May 8, 2008
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Sophomore pitcher Matt Shapiro (Raynham, Mass.) was named the 2008 Patriot League Baseball Pitcher of the Year. First year Holy Cross head coach Greg DiCenzo was also recognized by the league as he was named the 2008 Patriot League Coach of the Year. Both awards are voted on by the league coaches and were announced by the league this morning.
Shapiro led the Crusaders' success on the mound in league play as he went 3-1 with 1.78 ERA in five starts. In his five starts, he recorded three complete games, including two shutouts. In 30 and one third innings pitched in league play, Shapiro struck out 21 while giving up just eight walks. He finished the regular season at 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 12 appearances, including six starts. He pitched 42 and two thirds innings, striking out 28 while walking 13. Shapiro is the first Holy Cross pitcher to be recognized with this honor in school history.
DiCenzo led Holy Cross to an 11-9 record in the league, clinching the third seed in the Patriot League Tournament and the Crusaders first appearance in the tournament since 2001. The win against Navy in the first game on Sunday, April 27, also earned the Crusaders their first 20-win season since 1980. He is only the second coach in school history to receive this honor, joining former head coach Paul Pearl who received the honor twice (1999, 2001) during his three years of coaching. DiCenzo also joins Pearl as being the only coaches in the league ever to receive the award during their first season of coaching.
The Crusaders return to action May 10-11 when they travel to Navy for the Patriot League Tournament. A best-of-three series begins with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 10, while a third game is scheduled on Sunday, May 11, if necessary.