field and get a good practice in. The weather in January allowed the team to go outside about two times per week. When February hit the team was forced to go inside due to Mother Nature. However, the team is used to this type of weather in the northeast happening every year.
“It’s the nature of our sport in this region of the country, and we’ve grown accustomed to most of our pre-season training indoors,” said Coach Marizzaldi.
The team has to focus on the fundamentals inside so they can be successful outside on the full field.
As far as the team’s mentality goes, they are anxious for the weather to be better so they can go outside and compete in the PSAC.
“We’ve created a very good foundation of team chemistry from the fall through the winter. I also think our players have a solid understanding of embracing the journey that we are about to embark on. It’s a very long road to the National Championship. Our players know that road has bumps and sharp turns along the way, but they are ready and willing to embrace each part of the journey and enjoy the ride,” said Coach Marizzaldi.
The griffins will be in North Carolina and South Carolina for a 6 game stretch within a week.