One of the bright spots for the Crimson Hawks during a rough start this baseball season is the play of shortstop and second baseman Ted DeSanti (sophomore, criminology).
A graduate of Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Desanti is batting .319 in 69 at-bats, with two home runs and 19 RBIs from his No. 6 spot in the lineup.
This is big step for DeSanti, who played in 12 games as a freshman, starting six. In those games, he batted .167 in 18 at-bats, driving in one run and scoring two.
With DeSanti’s progression, his roots in the sport are important to consider.
His father played baseball at Mercyhurst University and also coached high school baseball since before Desanti was born.
“Just being around his practices and games from a young age made me fall in love with the sport,” DeSanti said.
In 2014, DeSanti’s senior year of high school, he was named to the Under Armour Pre-Season All-American Team.
He also played in the PA Nine Baseball Futures Classic.
When deciding on where to continue his career, DeSanti’s view of head coach Jeff Ditch was one of the main reasons he chose IUP.
“I was really impressed with Coach Ditch’s goals, along with the way he approached the game of baseball,” DeSanti said.
Approaching the game, DeSanti refers to a player’s makeup as the most important factor.
“Makeup is a baseball term I’ve learned from my father regarding different areas of the game you can control,” DeSanti said.
Some of the areas he mentioned include running on and off the field, being in the ready position and being a good teammate.
“I think these are so important because makeup is what separates good baseball players from great baseball players,” DeSanti said.
It’s only fitting that DeSanti’s biggest role model exhibits this philosophy.
“I chose Derek Jeter because he is the perfect example of what a shortstop should be: a great hitter, fielder and an even better leader,” he said.
When he graduates from IUP, DeSante is looking to use his criminology degree to advance in federal law enforcement.
“I just want to do something that is interesting and always keeps me on my toes,” DeSanti said.
This season, Desanti ranks in the top three on the Crimson Hawks in batting average, at-bats, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and total bases.
The team will look to improve on its 7-14 record Friday against Clarion University at Memorial Field.
In 2015, the Crimson Hawks won three of four games against the Golden Eagles.