‘Great student. Great baseball player. Great character’: Joseph Scalzo awarded SCIAC Hitter of the Week two weeks in a row


Photo by Kastenny Flores - Reporter

Joesph Scalzo’s efforts in the games against Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Redlands earned him the award on March 13, before his five runs against No.21 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps helped earn him the award for a second week in a row on March 20.

Kastenny Flores, Reporter

California Lutheran University senior infielder Joseph Scalzo was awarded Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week for two weeks in a row. 

“It’s a big honor. I think it’s been super cool getting recognized for playing at the level that, not only myself, but my team has been playing. We have been doing well, I think it’s been very nice, and a lot of it goes back to me having fun this year,” Scalzo said. 

Scalzo has been a member of the Kingsmen baseball team throughout his four years at Cal Lutheran and said it is an experience he appreciates. 

“Joseph is the epitome of what a student-athlete is supposed to be,” Assistant Men’s Baseball Coach Erik Scherer said. “He is a hard worker in the classroom, and he’s always excelled academically. He is on track to graduate in May and, at the same time, he can play baseball. Great student. Great baseball player. Great character.”

Junior left-handed pitcher Tristan Dupont said that Scalzo is an excellent teammate who always works hard and helps lead the way for the team. 

“As a teammate, Joseph is so selfless. He is always there for you and not for himself. He’s playing for the guys around him, and you feel he is looking out for you. He always gets the job done,” Dupont said. 

Scherer said that he enjoys coaching the positive person that Scalzo is and that Scalzo has become a leader this season. 

“I think he is having such a great season because he really enjoys being on the team,” Scherer said. “He has always been very coachable, open to the coaching staff’s suggestions, and puts those into play.”

Scalzo said his favorite memory at Cal Lutheran was his first game for the Kingsmen, as he scored a home run on his first hit. 

“I was never one of those people that had to go play Division I,” Scalzo said. “I wanted to go somewhere I knew I would play, which was a good environment. Educationally, Cal Lu is a great school in that regard. But the ability to play right away and impact the team rather than having to wait was a big thing for me.”

Scherer said that the COVID-19 lockdown affected Scalzo, as it interrupted his “great start” with the team.

“His sophomore and junior year, he had some flashes of really good play, but he also had some challenging times,” Scherer said. “He kinda struggled to get back to his form as a freshman. But, to his credit, he always worked hard and had a positive attitude. He finished last year strong.”

The Kingsmen currently sit second in the SCIAC standings, and Scalzo said that they are looking to win both the conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association DIII Tournament. 

“Overall, we have a very old team; many of us have been together for a few years. However, we work well and have an outstanding group of people. We work hard but still have fun and enjoy playing the sport together,” Scalzo said. 

Scalzo and the Kingsmen baseball team are home on Friday, March 31 to play game one of a series against Occidental College.