Seton Hill University’s baseball team is ranked seventh in the nation and was riding a 19-game winning streak until Sunday, but head coach Marc Marizzaldi doesn’t want to think too much about that.
“We won 19 in a row last year at one point, but I think our guys would trade all of those wins for a better performance in the post-season. Although it’s exciting, we honestly don’t even talk about the streak. We just continue to focus on the next 200 feet in front of us and control our performance in the next game only,” Marizzaldi said.
“Like the win streak, we are not very focused on the rankings. It’s certainly great recognition for our baseball program to be considered among the elite Division II teams in the country. It’s again something we need to be thankful for, being in the top ten out of 240 teams, but at the end of the day the polls are something we cant control, so we don’t get too concerned with them.”
Marizzaldi’s team has no plans to change their winning mentality heading into the play-offs. “The post season tends to excite people and cause teams to ‘step things up.’ We have played some of the best teams in the country this year, so we know we are prepared. I don’t see anything changing with our approach in the post season, other than emphasizing to our players to enjoy the journey.”
The team’s success comes despite losing “all of the valuable seniors” that have graduated in the last two years, according to Marizzaldi. Training was also amped up coming into this season.
“We challenged our guys more this year than ever before. We stepped up our strength training this off-season and I think we are seeing the benefits now,” said Marizzaldi.
“But most importantly we spent countless hours in the classroom working on the mental game all winter. I think our guys have become much tougher mentally and it’s carried over to consistency on the field this spring.”
Marizzaldi is glad that the success also comes with this group of players.
“I feel very lucky to be around this group of 32 players this year. It’s a special group that’s done some special things and I’m looking forward to celebrating once we get to our final destination.”
The post-season is quickly approaching with the team closing out the regular season against Penn State Behrend on Saturday. After that, all Griffins’ post-season games will be broadcast live on a web-based radio feed through Westmoreland Sports Network.