Throwback Thursday: Baseball Team Picks Up String of Wins (2003)

DeSales men’s baseball will play Manhattanville College this weekend in a double-elimination tournament that includes Misericordia University and King’s College. The teams will compete for the MAC Freedom Conference Championship and an NCAA tournament berth. The team will be lead by long-time head coach Tim Neiman who has a wealth of postseason experience. Over 13 years ago, he led DeSales to the 2003 NCAA tournament and the team managed to make it all they way to the 2003 Division III College World Series, a double-elimination tournament comprised of the top eight teams in the nation. When asked about that team in 2003, Neiman said, “The ultimate goal is certainly to be National Champions and we set out the season each year to try and do that… One of these years I think we’re going to be one of them.”

This article was originally published in Issue 8, Thirty-seventh Year of The Minstrel (April 2, 2003). The full text has been re-published and edited only for grammar and punctuation.

Baseball Team Picks Up String of Wins
By Dave Giantisco

The DeSales University baseball team has won four out of their last five games including a sweep against Wilkes University. Over the course of this stretch, the team outscored their opponents by 23 runs, which marks a change of pace from the first three weeks of play.

After a rough start, the team bounced back into their usual rhythm and head coach Tim Neiman has a lot of confidence in this year’s squad.

“I think we look pretty good,” says Neiman whose team currently has a 6-8 record. “Every spring break we go out to California and all of those teams are very good, so we sometimes get behind the eight ball record-wise.”

Photo courtesy of DeSales Athletics. Graphics edited by Hutton Jackson.
Photo courtesy of DeSales Athletics. Graphics edited by Hutton Jackson.

DeSales has always been a major force in the Middle Atlantic Conference and has won the MAC Championship the past three seasons. The team isn’t centered around a big star, but rather is fueled by a solid lineup of hitters who all play equal roles in the team’s offensive threat.

“No one guy is bigger than the ball club,” states Neiman. “We have 27 players on this roster and at any given time any one of those guys is going to have to step up and help us win.”

After 14 games, the team is batting .330 and has five players who lead the team in at least one offensive category. Senior outfielder Lew Campanaro leads the team with 14 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Junior outfielder Mike Cohan leads the team in home runs and total bases. Sophomore third baseman Dan Fratantoro is batting .438 with a team high 21 hits and sophomore shortstop Ian Hauze leads the team with 15 RBIs.

After losing four senior pitchers from last season, the pitching staff this year is young and comprised mostly of freshmen. With only a month of the season underway, most of the throwers are just getting started.

“We lost a lot of experience on the mound and that’s where we lack right now,” states Neiman, “but the freshmen are learning pretty first.”

First year starters Jon Pallone and Matt Reppert have each pitched well this season. In 18 innings pitched, Pallone has 11 strikeouts and has given up only six earned runs. Reppert has a 2-2 record, leads the staff with 13 strikeouts and has a 4.15 ERA.

“The pitching is there,” states Pallone. “We’re young so I think that’s going to get a lot stronger as we keep going and gain confidence.”

The season goals are always the same for Coach Neiman and his team. The first step is to clinch a spot in the MAC playoffs. Winning the Conference Championship will grant the team an NCAA automatic bid, which DeSales has accomplished five out of the last six seasons.

“The ultimate goal is certainly to be National Champions,” states Neiman, “and we set out the season each year to try and do that.” Only one team out of the 350 Division III schools achieves this each season. Neiman says, “One of these years I think we’re going to be one of them.”

 

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