The College of Staten Island baseball program won’t take the field until early-March, but their quest for a fourth-straight title begins officially today, and with it comes the announcement of official team captains. A total of five players, four seniors, will help guide the unit that comes complete with a revamped coaching staff as well. Pitchers Tom Musso and Juan Rodriguez steady the captaincy, joined by Frank Muzzio and Glenn Glennerster. Christian Capellan is the only underclassman of the bunch, getting ready for his junior season.
Glennerster perhaps represents the most accomplished player on the team. He took the CUNYAC’s Rookie of the Year honor in 2015, and followed up with the 2016 Tournament Most Valuable Player award his sophomore season. He was a two-time CUNYAC Player of the Week a year ago and enjoyed his second-straight All-Star season, batting .353 with a team-best 48 hits and 28 RBI.
“Glenn is a four-year starter and he’s had so much big-game experience that we expect him to be a natural leader,” said Mauro. “He has been a part of three championships and has had a hand in all three and knows how to get the younger players to buy into that work ethic.”
Frank Muzzio has also enjoyed a decorated career, platooning for the most time at first base. Muzzio batted an even .300, scattering eight extra-base hits with 26 RBI a year ago. As a freshman he earned a 1st-team CUNYAC All-Star citation in 2015, and has missed only one game since his sophomore season. That type of dependency is what Mauro is looking for in his pupils.
“Frank’s another four-year guy who hit the ground running and has never stopped,” Mauro stated. “He has a great presence about him and other gravitate toward him naturally and look up to him. He is a genuinely good person that you always cheer hard for to succeed.”
The rest of the captaincy will be comprised of a trio of pitchers, all of whom have steadied the Dolphins through their recent championship seasons. Perhaps the most accomplished is Musso, who is moving into his junior year. Musso was the CUNYAC’s Pitcher of the Year in 2016, his sophomore campaign after transferring to CSI from Dominican College, and followed it up with a solid junior season where he went 4-0 in eight starts with a 3.64 ERA
“Tom has logged more innings for us over the last two years than any other pitcher and he knows what it’s like to play at a high level and in big games,” said the coach. “He is another one of those guys who you just expect to be a natural leader as he is constantly encouraging his teammates and taking others under his wing.”
Juan Rodriguez has made 18 appearances through the last three years for the Dolphins collecting an all-time 4-3 record with much of the work in middle-relief, posting a career ERA of 5.11. Always ready when called upon, Mauro knows that is the key to him being effective.
“Juan is one of those guys who may not be as vocal but has a great feel and presence that young guys can look to,” Mauro noted. “His ability to stay calm and focused and to get the job done is something we always try to teach but players like Juan do it naturally.”
Rounding out the list of captains is Christian Capellan, who lost his freshman season due to injury. He has started 15 games through the past two seasons on the hill sporting a career 9-5 record with a 5.06 ERA. He posted a career-best 5-1 record with a 3.82 ERA his second season following injury.
“Christian is the bulldog of the pitching staff,” Mauro stated. “He is a no-nonsense guy and I love his fire on the mound. That type of mindset is very contagious. He hates to lose and that tenacity is what we like and what he brings to his teammates.”
Baseball is often the largest of teams at CSI, and so Mauro understands the value that his captains will need to bring.
“In the past we’ve let the team pick the captains and we see how it unfolds but this year we wanted to appoint captains so that they know what we can expect from them and so that the rest of the team knows to use these guys as an example for how we want CSI Baseball to be,” said Mauro. “The underclassmen we have on the team will one day be captains and so to learn from this collection of great leaders and people is going to be important to keep us at the championship level that we strive for.”
With captains and a schedule in place, CSI will now begin its pre-season. They will officially get underway when they travel to Myrtle Beach, SC, for the Cal Ripken DIII Experience. They will play a six-game swing there between March 3-5, before opening up at home against Farmingdale State on March 11 at 12 Noon.