WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
The baseball team’s 2016 season was filled with individual player accolades and awards, as well as team accomplishments. Then-senior Scott Cullinane ’16 was awarded with the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being named to the All-NESCAC First Team and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England All-Star Second Team. Johnny Stamatis ’19 and Nick Pezzella ’16 were named All-NESCAC Second Team.
Mackenze Genauer ’16 made the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship team as well as the NESCAC All-Academic team. For the team, the season was highlighted by a huge series performance against Bates and a win against rival Wesleyan – after losing a heartbreaker just a week prior – which sent them to Championship Sunday of the NESCAC tournament.
While the team has spent this offseason training for the upcoming spring season, they have also been busy coordinating philanthropic efforts to benefit various associations and organizations, both local and national. On Oct. 2 the team will be hosting the First Annual Spikeball Tournament with proceeds benefitting the American Heart Association in the name of Bob Wolfe and the local Hartford RBI Program. The RBI Program has been started in over 200 cities worldwide and focuses on the revival of youth baseball in inner cities. Utility player Brendan Pierce ’18 and outfielder Ryan Vultaggio ’18 spearheaded the efforts to make this event happen.
The motives behind taking initiative in starting the annual fundraiser were much deeper and more emotionally charged than simply raising money for a good cause. The team has worked with the RBI program for the past couple years, but this year the fundraiser is particularly meaningful to the Trinity Baseball community because it honors the passing of a former teammate Bryan Wolfe’s ’15 dad. Last year the team had Bryan throw out the first pitch and members involved in setting up this weekend’s event said that this was another way they can show their support in a meaningful manner.
Brendan Pierce noted that “Bryan was a huge mentor of mine as a freshman and a terrific role model. He always led by example and did all the right things so I was very fortunate to have him as my captain, he taught me a lot. When his dad passed it hit pretty hard to the whole program, so doing this Spikeball tournament was just another way to honor Bryan’s dad through a fun game.”
After speaking with Wolfe it was clear that the gesture had already made an impression on his family. “Trinity Baseball from the onset has been extremely supportive of me and my family. It’s events like these that are run by Coach Adamski and the boys that give my family the reminders of how many amazing people we have around us.”
While the event is in honor of Wolfe’s father, Bryan wants others to recognize members of the Trinity Baseball community who have gone through similar hardships and that this fundraiser extends beyond his own family. Although it is important for everyone participating to remember the reason behind the event, at the end of the day, Wolfe just wants people to let loose and enjoy themselves. “My dad was a kid at heart, so an event like this is right up his alley.”
The Spikeball tournament speaks a lot to the sense of commitment and family that is shared between members of the Trinity baseball community. Wolfe recalled how supportive his teammates and coaches were when his father passed in the fall of 2015, reflecting “the bond that already exists within the Trinity baseball program and how it can pull people through really tough times in their life.”
Signing up is easy. Just email either Brendan Peirce or Ryan Vultaggio with the subject line “Spikeball,” and include the name of your team, your partner’s name, and how you will pay. The entry fee per team is $40, and the deadline for entry is this Friday Sept. 30 at 1:00 p.m., so don’t wait, and be part of a great cause.