The Mercyhurst baseball team is off to a solid start this season as they are 18-8 overall.
On March 27 and 28 the Lakers swept their rival, Gannon University, in a four-game series. After this game, junior Dan Altavilla was named PSAC West pitcher of the week for the second consecutive week and junior Giancarlo Saia was named PSAC player of the week.
“The team is playing well overall, we swept cross-town rival Gannon all four games and that is very difficult to do. Because of the rivalry, it’s always an intense series.”
“The guys have good chemistry and work ethic. So far it has been a balance of pitching, defense and execution of our offensive game plan”.
“Any time you have balance on your team like we do it’s a very positive sign” Head Coach Joe Spano said.
Saia led the team in its sweep over Gannon in batting average (.643), hits (9), doubles (2), home runs (1), RBI (13), total bases (14). He also hit a grand slam in the first game played at Gannon on the March 28.
“The total RBI of 13, I would say, is a record for me. I have hit that many RBI’s before but I have never hit that many in such few games as I did against Gannon” Saia said.
“Regarding the grand slam, at first I did not think it was going to be a grand slam, at best I thought it would go over the center fielders head and I would get a double or triple. To my surprise the ball kept carrying and it went out.”
This is Saia’s first season playing for Mercyhurst. He is tied in the lead for hitting with a .373 average and he now leads the team with 23 RBI’s.
“I am a very picky hitter. I spend most of my time in the batting cage at practice and I can just about hit all day until someone makes me stop. If I feel I am doing something wrong with my swing, I won’t leave till I think it’s been fixed or at least improved,” Saia said.
Along with Saia, the Lakers earned four other transfers this season as well.
“We had an opportunity to bring in some good transfers that complement our team and so far everything is working out. The new guys are adjusting well both on the field and in the classroom. There are always bumps in the road, but I am confident that this group of guys can work together and work through any obstacle” Spano said.
This past weekend, the Lakers played against Pitt-Johnstown going 3-1. This score included a home run by Hank Morrison in the first gamed played at home on April 6 and a lead-off home run by Joe Pantano in the second game.
The Lakers’ next game will be played at Mercyhurst’s baseball field against California University on Friday, April 11.