Seton Hill set to open PSAC tournament
College Football Videos
One thing Seton Hill baseball coach Marc Marizzaldi said he learned about his team's first season in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference was how deep the pitching was.
“In the WVIAC (West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) teams had probably two good top pitchers,” Marizzaldi said. “In the PSAC, the Nos. 3 and 4 guys are good too. We're facing a lot of good pitchers.”
Seton Hill (36-14, 22-6 West) was the preseason favorite to win the Western Division and the Griffins did just that with good pitching and timely hitting late in the season. The team is ranked No. 13 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll.
The PSAC tournament begins Wednesday at Kelly Automotive Park (formerly Pullman Park) in Butler, and Seton Hill is seeded No. 1 in the West. The top team from the East is Millersville.
The tournament is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. with Mercyhurst facing West Chester. Seton Hill is slated to play Kutztown at 6:30 p.m.
Seton Hill rolled off 17 consecutive victories after starting the season 11-10.
During that stretch, the Griffins' pitching staff was dominant, allowing only 1.3 runs per game.
“Surprisingly, the pitching hasn't been as good as expected,” Marizzaldi said. “There have been guys who performed better than expected, but overall we expected more.”
Two pitchers who have been outstanding are sophomores Mike Bittel (7-2) and Jordan Fuller (4-1). The other starters are Brad Schnelle (5-2) and Brett Sullivan (7-3), while 2013 ace Alex Haines (5-2) has been moved to the bullpen.
“The other guys pitched well enough to allow us to move Alex to the pen and he has embraced it,” Marizzaldi said. “We've made some adjustments with Alex and he's pitching well. And with Jesse Cooper becoming our closer, we can shorten games in the tournament.”
Cooper, who volunteered to pitch in the winter, set Seton Hill's career saves record halfway through the season. He now has 14.
Bittel, Cooper and outfielder Cody Herald were named PSAC-West first-team all-stars. Shortstop Brendan Costantino was named to the second team while Marizzaldi was named Coach of the Year.
Seton Hill also has started hitting the more consistently. Marizzaldi said it took him 35 games to finally get a set lineup.
Herald has been the most consistent hitter. He's batting .357 with 28 RBIs and team-highs in runs scored (39), hits (57) and doubles (13). Anthony Fanelli (Hempfield) has been a pleasant surprise hitting in the two spot, batting .357 with 25 runs scored and 17 RBIs.
Catcher Chris Miller is batting .333 with a team-high 36 RBIs, and after a slow start third baseman Nick Sell is hitting .311 with 50 hits, a team-high seven home runs and 34 RBIs.
“We're playing good baseball and we swung the bats well against California,” Marizzaldi said. “We've been able to overcome some key injuries.”
Sidelined this season were infielder Pat McCarthy, pitcher Bob Carbaugh and catcher Josh Forbes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District Game of the Week: Assumption at Slippery Rock
- Alle-Kiski Campus Clippings: Huska takes double honor from PSAC
- District college notebook: Pair of Pitt wrestlers win titles at Keystone Classic
- Campus clippings: Kiski Area grad Frye top PAC punter at Bethany
- WCCC men preaching team-first mentality
- Duquesne eyes NEC football title, 1st FCS berth
- Campus clippings: Shane ignites Thiel win