Nearly eight months after being selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2017 MLB Draft, Shane McCarthy is back at Seton Hall for his senior season, and the Pirates are happy to have him pitching at Owen T. Carroll Field for one more season.
The right-hander will serve as the anchor of the Pirates’ pitching staff, but he knows his role as a veteran teammate is just as vital.
“As a senior now, I’m the leader,” McCarthy said. “I have to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing and lead by example. I want everyone to understand the mission, our mission, and make sure we’re carrying out the work we need to do every single day to keep everyone on track.”
One of three senior pitchers on the staff, McCarthy plans to use his experience to benefit other members of the team.
“I’m supposed to be the guy driving the staff this year along with Matt Leon and Andrew Politi, who are other seniors,” McCarthy said. “The three of us working together, we want to make sure we lead by example and show the staff how to carry out the Seton Hall way as a pitcher.”
Approaching what will be his fourth year starting at Seton Hall, McCarthy is sixth all-time in program history with 37 starts and No. 3 on the list of career shutouts with four. With his senior season still to come, the Fair Haven, N.J. player has a chance to end up near the top of many career leaderboards at Seton Hall.
McCarthy has been showered with accolades during his tenure at Seton Hall, and for good reason. It started with a freshman season where he posted a team-leading 2.19 ERA and earned a Big East All-American Freshman Team selection. He followed that season up with a superb sophomore year that saw him throw the first perfect game in Big East history, earning him a spot on the All-Big East First Team squad. Entering his senior season, McCarthy was selected to the Preseason All-Big East Team for the third consecutive year.
“It’s always an honor to be added to the Preseason All-Big East team,” McCarthy said. “What means the most to me is if I can have the same honor at the end of the season. I’m doing everything I can to make sure that happens and make sure the Pirates have a successful season.”
Heading into his final year as a Pirate, McCarthy is excited and ready for the tough competition the team has lined up in the coming weeks, including a season-opening matchup with No. 23 North Carolina State.
“Going in to play N.C. State, we know we’ve played great competition the past few years; that’s something Coach [Rob] Sheppard always wants to do, play the most competitive schedule we can,” McCarthy said. “We’ve been under the big lights against the big competition before, and we’ve had some success doing it.”
For a player that has an abundance of collegiate experience to pull from, McCarthy is expected to have the right attitude when the Pirates take the field, whether it be the first game of the season or his last in Pirate blue and white.
“We’re going to continue to do what we always do,” McCarthy said. “And that’s just play the game hard from pitch to pitch.”
Nick Santoriello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.