“Come on two six!” yelled one player from the dugout. “That a boy two six, here we go,” added another. Two six (26) is the number and nickname of freshman pitcher Evan Edelman. With a little help and support from his teammates, 27 was the bigger number of the day, as Edelman recorded a complete game 14-1 victory over St. Joseph’s-Long Island on Tuesday, April 9 by recording 27 outs.
When players are having fun and boosting each other’s confidence, it leads to better play and more wins. That’s a technique that the College’s baseball team practices quite a bit. Their dugout is seldom quiet, as they spend the majority of games hooting and hollering for whoever is on the mound or at the plate. In the case for this specific game, Edelman’s remarkable performance got the players roaring.
“I heard them supporting me and it means a lot,” Edelman said. “We get along really well. It’s always a lot of fun with these guys.”
For some players, the constant banter may be a distraction, especially for a pitcher who’s trying to focus on the mound. For Edelman, however, it helped him relax in a game where he gave up a run in the first inning, but dominated the next eight.
“It helps me out,” Edelman said. “Sometimes I hear them and it makes me chuckle on the mound.”
Edelman wasn’t the only one who had a nickname thrown out, as several other players were referred to as their nicknames by their teammates. Some were simple: Murph for senior outfielder Mike Murphy, Cuz (pronounced Cooz) for sophomore shortstop Anthony Cocuzza, and G for freshman catcher Garen Turner. On the contrary, some were more outlandish and goofy: Patty Cakes or Patty Daddy for freshman outfielder Patrick Roberts, Mur-dog for sophomore third baseman Mike Murray, and Skells for senior second baseman Scott Kelly.
“We just spend a lot of time with each other and pick up on different things each other does,” Murphy said. “Nicknames have a way of spreading and sticking.”
With the season entering a crucial stretch, the Lions need to come together more than ever. A blowout win over St. Joe’s was just what the doctor ordered, and in it the team exhibited more than just pitching and offense. The support they displayed for each other was something that winning teams emulate. If they keep up this attitude, they’ll keep up the wins.
“It shows how close we’ve come,” Murphy said. “We’ve been through all the early workouts, practices and all the ups and downs as the season has progressed. Everyone has become a family.”