Knights off to historic start

The Gannon University baseball team is ranked 10th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Division II Atlantic regional poll due to a 15-9 overall record and 9-3 in PSAC play, the team’s best 24-game start to a season in school history.

Coach Nate Cocolin said the strong start could be credited to playing a tough schedule on the team’s spring training trip to Florida. Cocolin said the baseball team has relied on consistent pitching and defensive play to obtain victories.

“Our defensive play has been a big part of our wins this season,” Cocolin said. “We didn’t have an error all weekend.”

Gannon won three of its four games over the weekend against the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shayne Herold, a senior pitcher, recorded his fifth win of the season along with his third save over the weekend while recording a .91 ERA on the year. Cocolin said Herold has been a dynamic pitcher for the team because of his ability to start and finish games.

“He has an above average fastball with above average control,” Cocolin said.

Offensive production for the baseball club has been led by timely batting by Mark DeVita, a redshirt freshman infielder who leads the team with a .345 batting average. Nico Baldelli, redshirt-senior catcher, has also swung the bat well with a .333 batting average and 16 runs batted in.

Cocolin said Jeff Bellanca, a sophomore utility player, has played well defensively all the while maintaining a .317 batting average.

“He is a very versatile player,” Cocolin said while talking about Bellanca. “He has played first base, designated hitter, outfield and catcher for the team this season.”

Bellanca said he enjoys playing different positions and it gives him a chance to get out on the field wherever he is needed. Bellanca said the team’s pitching has been strong and led the team to many victories

“Our pitching this year has been great and I have confidence that they are going to pitch good enough to give us the win,” Bellanca said. “I’m going into this weekend with the same confidence against Mansfield staff.”

Aaron Cox, freshman infielder and pitcher, is 4-0 on the season with a 2.12 ERA. Cox has pitched dominantly and leads the team with five homeruns. Cox’s previous 23 innings have been shutout baseball.

“It’s great to have a player that can have a strong starting pitching performance and help us out offensively as well,” Bellanca said

Gannon takes on Mansfield University this weekend in a home-and-home series with two doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.

 

CONNOR SONDEL

[email protected]