New Castle News

Neshannock

April 10, 2014

Athlete of the Week: Meet Neshannock’s Rich Serignese

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — LEADING MAN

Serignese also is pulling his weight at the plate, leading the team with a .583 batting average.

He has slapped five singles, a double and an inside-the-park home run in his 13 official at-bats this season, according to Kirkwood.

“There’s no easy outs in our lineup,” Serignese said. “Our team hits the ball real well. One through nine, we can hit.”

A RARE COMMODITY

The Neshannock baseball coaching staff had to continually turn Serignese away from open gyms this winter.

“First and foremost, he’s a competitor,” Kirkwood said. “That’s one of his best qualities. There were times when he had basketball practice, but he wanted to come to baseball and we wouldn’t let him. You finish the season you’re in first. He’s always wanting to come down and get some reps. We have to turn him away.”

Kirkwood said Serignese’s mental acumen is light years ahead of his age.

“He’s only a 10th-grader, but he’s thinking two or three pitches down the road instead of his next pitch,” Kirkwood said. “That’s kind of unique for such a young kid.”

Serignese and classmate Frank Fraschetti have formed a nice 1-2 punch on the mound for the Lancers.

“This is our ninth year together,” Serignese said. “We boost each other. He goes out against Ellwood on opening day and gets us the win. I go out the next day and get us the win. We push each other to get better. That’s how it’s been for the past nine years. He makes me better.”

FIELD OF DREAMS

Every summer, neighborhood children flock to the Serigneses’ Pearl Drive home to compete in whiffle ball tournaments at “Pearl Park,” which was built by Serignese’s dad Rich in the family’s back yard.

“It’s not as good anymore, but it’s still there,” the younger Serignese said. “That whiffle ball field is where it all started for me. A few teams would come and we’d play whiffle ball games in my backyard.

“It was the best. As a little kid, my first love was baseball. I could name every Pittsburgh Pirates player. Whether it was six or eight in the morning or late at night, I loved to be out there playing with my dad. That was the best.”

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