Originally published in the Spring 2017 Cabrini Magazine
When Nick Weisheipl was named Cabrini’s first baseball coach in August 2015, the Blue and White baseball team was somewhat of a dream. The Cavaliers’ first official pitch was still about 18 months away and the issues of recruiting, staff, and a home field were far from resolved.
Just a few weeks before the inaugural season was set to begin in February 2017, we sat down with Coach Weisheipl to discuss the program both on and off the field.
What has surprised you about Cabrini since you began as head coach?
The genuine excitement for the program, not just within the department but outside of it, has truly impressed me. There is a certain romanticism about the game of baseball. People like to make it a point to track me down and share their stories of the game, whether as players or fans.
As a baseball nut, getting to talk about favorite baseball experiences and memories is something I can always find time to do. It’s been very uplifting!
With just a few weeks before the inaugural season is slated to begin, how are things going with the team and the field project?
We have a great group of student-athletes who have immersed themselves in the Cabrini culture and are excited to represent the University. They worked hard on the field and in the weight room during the fall to prepare for the season. They also understand the importance of academics, as evidenced by achieving a team GPA of 3.1 and 18 students posting at least a 3.0 GPA.
We have players from Florida, Ohio, and Washington, in addition to the more local states of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and, of course, Pennsylvania.
The coaching staff I’ve been able to assemble excites me: These guys are all great instructors of the game with high levels of experience to back it up. All but one have played or are currently playing professional baseball, and the one not in professional baseball was a Division I All-Conference center fielder in college.
The field project at Archbishop Carroll is complete. It’s a great baseball facility with a state-of-the-art AstroTurfTM playing surface and scoreboard, a team clubhouse and visiting team locker room with athletic training facilities, and an elevated viewing area behind home plate and along the right field line. We are very excited for this facility to be the home for Cabrini baseball and we look forward to creating a great baseball atmosphere.
With the first team recruited, what characteristics describe a Cabrini baseball player?
The back of our hats say disponsibilità, which is an Italian term I learned during my orientation here at Cabrini. It means availability, which is a direct reflection of the selfless mindset I look for in the players I recruit. It is essential that we have guys who want to play for their teammates rather than with them. Guys who hold each other accountable to our team values and make themselves better by improving others will ultimately guide us to our team goals.
Additionally, I look for guys who are not intimidated by the game, by the prospect of competing as a freshman, or by the possibility that adversity could occur. An error made is usually a minor factor to success or failure, but one’s reaction to an error usually determines the outcome. We need guys with the mental maturity to move past the error and react appropriately.
Can you give us an early scouting report on the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC)?
The offseason was a busy one in the CSAC. There were several coaching moves with new head coaches at Marywood University, Neumann University, and Immaculata University, and the Cavs are joining the conference as well.
That being said, Keystone College, the 2016 NCAA national runner-up, will likely be the top dog in the conference again. Neumann has a very physical team with some solid arms, and Immaculata was well coached and ultra-aggressive in most everything the team did, so coaching against that squad requires a ton of focus.
Gwynedd-Mercy University is always in the mix with longtime Head Coach Paul Murphy; Marywood had a couple of players who were very dangerous; Centenary’s number one pitcher transferred out, which makes things a little easier for the rest of the CSAC; and Cairn graduated its top player, who was a total game changer.
It should be a very competitive conference once again with the Cavs looking to shake up the hierarchy.
What can fans expect from the Cabrini baseball team when it takes the field?
Fans can expect an extreme attention to detail in everything we do. As much as we will coach the mechanics of the game, we will spend as much, if not more, time coaching the strategy and “why” of everything to ensure we are mentally invested in our systems.
Look for hitters to create counts in our favor where we take advantage of mistakes to create explosive offense and for pitchers to force contact early in counts on our terms.
Defensively, we intend to dictate the style and pace by controlling the running game, defending the short game, and limiting big innings by making sound decisions with and without the ball.
Add all of this up and the fans should expect to see Cabrini win!
For information about Cabrini's athletic teams, visit cabrini.edu/athletics.