(Photo credit to the Seton Hall baseball twitter page, @SHUBaseball)
2017 was a positive season for the Pirates as they finished with an overall record of 29-23 and 10-8 record in the Big East while making the Big East tournament. Seton Hall had some big wins in 2017 against the College World Series Champions Florida Gators, Michigan, St. John’s, UConn, and in-state rival Rutgers. Major League Baseball likes the way the Pirates recruit and develop their pitchers as Chris Morris, Zach Schellenger and Shane McCarthy were drafted in the 2017 MLB draft. Zach Prendergast’s independent league contract was also purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.
The Pirates lost a lot of talent on the mound but should be fine with their Friday and Saturday starters. Shane McCarthy, who had a rough junior year with a five-plus ERA, showed he has plus tools as he was drafted by the Cardinals in the 18th round, but did not sign and will return for his senior year.
Junior Cullen Dana, who throws a fastball in the high 80s, but has plus control and secondary pitches, will most likely be drafted next year. Cullen was second on the team with five wins and 79 innings pitched. He lead the Pirates with 81 Ks in 2017. Dana also gained good experience playing in the Cape Cod League this past summer.
Returning senior Matt Leon had a very good season in 2017 with 31 innings pitched, 36 Ks, and a batting average against of .171. He should be one of the leaders in the bullpen this upcoming season. Rick Devito had an outstanding freshman season with 15 innings pitched out of the bullpen without giving up an earned run while striking out 20 batters and a batting average against at only .122.
Seton Hall had a tough time scoring runs laRyan Ramiz, the team’s senior outfielder lead the team in stolen bases (17) and was 2nd in total bases (74) and walks (31). Ramiz, had a strong showing in the NECBL. He was selected to the all-star team. Matt Toke, as a freshman lead Seton Hall with a batting average of .321. He should continue to show his hit tool as he gets more at bats for his sophomore season. The two-hole hitter Al Molina returns for his senior season. The smooth-fielding shortstop will need to continue to grow at the plate. Molina has the tools, he just needs to put it all together as he was selected by the Phillies in 2014 draft, but chose to go to college. Another sophomore expected to make a big jump is Connor Hood. The infielder was highly recruited out of Pennsylvania and while he struggled his freshman year, it’s expected he will improve with more playing time.
st season. They scored a total of 260 runs which ranked them 227th for Division-I baseball. As a team, the Pirates only hit 19 home runs all season and they lost their team home run leader Joe Poduslenko to graduation. The Pirates hope the following players will carry the offense for the 2018 season.
The two top incoming freshman this season are both from Don Bosco Prep. Casey Dana, who is the younger brother of Cullen, is a 6-foot-4 right-handed hitting third baseman. Perfect game ranked him the third best high school third baseman out of New York in 2017’s class. Ryan McLinskey is a right-handed pitcher who throws a fastball in the low 90s and was recruited by six schools but chose the Pirates. Perfect game ranked him as the tenth best high school pitcher out of New York for 2017.