Baseball Preview: Breaking down the CSU Catchers ahead of the 2018 season

Baseball Preview: Breaking down the CSU Catchers ahead of the 2018 season

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern baseball will begin their season hosting Delaware at the CSU Ballpark on February 16-18.

CSU returns 25 players from last season's roster including All-Conference honorees Jason MillerCody SmithDaniel Johnson, and Aaron Miller. The 2018 home schedule includes an opening series with Delaware, as well as home contests with Georgia, Citadel, and the College of Charleston. 

The CSU Sports Information Department introduced the outfield last Tuesday (read here) and the infield last Thursday (read here). This Tuesday's preview will feature the catchers. 

Charleston Southern Catchers

Returner - Mike Sconzo

For the third consecutive season, Mike Sconzo will start behind the plate for the Bucs. The senior backstop has started 99 of the team's 104 games in the last two seasons. He's been nearly perfect in the field, posting a .982 fielding percentage and his 17 baserunners caught stealing ranked 3rd most in Big South in 2017. Sconzo is no slouch at the plate either. He became a staple in the middle of the lineup last season as he slugged .346 and finished with a 12.7 At-Bats-to-Strikeout Ratio, good for 1st in Big South and 38th nationally.

Newcomer - Christian Maggio

Maggio comes to CSU after a successful career at Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach. In his senior year, Maggio hit .325, with three homers and 19 RBIs which earned him  an All-State selection. He was also named to the S.C. Select All-Star team and a finalist for the Toast of the Coast player of the year. In the field, he's posted a 1.91 pop time and should provide some much needed depth behind Sconzo.

Notes about the CSU Catchers

  • Sconzo recorded 462 putouts in 2017 ranking 2nd most in Big South
  • Sconzo was 42nd in the nation averaging one strikeout per 12.7 at-bats.
  • Maggio was ranked the 4th best catching prospect in South Carolina by Perfect Game and was an honorable mention on PG's 2017 All-Atlantic Region team.

Ward on CSU Catchers

"We feel really good about Mike being behind the plate for us again. He's our team leader, a guy that plays really hard all the time and a guy you can count on to show a pitching staff the ropes. He's a good leader behind the plate, and the last couple years we may have leaned on him a little too much since we asked him to play just about every game behind the plate. It's nice that we have a quality freshman that can be counted on to start in some meaningful games and provide a little rest for Mike at times. He's a really good hitter, and you'd like to have him at full strength at the end of year. "

Q&A with senior catcher Mike Sconzo

As the senior catcher and leader of the team, what are you expecting from the team this year?

"I'm looking for these guys to give everything they've got, every day of the week. We've been training for this all fall, the workouts this year have been an absolute grind, but together we've gotten through it. There's going to be more tough times this season, but as long as everybody is giving it everything they've got, that's all we can really ask for." 

With all the different tools you have, what are you looking to bring to the team this year?

"I'm going to try and bring some knowledge to the younger guys. I want to keep that pitching staff under control, and keep everyone even keel out there. Sometimes it gets loud and hectic, and over the last three years, I've seen a little more than some of these younger guys, and I want to help them understand that the game won't always go your way all the time."

How do you think this team has improved since last year?

"I think we're going to go into every game with the mindset that we're going to win. In years past, I feel like we've accepted some losses and I'm over that. Going into my last year, we want to win as many games as we can and make it to that tournament. This team is special, we've got a ton of talent."

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