Senior Ron Esposito has proven himself to be a pitching sensation during his baseball career at Catholic University. This season alone, he was named Pitcher of the Week by the Landmark Conference following an early season win over Gettysburg, in which he went five scoreless innings. He also led the Cardinals to a 13-2 win over Juniata on March 26, going six innings with three strikeouts.
During the Cardinals spring break trip to Myrtle Beach, Esposito managed to throw seven innings in a game against Swarthmore, striking out seven and allowing only two earned runs. His career stats are a key indicator of his success; 15-10 in 157 innings with a 3.92 ERA and 104 strikeouts. Esposito's winning performances on the mound are a true testament to the hard work and dedication he puts into the game.
Esposito grew up in the small town of Annville, Pa. He started playing baseball at just five years old, and started to pitch at nine, following in his older brother's footsteps. It was his dad, however, who became his biggest motivator. "My dad was really into baseball and I guess it rubbed off on me, he was my coach and showed me the basics of the game."
It wasn't until Esposito attended high school at Annville-Cleona High that he really began to shine. The varsity team at Annville-Cleona was known to be successful and competitive, making it to the state tournament all four years of Esposito's career. Ron was able to stand out as a freshman, starting two games on the varsity team that season. He was named an All-County player during his sophomore, junior and senior years and was Pennsylvania's Big 11 pitcher during his sophomore year.
Esposito knew he wanted to pitch in college, and his dad began taking him to private lessons, which is where he says he really learned how to pitch.
During Esposito's college search, CUA's baseball program stood. Head Coach Ross Natoli first heard about Esposito through a friend in a player development service that had a summer team in Lancaster, Pa, which Ron played for. Esposito was recommended as a pitcher, and Natoli says he has been a big contributor ever since.
Esposito enjoyed the atmosphere of the school, as well as the city of Washington, but what really sold him was the fact that he would have the opportunity to pitch here at CUA. "I really liked the coaching staff, and to this day I'm grateful that Coach Natoli gave me a shot as a freshman to pitch," Esposito says.
Since freshman year, Esposito has truly proven himself on the mound. Natoli describes him as an "introverted competitor" who has proven himself through his actions and performance. Natoli says that Esposito has matured the most in his understanding of pitching, and knows his weaknesses while taking advantage of his strengths. "Ron's success is a result of how he prepares; he has the respect of his coaches and teammates because we all feel that no matter what, when he goes out on the mound, he can beat anyone."
Esposito has had some trials throughout his baseball career at CUA as well. Last summer he endured issues with his pitching arm, but luckily, he was able to work through his injury and this season he's back to being the dependable starter he always was.
When he's not on the field, Esposito likes to golf and spend time with his baby niece. Post graduation, he has plans to pursue a job with an accounting firm and eventually take the CPA exam to become a certified public accountant.
For now Esposito is soaking up every last moment he has playing baseball at CUA. What he will miss most, he says, is his team. "The best part about playing baseball at CUA is my teammates. They are a great group of guys who love baseball and know how to have fun".
Story written by Tara Juliano '11