As the Seton Hall baseball team enters its home stretch of games before Big East play, the team is building on a season filled with both inconsistency and promise. Following its matchup against Wagner on April 4, the Pirates sit at 9-12-1 on the year.
Coach Rob Sheppard has gotten his squad to contribute in a variety of ways, both in the batter’s box and on the mound. However, no contributions have been more evident than those of Mike Alescio, Rob Dadona and Al Molina.
The senior trio has led the way up front all year and is showing no signs of stopping.
Molina has started in all 22 of the team’s games this season, and Alescio follows behind with 21 games started. Dadona, meanwhile, has started 19 games, appearing in 20.
All three have routinely put up impressive hitting numbers. Of players with 15 or more games played, Alescio leads the way with a .343 batting average. Dadona sits directly behind him with a .342 batting average, and Molina’s proves to be nothing to scoff at either at .305.
The closest player fitting that criteria would be Sebastiano Santorelli, who has a .269 batting average. Matt Toke ranks high with a .350 average, but has only seen action in 11 games this year.
Alescio, Dadona and Molina are finding their success with small ball rather than power. At the top of the order, this proves especially important to set up the power hitters in the middle of the Pirate’s lineup. In total, they have combined for just one home run, from Dadona, but 15 more extra-base hits, 11 of them coming from Molina.
Although such a small number of extra base hits may seem troubling, Alescio, Dadona and Molina have scored 42 of the team’s 111 runs, in addition to driving in 26 of the team’s 93 RBIs with a majority of singles.
Alescio and Dadona specifically are excellent at getting on base, with .424 and .415 on-base percentages. Molina’s on-base percentage sits at .372, which is lower than the other two, but still impressive.
As seen by his hitting tendencies, Molina is drawn more to the power side as compared to Alescio and Dadona. Backing this up is Molina’s slugging percentage at .439, only behind Toke’s .625 and Ryan Lutz’s .500, although both have seen limited action, especially Lutz who has been to the plate twice this season. Dadona follows closely after in that category with a .411 slugging percentage, while Alescio is lower at .371, but as previously shown, makes up for it in batting average.
Alescio and Molina prove to be complementary players in terms of hitting, with Dadona providing a solid middle ground as an all-purpose batter. All three play their specific roles in conjunction with each other, which makes them such a threat for opposing pitchers to deal with.
The three must continue to lead the way for Seton Hall, as the Pirates reach the crucial period of their schedule. If Seton Hall wants to make some noise once Big East play rolls around, it’ll be on the senior trio to pick up the slack and lead the way for a lineup that has struggled to put runs on the board at times this season.
Assuming Alescio, Dadona and Molina can stay at the top of their games and if the team can get contributions from the bottom half of the order and bench players, there will not be many pitching rotations within the Big East that find it easy to shutdown the Pirates’ lineup in conference play.
Kevin Kopf can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @KMKTNF.