Signing off

After a fun-filled good four months of covering the Rowan Profs’ baseball team, I no longer will be feeding this blog with new, original content at all.

Covering the team and interviewing personnel was a new, yet refreshing task for me to go through with. I enjoyed shooting HD video and photos from games of theirs that I attended and took enjoyment in doing so, since it was a new accomplishment.

By shooting video of a person or of a live action moment within a topic, with which a beat that I was/am very passionate about no less, I learned new tricks and trades, like framing and editing good video shots to make them even better.

At first, I was nervous about approaching people for interviews, thinking by doing so that I was annoying the person[s], but it gave me a fresh take into the wide world of reporting.

By taking photos, especially from different angles of the event, it made way — setting up — for telling a [good] story. I hope to be a sports reporter once I graduate college.

Here are links to my five best blog posts from this semester.

https://firstpitchstrike1.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/the-history-of-profs-baseball/

https://firstpitchstrike1.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/2017-rowan-profs-baseball-season-preview-with-coach-mike-dickson/

https://firstpitchstrike1.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/a-conversation-with-matt-jolly-and-rob-grilli/

https://firstpitchstrike1.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/live-footage-player-interviews-and-a-recap-of-the-profs-home-finale-versus-new-jersey-city-university/

https://firstpitchstrike1.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/a-recap-of-the-profs-ospreys-game/

Live footage, player interviews, and a recap of the Profs’ home finale versus New Jersey City University

Rowan left fielder Frankie Aiello, with the scoreboard up behind him (Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Last Friday afternoon, at 3:30 PM on April 28th, the Profs hosted the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights.

(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Starting Lineups

New Jersey City University

Position Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB
3B T. Born 4 0 0 0 0 0 2
LF B. Feehan 2 1 0 0 0 1 0
CF N. Ruscingno 4 0 1 0 0 1 1
1B D. Berardi 4 0 0 0 0 1 1
1B     J.Papamarkos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
RF J. Coutinho 3 0 2 1 1 1 0
DH L. Gomez 4 0 1 0 0 0 1
PR     S. Erhardt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2B J. Reinecke 4 0 2 0 0 1 0
C CJ Pulcine 3 0 0 0 0 1 1
PH     S. Ramos 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
SS N. LoGatto 3 0 1 0 0 1 0
PH     Z. Buchholz 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
P J. Stone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     S. Gibney 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     J. Casella 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     R. Lorenzo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     A. Guerra 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     D. Foley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 33 1 7 1 1 9 8

 

 

Rowan University

Position Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB
RF Jason Clapper 4 1 2 0 0 0 0
2B Alex Kokos 4 3 0 1 1 0 2
DH Shawn Leydon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
PH/DH     Monny Strickland 2 0 1 1 0 0 0
1B Joe Sadler 3 1 1 4 1 0 1
SS Matt Jolly 5 0 1 0 0 1 3
SS     Matt Edwards 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C Steven Hewa 3 0 1 0 0 0 0
3B Dillon Mendel 3 1 1 0 1 1 2
LF Frankie Aiello 3 1 0 0 0 2 1
CF Shane Brown 3 1 1 1 0 0 0
P Andrew Cohen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     Sam Nocito 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 31 8 8 7 3 4 9
Pitchers
New Jersey City University
Player IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HBP IBB AB BF FO GO NP
J. Stone (L, 0-1) 1.0 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 6 1 2 23
S. Gibney 3.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 0 8 11 2 3 40
J. Casella 0.2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 0 2 23
R. Lorenzo 2.1 5 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 12 12 4 2 42
A. Guerra 0.0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 8
D. Foley 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 4 2 1 10
TOTALS 8 8 4 3 4 0 0 5 0 31 41 9 10 146
Rowan University
Player IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HBP IBB AB BF FO GO NP
Andrew Cohen (W, 4-4) 8.0 5 1 1 1 7 0 0 2 0 28 31 6 10 118
Sam Nocito 1.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 5 5 1 0 18
TOTALS 7 1 1 1 9 0 0 2 0 33 36 7 10 136

Coming into the game, the Gothic Knights were an average team — with a win-loss record of 16-16. Both teams play within the Division III New Jersey Athletic Conference. Within the conference, Rowan has the second-best record, at 26-14 (a .650 winning percentage), behind only The College of New Jersey (27-10).

On Friday, it was Rowan’s second and final regular-season meeting against New Jersey City. Prior to Friday’s game, serving as the first game of a home-and-away doubleheader, New Jersey City, the night before, hosted the Profs at the Thomas M. Gerrity AC field (NJC’s home field). New Jersey City won the game 5-4, in a come-from-behind victory.

As for this game, like most recent home games, the weather was perfect, with a forecast of around 80 degrees and partly sunny weather. Christopher Williams was the home-plate umpire, while Anthony Gencarelli served as the first-base umpire. It was Rowan’s 13th conference game.

On the mound, Rowan senior starting pitcher Andrew Cohen got the nod. For the season, he’s now 4-4, with a respectable 2.65 earned-run average, and a strikeouts-per-game average of 10.2. For the day, he pitched eight innings, allowed only one earned run, and struck out seven batters. It was the fourth time this season that he’s pitched seven innings or more in a game.

As for the Gothic Knights, senior pitcher Joe Stone got the nod on the mound by his manager Jerry Smith. Despite starting the game, Stone has been used little in games. So far this season, his season high for innings pitched in a game is three, which occurred at Staten Island on April 10th. His game against Rowan was his first start of the season.

Including this game, out of Rowan’s 38 games this season, they’ve scored at least one run in the first inning on 12 occasions.

Rowan got off to a hot start, shutting down the Gothic Knights in the top of the first, then scoring three runs during the bottom half of the inning, to take an early lead.

In that bottom of the first inning, Rowan batters had a single, a walk, and a three-run home run — all within the top four batters of the lineup.

Within that first inning, on a 0-2 count, Jason Clapper started the game by singling up the middle of the field on a high fastball. Alex Kokos laid off two outside fastballs and a low breaking ball, and drew a walk and advanced Clapper up a base to second.

After designated hitter Shawn Leydon flied out on a 1-2 high fastball, Joe Sadler waited for a better pitch and took another high fastball in, on a 3-1 count, good enough to sail a high home run to left field — off of the foul pole no less. Instantly, a strong 3-0 lead was formed. Despite, after Sadler’s three-run shot, two groundouts to end the inning (by Matt Jolly and catcher Steven Hewa), it was a solid start to the game for Rowan.

Despite having three full-count (3-2) at-bats through his first two innings, starter Andrew Cohen settled down and only had three of them through the rest of his start — his final five innings. As for Stone, in his lone inning he had 23 pitches, 12 of which were for strikes.

Their relievers weren’t much better, too, as, in the remaining eight innings, the five other NJCU pitchers allowed six hits and two walks, despite poor fielding behind their pitchers (they had three errors). In addition to that, five Rowan batters were hit by a pitch.

For the day, NJCU pitchers totaled 146 pitches, which averages out to 4.71 pitches thrown per at-bat. In 31 at-bats, Rowan batters struck out on only four occasions (12.9 percent).

 

Lead-off batter Jason Clapper started in right field, despite playing in left field for the previous three games. Going 2/4, it was his 14th multi-hit game of the season. In those 14 games, Rowan is 8-6 (.571).

After the game ended, which was at approximately 6:01 PM, I got a chance to speak with both right fielder Jason Clapper and first baseman Joe Sadler. We discussed the team’s game-to-game approach, coach Mike Dickson’s lineup adjustments, and their advice for both 2017 incoming freshman and soon-to-be sophomore players.

Of note, the game was the same day as Joe Sadler’s birthday, to which he alluded to during the interview (the year of his birthday is unknown).

 

Right fielder Jason Clapper batting on deck (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Rowan’s manager Mike Dickson, next to the team’s dugout
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Senior infielder Matt Jolly, batting on deck (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Senior right fielder Jason Clapper, next to the dugout (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Rowan’s infield, with Rowan starting pitcher Andrew Cohen warming up (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Profs-Gothic Knights baseball notecard and program (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Statistics/Side Arm Stats) (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Statistics/Rowan Athletics) (Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Notes

-This was Jason Clapper’s 10th consecutive start at the lead-off position. Leading up to Rowan’s 2-1 win over Rutgers on April 13th, he had yet to lead-off a game in the team’s previous 28 games.

-In Clapper’s 10 games in the lead-off spot, he’s hitting .487 (19/39), with 11 runs, two home runs, two doubles, nine walks, and seven runs batted in. In his previous 28 games, he went 28 for 83, for a .337 batting average.

-After being the team’s lead-off hitter for the first 18 games of the season, freshman infielder Alex Kokos has been the second hitter in the lineup for the past eight games. In the number-two spot, he’s hitting .318 (14-44) . As a lead-off hitter, he’s hit .250 (19/76). In his past five games as a lead-off hitter, he only hit .187 (3/16), which is possibly why coach Mike Dickson moved him down a spot in the lineup.

In the 18 regular season games that he was a lead-off hitter, the team went 13-5 (for a winning percentage of 72.7). Since then, the team’s gone 7-3 (for a winning percentage of 70). For the season, he’s hitting .287.

Scoring Summary

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New Jersey City U. 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 3
Rowan University 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 X 8 8 0

 

Live footage of the Profs-Lions baseball game

Last Thursday afternoon (at 3:30 PM) I attended a baseball game in Glassboro between the Rowan Profs and The College of New Jersey Lions . The temperature was 77 and sunny, perfect weather for baseball. Rowan and TCNJ have been division rivals ever since 1957, when Rowan then was known as the New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro.

Leading up to their 9-2 win on that day versus Rowan, TCNJ had won nine games in a row. They currently have the best record among the conference (overall, they are 23-8, and 11-3 versus conference teams). Before losing, Rowan were winners in five out of their six previous outings. The day after the game, the two teams had a rematch, except up in Ewing, New Jersey (where TCNJ plays), which Rowan won 5-4.

For the season, Rowan is 25-11 — including 9-5 within the conference.

In addition to live footage from throughout the game, after the game ended I interviewed Rowan manager Mike Dickson about his starting pitcher, in-game adjustments, and the game’s umpiring (the home-plate umpire was Chris Carroll).

 

 

A recap of the Profs-Ospreys game

149190156468052
Rowan’s Alex Kokos (Photo/Rowan Athletics)

So far this season it’s been a success for the Profs.

The Profs are winners of 18 games, with an impressive 18-9 win-loss record, and they’ve won five out of their past six games. One of their more impressive wins recently was their shutout blowout victory at home versus Haverford College, who has a winning record so far this season. Most recently, yesterday afternoon (at 1 o’clock) Rowan beat 11-11 Stockton, known as the Ospreys, for a final score of 9-8.

Up until yesterday’s loss at Rowan, Stockton had won two out of their previous three games, with more runs scored than allowed in that span (25-20). Luckily for both teams yesterday, the weather couldn’t of been more perfect, especially for baseball weather. At Rowan’s baseball field, the temperature was listed as sunny, and it was around the mid ’70s.

Luckily they have another home game coming on Wednesday afternoon (at four o’clock) before they head off to face Rutgers at Camden later in the week. This season at home, Rowan is 6-1, having won nine out of their past 10 home games overall leading from last season till now. At Glassboro for Wednesday afternoon’s game, the approximate temperature is listed as 73 degrees.

As for yesterday’s game against Stockton, despite allowing eight total runs, Rowan’s pitchers Brad Machinski and Rob Grilli, who I interviewed last month, were excellent in maintaining Stockton hitters on base (10 Stockton hitters were left on base, out of a total number of 40 at-bats). Grilli was fairly solid in relief of Machinski, especially with, at times, fastballs high and down out of the strike zone, striking out six batters out of a total of nine batters that he faced.

Despite Grilli’s solid breaking pitch working all afternoon, his fastball was out of control, both in a good and bad way. While the pitch seemed to push hitters back, especially for left-handed hitters, it also was his Achilles Heal  And he got off to a rocky start, too. To start the top of the seventh, his first three batters all reached base- a hit-by-pitch and two singles.

Although Grilli thankfully didn’t throw any pitches behind catcher Steven Hewa, he got behind on counts, was forced to adjust his command, since he also hit a batter (he hit right fielder JJ Swentkowski at the top of the seventh inning). To Swentkowski, Grilli got behind in the count 3-1, as he was going with two fastballs that were thrown at the top right of the strike zone, then a low breaking ball, prior to hitting him.

On the day, Swentkowski was the fifth Stockton player to have multiple hits. Their three through five hitters went a combined 6/13, with eight total bases, five runs, and only two strikeouts. For the game, Swentkowski went 2/4, with a runner left on base (at the top of the fourth, after flying out to right fielder Michael Decker, he left second baseman Mike Desenzo stranded on second base).

Despite taking advantage of Rowan starting pitcher Brad Machinski’s inability to overpower Stockton’s lineup (in counts that had two strikes or fewer, Stockton’s lineup reached based on 11 occasions), on the flip side, Stockton’s starting pitcher Adam Warburton was equally inefficient. In just five innings as the starter, Warburton had 108 total pitches, and allowed six earned runs.

In the second inning alone, Warburton had 40 pitches (23-17). While he wasn’t as wild as Grilli, he was unable to work the corners of the strike zone, and Rowan’s batters took advantage of Warburton’s fastballs down the middle. The third and fifth innings were the best for him, Rowan hitters went a combined 2-11, with three runners (by way of a walk and two singles) left on base.

At the top of the lineup, Rowan’s first four batters hit a combined 7/18 (.388), with eight RBIs, nine total bases, and four runs. Leadoff hitter, second baseman, Alex Kokos (see picture above) statistically had the best game out of all 10 total batters, as he went 2/4, with four RBIs. At the bottom of the second, where Rowan ended up scoring six runs, Kokos doubled to deep left with the bases load, giving Rowan their first lead of the game (3-2).

With the win, Kokos broke a huge slump, as the previous three games he was only 1/11, with zero runs, which is a scary stat for a leadoff hitter (who normally compiles the most runs on their team). For the season, he’s now hitting .264.

For the season, despite allowing Stockton hitters yesterday to hit .400 (16/40), Rowan pitchers (starting pitchers plus relievers) are allowing opposing batters to hit just .231, while Rowan’s team batting average stands at .294.

Come-from-behind victories may be a positive, given the rally to come back, and the team effort and support. The team got off to a hot start, then finished strong, which I assume is what most coaches, like skipper Mike Dickson, would enjoy (not just having a w in the win-loss column but a team win).

 

Audio interview with Rowan baseball coach Mike Dickson

Photo/Kyle Lutz

Head coach Mike Dickson, who’s 36 years old, has been the Profs’ baseball coach since July 30th of 2014. As an undergraduate student, Dickson graduated from Rowan in 2002, then finished his master’s degree at Rowan in 2005. As he completed his undergraduate degree, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. In addition to that, he completed his graduate degree in higher education administration.

After graduating, he received Rowan’s Medallion Award, which awards students who excel in academics. Previous to his coaching tenure at Rowan, he was Rowan at Gloucester County College’s baseball head coach from January of 2006 until July of 2014 (see above).

At Rowan’s Esbjornson Gym, I conducted a second interview with Mike.

 

Rowan University Profs baseball team hosting the Neumann University Knights

College baseball is always fun to watch, no matter what division of baseball the games are. The new season is a sign of spring time, beautiful weather, not having to wear snow boots, and the chance at seeing a fun, back-and-forth game.

Last week at the team’s baseball field, on Wednesday the 8th, I attended the Rowan home opener versus Neumann University, which culminated in a come-from-behind Rowan 8-7 win. From the bleachers, I had a perfect view of the left side of the infield, as I sat right behind the third base line. Let the pitches begin.

Rowan third baseman Matt Jolly, who went 2/4 in the game, having a catch with second baseman Alex Kokos in between the third and fourth inning. Starting pitcher Andrew Cartier warms up his arm in between innings. Neumann’s assistant coach, in between third base and home plate, can also be seen. While the crowd was sparse, the weather, as seen in the photo’s background, was beautiful, and so it helped the players from preventing playing on a rain-soaked field. Photo/Kyle Lutz
The team is huddling to the right of their dugout between the fifth and sixth inning. Right-handed relief pitcher, number 22, Brad Machinski is seen to the far right, to the right of home plate.  Starting players are seen in the gold uniforms. Infielder Shawn Leydon (number 24), who went 0-1 as a pinch hitter, is seen trying to give one of his teammates a high five, but no one seems to be returning the favor. Photo/Kyle Lutz
Prior to the top of the third inning, starting third baseman (number 24) Shawn Leydon is having a brief catch with centerfielder Shane Brown (number 8) who puts his glove up, not only to fight the sun, but to anticipate the wind. Behind Brown, the Rowan baseball logo banner, as well as campus townhouses, can be seen. Photo/Kyle Lutz
At the bottom of the 1st, leadoff hitter and second baseman, number 19, Alex Kokos is seen waiting at third base, after a bloop single to right field. After the bases were loaded, Kokos was left stranded. He finished the game 1-5, with both a run and a walk. Photo/Kyle Lutz
At the bottom of the 2nd inning- starting right fielder Charlie Barebo is on deck, to the right of the team’s dugout. In addition to his custom-Rowan black batting gloves, a white box full of dirty, used baseballs, five batting helmets, and five metal bats can also be seen in the photo. After designated hitter Charlie Rose struck out looking, Barebo was up, and ended up walking. Photo/Kyle Lutz
In the background, prior to the top of the 4th inning, Neumann University players are huddling together in front of their dugout, with a 2-0 Rowan lead. Home plate umpire Glenn Kochanowicz can be seen in front of home plate waiting for the beginning of the inning to begin, while Profs’ starting catcher Steven Hewa is practicing near the field’s backdrop, and position players are eagerly waiting to take their positions. Photo/Kyle Lutz
The Profs join together, coupled with bench players, and, with fist pumps, celebrate their come-from-behind 8-7 win. With the win, they not only begin a two-game winning streak, but increase their win-loss record to 4-1. Unfortunately, they won’t play another home game until March 20th. Photo/Kyle Lutz
Bottom of the 1st- third baseman Matt Jolly walks, and heads to first on a full count (3-2) pitch by Knights’ starting pitcher Andrew Cartier. Photo/Kyle Lutz
Top of the 6th Inning- after a home run in his previous at-bat, Knights’ catcher (number 16) Cody MacNair singles into right, then takes third base after an error by Profs’ right fielder Charlie Barebo. Photo/Kyle Lutz
At bat, number 44, Rowan first baseman Joe Sadler (that’s me channeling my inner Dan Baker, the former PA announcer of the Phillies). This at-bat occurred at the bottom of the 1st inning. Senior infielder Jason Clapper is seen at the forefront at the photo. Both batters struck out swinging. Photo/Kyle Lutz
A closeup of Jason Clapper, taken from the previous photo. Photo/Kyle Lutz
In between innings, freshman relief pitcher Zach Listro (number 29) discussing the game with teammate, and half duo, catcher Steven Hewa. Photo/Kyle Lutz
At the bottom of the 2nd inning, designated hitter Frank Rose strikes out looking (by Knights’ pitcher Anthony Stricker). Knights’ catcher Cody MacNair stands to the right, in anticipation of Rose’s at-bat. In the win, Rose went 1 for 4 and had 2 RBIs. Photo/Kyle Lutz
It’s now the bottom of the 9th and final inning, can the Profs mount a two-run comeback? Jason Clapper began the inning with being hit by a pitch, and taking first base, by reliever Jerome Cevetello. Ultimately, the Profs end the game, and get the win, with a Shane Brown bloop single to centerfield. Photo/Kyle Lutz

In Class Photo Assignment- James Jackson

file_000
James Jackson, who’s shown as a die-hard Eagles fan, like myself. He wears a vintage Philadelphia Eagles jacket here that was a gift from his late grandfather. The first two photos show different angles, to show different items in the background. Both photos are significant, due to his love for sports and the Eagles. (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
file_000-2
Underneath James’ mix of green, white and black vintage Eagles’ jacket, is a Rowan University t-shirt. Not shown in the photo, he also was sporting Nike shoes. (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
file_000-3
During the middle of last week, here’s James outside of the building of the College Communication and Creative Arts. Sporting a Navy blue, t-neck, t-shirt, viewers can clearly see the construction in the background. James standing next to the street’s stop sign is significant, in that the college is constantly evolving (Photo/Kyle Lutz).

“My jacket came from my grandfather, who shares the same passion and love for the sport of football and Philadelphia football as I do.”

James Jackson- background information

James Jackson
26 years old
Junior student, Journalism major
From Moorestown, New Jersey
Three photos: shown wearing his Eagles’ jacket and glasses, and a photo of him in front of town construction

2017 Rowan Profs Baseball Season Preview with coach Mike Dickson

(Photo courtesy of Rowan Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Rowan Athletics)

This past Wednesday I interviewed Rowan’s baseball head coach Mike Dickson, who’s in his third season now, about the upcoming season, his previous coaching experience, and his coaching philosophy. Prior to being the Profs’ baseball coach, he coached Rowan at Gloucester County College’s baseball team for nine seasons. Dickson graduated from Rowan in 2002.

I started the interview off by asking Mike about his previous coaching experience and the differences between coaching at a junior college compared to a four-year university like Rowan.

Question: Is there a huge discrepancy between being a junior-college coach and a four year school coach?

Answer: I think the biggest discrepancy is the length of time you have with the players. You only have two years with players from over there (at Rowan at Gloucester County College) and here you have four years with players. And you may be coaching a different type of player. A lot of players over there (at Rowan at Gloucester County College) were working-to-be-drafted type players.

For different reasons, they ended up at junior college, where over here it’s a little different.

Question: But it’s the same type of preparation, right?

Answer: Absolutely. You’re preparing for a championship win no matter where you are, whether it’s at Rowan (at Gloucester County) College or Rowan University.

Question: I know you were an assistant coach for awhile before being hired as head coach. Is there a huge difference from being an assistant coach to a head coach now?

Answer: Well, there’s a lot more paperwork as a head coach (laughs). I get to do a lot less coaching as an assistant, it’s more focused on recruiting and practice coaching, whereas as a head coach you’re doing more preparation and focusing on off-the-field situations. At that time (as an assistant coach), I recruited every player in that program that went to back-to-back college World Series.

Going from an assistant coach at Rowan to a head coach at Rowan at Gloucester County College, I coached Ryan Buchter, who’s now a starting pitcher for the Padres. He had a great year last year, he was lucky enough that he had an organization that finally believed in him, to give him an opportunity in the big leagues.

I was excited for him last year and spoke to him throughout the season.

Question: He felt good about it? He was confident?

Answer: Yeah. He’s always been confident, he was never the type of player to not be confident. Mechanics wise, it was always a matter of him getting his WHIP (which is calculated by adding his walks and his hits allowed, and dividing that number by his amount of innings pitched) down to one.

As an eighth-inning reliever, managers don’t like pitchers walking leadoff hitters. That was always his issue. He would get a ton of strikeouts, but he’d tend to walk a guy a fair amount, too.

In my career as an assistant, i’ve been lucky so far, 17 or 18 pitchers have made it to the big leagues.

Question: When you were hired as head coach in June of 2014, within the press release you were quoted as saying: “my goal is to continue the tradition of excellence set forth by former coaches John Cole and Juan Ranero.”

You referred your former coach (Cole). What was he like?

Answer: He was intense. Me and him were cut from the same cloth, we’re very competitive. We’re also very detail oriented and we understand that the preparation that you put in leads to your success. I coached with John from 2001 till 2004.

I got the opportunity to transition as a player underneath him to a coach underneath him.

Question: Did you see a different side of him from when you were a player than when you were an assistant?

Answer: Sure, as you get older and mature, you get a different relationship with your college coach than when you’re 18 or 19 years old. That relationship, what he allowed me to then do, he taught me how to be a head coach.

As a player here, he’d teach me how to be a good player, then when I finished school, he taught me how to coach. There’s a huge transition there, from being a player to a coach, and understanding how to develop players versus being the player that’s being developed.

Question: Is your coaching philosophy the same as coach Cole?

Answer: It’s very similar. I was fortunate enough to play on a high school baseball team (Gloucester Catholic High School) that was ranked number one in New Jersey and third overall in the country the year I graduated (2002).

Question: As a coach, what do you want to accomplish over the next 4-5 years?

Answer: Ultimately as a competitor, you want to put the best product out on the field and be successful year in and year out. The ball isn’t always going to bounce in the right direction, you have to have a little luck on your side. But obviously that’s the goal each and every year, to get the chance to get to play in Appleton, Wisconsin (the site of the Division III championship series).”

“That should be your goal every year.”