A number of Saint Joseph’s baseball student-athletes found success during the offseason playing in various summer leagues across the country.
"Each summer, we are working to place our players in various summer leagues around the country, and this past summer was no exception,” head coach Fritz Hamburg said. “We had many players working on their game in various regions.
“These are great opportunities for them to play with other college players around the country as well as experience different regional cultures. For many guys, these are very memorable experiences.”
Freshman Nate Thomas may have had the most memorable experience of them all, as his Delaware Post One team won the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina. Post One defeated a team from Nevada, 1-0, in extra innings in the championship game to claim the title. Thomas made an outstanding defensive play in the game that was chosen for the number-one slot on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
Junior pitcher Jordan DiValerio earned an All-Star nod in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, one of the nation’s top summer leagues. He posted a 2.56 earned run average for the Upper Valley Nighthawks alongside sophomore Cole Stetzar, who turned in a 2.81 mark. Senior Charlie Concannon was a member of the Keene Swamp Bats in the NECBL as well, hitting .347 over 11 games.
Sophomore outfielder Brendan Hueth stood out against top competition in the Northwoods League; he was named an All-Star and was selected for the league’s “Top 75” game. Hueth led the Waterloo Bucks in at bats and hit .307 with 42 runs scored and 26 runs batted in across a team-high 69 games.
Hawks made their marks in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League as well, as freshman Andrew Cossetti and junior Kadar Namey helped lead the Quakertown Blazers to a league title. Cossetti ranked among the team leaders with a .312 average en route to an All-Star selection, while Namey led the team with 19 RBI and was second on the squad with four home runs.
Sophomores Ryan Devine and Liam Bendo played in the Coastal Plain League; Devine was 2-1 with a save and a 3.38 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched for the Peninsula Pilots, while Bendo appeared in seven games for the Edenton Steamers.
Elsewhere, juniors Langston Livingston and Hayden Seig played for the Geneva Red Wings of the Perfect Game Collegiate League. Junior Tim Johnson played in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League with the FCA Herndon Braves, while senior Jake Meyers (Iron Financial Orioles) and Tim Cavanaugh (Rosetto Bandits) spent the summer in the Blue Mountain League. Meyers turned in an impressive 1.92 ERA in 40.0 innings while hitting .413 with eight RBI and seven runs scored in 49 plate appearances. Cavanaugh made 96 appearances at the plate and hit .312 with the Bandits.
Sophomore Brian Vance was a member of the Crestwood Panthers of the Midwest Collegiate League in his native Illinois, while junior Slater O’Brien pitched for Ireland in the qualifying tournament for the 2019 European Baseball Championship. He made one appearance, a start against Slovenia, where he allowed just one hit and struck out three in three and a third innings as Ireland went on to win the group and advance through the qualification process.
Closer to Hawk Hill, sophomore lefty Jackson Fiala claimed a league title with the West Chester Crawdads in the West Chester Adult Baseball League. Freshman Luke Zimmerman stayed local as well, helping guide his Wayne squad to the championship series of the Delco Baseball League.
"Several guys had very good summers, making All-Star teams as well as getting great professional exposure,” Hamburg said. “It definitely benefits the players’ overall game and we are always excited to see how these guys have improved once they get back to Hawk Hill for the fall.”
The Hawks are set to return to the diamond for a pair of fall exhibitions; they will travel to Princeton on October 7 before hosting Penn at Smithson Field on October 20.