Luke Anthony ’23
The Holy Cross baseball team is looking to end its three-year stretch of losing seasons (although a run in the Patriot League playoffs landed them in the NCAA Tournament in 2017) this spring as it will also look for a new head coach. For the first time since the 2007 season, the Crusader baseball team will not be led by coach Greg DiCenzo. Dicenzo has officially taken a manager job for the Lake County Captains, the Class A team in the Cleveland Indians organization. DiCenzo led the Crusaders to its first Patriot League title in program history, was named Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2013, and New England Coach of the Year in 2012. Of the hundreds of players he coached, 18 would sign professional contracts and eight players were selected in the MLB draft.
Coach DiCenzo has had an immense impact on his players off the field as well. Senior shortstop Chris Rinaldi spoke of his coach’s leaving, saying, “Playing under Coach D has been a great experience, one that challenged each one of us from the second we stepped onto campus our freshman year. He has developed us into much better baseball players and people, emphasizing that his goal was (and still is) to make us better in every aspect of our lives.” Rinaldi added, “We are all very happy for him and although this was clearly a tough decision for him and his family, it was one he could not pass up and we are all very understanding of that. We will all be following along as he makes his transition into the ranks of professional baseball.” Holy Cross athletics director Marcus Blossom spoke on the transition as well, stating, “I want to thank Greg for his commitment and dedication to developing this program into a leader in the Patriot League. This is a fantastic opportunity for him to pursue his dream of coaching in professional baseball.”
In the meantime, assistant coach Ed Kahovec will take over as the team’s interim coach for the 2020 season. Kahovec is entering his fourth season with Crusader baseball, and was most recently the head baseball coach for Bard College. Rinaldi spoke highly of Kahovec as well, saying, “Coach Kahovec has been with my senior class since we stepped foot on campus during the fall of our freshman year. He is extremely knowledgeable and we are very excited to see what he can do with the program. Although it was sad to have D leave, I’m really enthusiastic about where Coach Kahovec can take this team.”
The Crusader baseball team is poised for another run for the Patriot League, as junior pitcher Liam Dvorak was named preseason Patriot League Pitcher of the Year. Complementing Dvorak is senior catcher Riley Livingston and senior center fielder Austin Masel, who were named to the preseason All-Patriot League team. In relation to the combination of a talented roster and a new coach, Rinaldi added, “We have a lot of young and veteran talent, and I think that he is more than capable of finding the right mixture of both that will hopefully lead our team to a Patriot League Championship this year.” Holy Cross opens its season Feb. 14 on the road against SEC opponent South Carolina.