The College of Saint Rose finished up their season this past weekend with a 18-18 record, the first time the Golden Knights finished with a .500 record since 2004. And they owe a lot of their success on the pitching side of the game to one man in particular, Nick Cioffi.
If you think you recognize the name, you probably do. Cioffi was a standout starter at Averill Park under Coach Mike Conroy. Cioffi was a key piece for the Warriors right from the jump of his high school life, getting the ball against big named teams like Shenendehowa and Shaker as a freshman.
Cioffi then took his talents to Towson University in Maryland, where he looked to play right away at a high level of Division 1 baseball.
But after graduating in the spring with his degree in sport management and one year of eligibility remaining, Cioffi had a decision to make. He could either finish up his career at Towson or come home and pitch at Saint Rose.
Cioffi took the latter.
And did that decision ever pay off.
Cioffi, a graduate student at St. Rose, has led the Knights staff in multiple categories, including 4 wins, .500 winning percentage, 65.2 innings of work, 52 strikeouts and 11 games started, to go with the best starter’s ERA on the team at 3.84.
“I decided playing closer to home my senior season would give my family and friends an opportunity to see me play,” Cioffi said. “I enjoyed playing at Towson and am grateful for opportunity they gave me, but Saint Rose was a great opportunity. They had a lot of talent and I really liked the coaching staff. I knew that by going there we would have a chance to do something special as a team.”
And they have their chance.
After a surprise year where the Golden Knights were picked to finished last in their division, the Golden Knights have a chance to make some noise in the upcoming Northeast-1o Baseball Championship, as the Golden Knights will travel to Garden City, New York today to take on Adelphi University in a one-game playoff at 3 PM, in only their 3rd playoff appearance in their NE10 history, the first since 2003.
“We gotta get in the playoffs and do some damage there,” Cioffi said.
Cioffi, who will most likely be unavailable after a 96 pitch, 6-inning start Sunday, was clearly excited for his squads oppurtunity in front of them.
“We’re excited to be where we are right now,” said Cioffi. “We set a goal at the beginning of the year to make the playoffs and we achieved that. We’re not satisfied with just getting here though. We know we are capable of making a run as long as we play our game.”
**UPDATE: The Golden Knights won their one-game playoff Tuesday afternoon against Adelphi, 4-0. They will face off with the #2 seed in the Northeast Division, Southern New Hampshire, who beat Merrimack Tuesday evening, 8-7, on Thursday. Championship weekend will be hosted by Franklin Pierce University, the #1 seed in the Northeast Division.