2014 Captains Announced at Preseason Dinner
Jan. 27, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - Friends of Lafayette Baseball held its fourth annual preseason dinner on Saturday night, January 25. More than 150 people attended the dinner honoring the late Norm Gigon, where the 2013 team awards were presented and the of the 2014 team captains were announced.
Gigon served as the Leopards head coach from 1968-1982., after completing his professional playing career with the Chicago Cubs. Gigon saw 14 of his players get drafted in the Major League Baseball Player Draft, including four in 1972. Joe Barkauskas was selected 13th overall by the New York Yankees, Rex Peters was chosen 16th overall by the Chicago Cubs, James Van Der Beek was picked 32nd overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank Weisse was selected in the fourth round (82nd) by the Detroit Tigers.
Barkauskas, captain of the 1971 team, kicked off the night crediting Coach Gigon with his focus on academics and playing Division I athletics. He was followed by Lafayette’s all-time leader in career wins and innings pitched, and former Yankee’s prospect, Jim “Curns” Curnal, who talked about Gigon’s recruiting ability and challenging his players to be the best on and off the field. 1977 captain Tim Bannon was the final speaker of the night. He echoed his peers, bringing home the sentiment that Gigon’s recruitment of them played a huge role in making these Leopards the man they are today.
Following the three speakers, the 2013 season awards were presented. Michael Massa ’13 was presented with the Harold “Moose” Hageman ’39 Award as the Leopard’s Most Valuable Pitcher. Andrew Ruck ’13 was honored as Lafayette’s Most Valuable Player with the Paul E. Koch ’29 Award.
The night wrapped up with the announcement of the 2014 team captains. Senior center fielder Andrew Santomauro, senior left handed pitcher Connor Ortolf, and junior righty Cory Spera were tabbed as this years captains.
Lafayette opens its 2014 campaign on Feb. 21, when they travel to Lexington, Va. to take on VMI.