Geibel grad reaches goal to play in Division II College World Series
Seton Hill fifth-year senior Brendan Costantino couldn't think of a better way to cap his college baseball career than to play in the College World Series.
This week, he is getting his wish as the Griffins won the Atlantic Regional earlier this month to claim a spot in the NCAA Division II championships in Cary, N.C.
“It means a lot because since I've been at Seton Hill, that's been the ultimate goal,” Costantino said. “To get there in my last year means that much more, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity.”
Costantino, a 2009 Geibel graduate, earned All-Fayette County honors in each of his four seasons with the Gators. A standout infielder, he was an All-WVIAC player in his sophomore and junior seasons at Seton Hill and earned All-PSAC honors this season.
He was named to the All-Atlantic Region team in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and was an Atlantic Region Gold Glove third baseman in his sophomore season.
But despite all of his individual awards, playing in the College World Series is at the top of his list in terms of accomplishments.
“This is what every team plays for,” Costantino said.
The Griffins (41-15) are one of eight teams competing in the CWS. Seton Hill started the tournament Sunday with a 4-2 victory over Minnesota State-Mankato and will play Colorado Mesa at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. To emerge as the national champion, Costantino knows Seton Hill will have to be flawless from here on out.
“With only eight teams left in the country, we're going to have to play perfect,” he said. “We have to bring our ‘A' game every day. We have to be fundamentally sound and not let the hype of the tournament get to us. We have to focus on the task at hand.”
Costantino is among the team leaders in many categories, including games played (55), batting average (.321), hits (61), home runs (4) and RBIs (34). His 36 stolen bases lead the team. He has been a steady and reliable shortstop in his junior and senior seasons.
But despite his impressive statistics, Costantino believes his biggest contribution to the team doesn't necessarily show up in box scores.
“I just try to be a leader,” he said. “I know a lot of the young guys look up to me, and I just try to be a leader by example. Baseball is what I take pride in, and I try to show people how to love the game.”
For Costantino, his love of the game will continue well past his playing days at Seton Hill, and he hopes to stay close to the game for the foreseeable future.
A business major, he is hoping to get a tryout with a professional team and hopefully begin a career in pro ball.
Win or lose in the College World Series, Costantino will be able to look back on his Seton Hill career with pride, particularly when it comes to the relationships he has developed.
“Making all these friends and being with my teammates every day, I would say that is one of my biggest accomplishments,” Costantino said.