BY JOHN KAYWOOD
Senior Staff Writer
Sacred Heart University hired alumnus Alex Faccenda to be the new head coach of the club baseball team. Faccenda is the fifth head coach in the team’s history, and he had played on the team as a player only just one year ago.
“The approach is totally different, going from pitching once a weekend to what I’m doing now,” said Faccenda. “Putting the right lineup together, the right defense on the field, it all comes with the territory.”
Faccenda’s coaching staff includes bench coach Daniel Cohen, another Sacred Heart University alumnus, and statistician and brother Christopher Faccenda, a 2018 alumnus.
The other two members of the coaching staff include Thomas Henderson and Zack LaRusso. Henderson will serve as the pitching coach, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience from his four-year career with Marist College.
LaRusso, a University of Connecticut (UConn) graduate, will have a hand in helping all three aspects of the team.
The bond this coaching staff has with each other has been infused into the players.
“This team meshes really well together,” said junior Logan LaRochelle. “Everybody has the same mindset, nobody is timid, everyone has a say, we’re all just baseball guys.”
The team also has found an excellent connection with the players sharing a similar mindset to Faccenda.
“(Faccenda) was a player last year and he played all four years here,” said LaRochelle. “He is kind of still a player-coach, he can relate to us so well, and we are all open to listening.”
Junior captain Christopher Donato, who played alongside Faccenda, will now have his third skipper in three seasons as a ballplayer.
“It’s really all coming together, Coach Faccenda is really organized and is definitely establishing a culture,” said Donato. “Nothing against the previous coaches I’ve had, but Coach Faccenda is currently putting us in the best position to succeed.”
The team will have chances to bond on the road during this fall. They head to SUNY Albany on Oct. 13, along with a trip to Northeastern University on Oct. 27.
“When we stayed over in Boston College despite dropping two of three, we came together as a team,” said junior Luis Fernandez. “The road trips in the future will help continue to build our chemistry.”
The team, with its new culture and coaching staff, strives for similar success for themselves that the club softball and club football teams have enjoyed.
“We’ve seen the softball and football team’s performances last year,” said LaRochelle. “We don’t want to be in the corner by ourselves, we want to represent our team properly.”
With the regional championship on the minds of the players, Faccenda takes things one step and one series at a time.
“The goal is to win every series we play,” said Faccenda. “Each week is a new season, and the goal of this team is to make it back to the playoffs.”