Winning back-to-back championships is no easy feat, but the Seton Hill University baseball team was determined to achieve success once again this season.
For the second year in a row, the SHU baseball team won the PSAC Championship by defeating Millersville University on May 12 by a score of 5-1, making them the first team to win back to back championships since Kutztown University in 2005 and 2006.
“The PSAC Tournament is one of the toughest in the country, an 8-team double elimination over four days,” said head coach Marc Marizzaldi. “To win it two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment by our players. We had not played up to our potential most of the season, but we played perhaps our best baseball when it mattered in the postseason.”
After winning all four games in the PSAC Tournament, the Griffins automatically earned a spot in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional for the ninth straight season.
“Having many veteran players that won the PSAC tournament last year certainly played a big part in this year’s championship run,” Marizzaldi said. “Earning our ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament is quite an accomplishment. It speaks to the tradition of winning and the high standards our players have set over the last decade.”
After going 3-1 in the regional tournament, the Griffins were eliminated by Mercyhurst University on May 21 in the final round by a score of 4-2. The team finished the season with an overall record of 34-22 and a record of 17-11 in PSAC play.
“Our group of 14 seniors provided great leadership on and off the field,” Marizzaldi said. “That leadership created a lot of trust and belief that, despite a poor start to the season, we could achieve our goals. On the field, Coach Cannon did an outstanding job developing our pitching staff into a deep and consistent unit that dominated in the postseason.”
One pitcher in particular recently caught the attention of the MLB: Perry DellaValle was drafted this week by the St. Louis Cardinals as the 19th pick in the 27th round of the draft. DellaValle is the third Griffin in school history to be drafted by a MLB team and the highest draft pick of those three.
DellaValle is among the number of Griffins who recently graduated from the team, but Marizzaldi believes the baseball team will still be able to achieve success in the 2019 season.
“We lose a handful of impact players to graduation, but we have an outstanding group coming back with a lot of championship experience,” Marizzaldi said. “We are excited about our incoming class of recruits that should add both talent and depth. Our goal for next year is to get better every single day, and compete for a national championship. We understand that our accomplishments of this year mean nothing in 2019, but I personally believe we will have the right ingredients to make a run to the World Series.”
Published By: Stephen Dumnich