The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Young arms set St. Joe’s baseball up for present, future success: First-year pitchers bring new talent to St. Joe’s

Brian Westerholt/Sports On Film
McCausland is currently second on the team in strikeouts with 29. PHOTO: BRIAN WESTERHOLT/FOUR SEAM IMAGES

Confidence has proven to be key for first-year pitchers Will McCausland and Ryan DeSanto, who have made their transition to college-level baseball look seamless. 

The two rookies have wasted no time in making their presence known on Hawk Hill, with DeSanto earning Atlantic 10 (A-10) Pitcher of the Week on March 8, in the third week of the season, and McCausland earning A-10 Rookie of the Week on March 27 after his seven shutout innings against The University of Maine. 

For DeSanto, getting that recognition early in the season boosted his faith in his abilities, which has translated to his performance in games. 

“That really was just some assurance like, ‘I really can do this and trust myself,’” DeSanto said. “Now I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and keep going.”

DeSanto has put up big numbers for St. Joe’s, leading the team with a 2.61 earned run average (ERA) and 32 strikeouts across 20.2 innings pitched, as of April 2. 

Maintaining his current success and providing his team with the opportunity to win has been his main goal this season, according to DeSanto.

“I want to continue doing that,” DeSanto said. “Every time I go out there, I just want to do our thing and hopefully succeed.”

McCausland is also at the top of the team’s pitching stats so far this season, leading the team with 30 innings pitched, as well as putting up an ERA of 4.50 and a 3.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and starting in all six of his appearances, as of April 2. 

“I like being in situations where I get to control the game,” McCausland said. “It’s nice being that guy that has the ability to do that.”

Pitching Coach Pat Brown, who is in his third season with the team, said you would not be able to tell it was McCausland and DeSanto’s first year based on their maturity and performance.

“I think those guys have adjusted well,” Brown said. “That’s a tribute to their work ethic and their mentality and the way they show up and go about their business every day.”

Both McCausland and DeSanto said it has been an adjustment facing batters at this level, but each welcomed the challenge. 

DeSanto currently has the best ERA on the Hawks pitching staff with a 2.61. PHOTO: KATE MAGINNIS

“It’s definitely a step up,” DeSanto said. “You really just have to be a lot more locked in and trust yourself.”

Even so, their first-year status has not held them back from starting games and showing up in big innings. 

“We’re gonna pitch the guys that give us the best chance to win, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior,” Brown said. “So, for those guys to be able to step into those roles, it’s been impressive, and it’s been big for our team.”

McCausland and DeSanto both started against the University of Richmond March 31 and April 1, respectively, earning the team a pair of wins to go 2-1 in their first conference series. 

Despite neither of their performances being their strongest outing, according to Brown, they were able to put the Hawks in a position to win. 

“They both did a good job helping us win our first conference weekend,” Brown said. “Coming out with a series win and those two guys starting those games and getting us right was huge.”

But no matter the outcome, the biggest motivator is their fellow teammates, said DeSanto, who threw five innings against Richmond, only giving up one hit. 

“Every time I’m on the mound, they’re all excited, and every time I come off, they greet me with open arms, good or bad,” DeSanto said. “They’ve been really good.”

McCausland said he has had the same experience, crediting his teammates with keeping his confidence up while pitching. 

“We’re family,” McCausland said. “We make sure everyone’s got each other’s back.”

As for McCausland and DeSanto’s contribution off the diamond, Brown said their drive and accountability makes his job of coaching them easy.  

“They’re both awesome kids to coach,” Brown said. “They make it really enjoyable because they’re always trying to get better.”

Brown said he’s very excited about the young talent they have and how they will develop during their time with the program. 

“These guys are only going to get better from throwing more innings, seeing good teams, seeing good lineups, and for them to have the strikeout numbers that they have right now as freshmen is really good,” Brown said. “Their development is going to take off in their three to four years here for sure.”

But for now, McCausland said the team’s focus is on a more immediate goal. 

“Our goal since I got here, since day one, is to win an A-10 championship,” McCausland said. “So we’re definitely going to go out and do that.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *