In Game 1 of the double-header against Radford University on March 11, senior receiver Andrew Cossetti hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to extend the Hawks’ lead over the Highlanders to five.
That home run was the 30th of his college career, tying his career total with John Brue ’16, the record holder for career home runs entering this season.
Atop the first inning of Game 2 of the double-header, just two innings away from the record-tying tie, Cossetti stepped up to the plate with two outs. He got his hands on a pitch from Radford pitcher Brandon Feathers and threw his record 31st home run into left field.
According to Cossetti, the magnitude of the moment didn’t strike him at first, but once he sat down in the dugout after rounding the bases, he realized it was a moment he would remember forever.
“It was a humbling moment,” Cossetti said. “Getting into the record books of a Division One program is pretty cool.”
The Eagleville, Pa. native and La Salle College High School graduate has hit 12 home runs this season, which is currently tied for seventh most in the nation. His accolades include selections to the 2019 Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball All-Big 5 Team, 2019 Atlantic-10 (A-10) All Rookie Team, 2021 A-10 All Conference First Team, 2021 A-10 All-Championship First Team , and 2021 American Baseball Coaches Association All-East Region First Team. However, the home run record is high on the list right now, according to Cossetti.
“When I came to St. Joe’s, it was one of my goals to be one of the best players in program history.” Cossetti said. “Cementing myself in the record books like that does that.”
According to head coach Fritz Hamburg, Cossetti breaking the home run record is even more impressive considering how the 2020 season was cut short due to the covid-19 pandemic. Cossetti did not hit a home run in any of the team’s 10 games that season.
“[Breaking the record] is great for Andrew. said Hamburg. “Not only the fact that he did what he did, but one of those seasons was actually the covid year.”
Hamburg said the team knew he was fast approaching the record and it was an exciting time for a player whose success has a positive impact on the team.
“Any time someone as an individual gets an accomplishment at that level, it’s great for the individual and great for the program,” Hamburg said. “It’s certainly exciting.”
Cossetti said he knew he was close to breaking the record, but the record home run came much faster than he thought.
“I didn’t think I would get [the record] so soon.” said Cossetti. “Obviously a few things went well, and I started to feel good, and I got the record sooner than I thought, which was just an experiment. really cool.”
Associate Head Coach Ryan Wheeler is the team’s scouting coordinator. According to Wheeler, there was no secret formula that allowed them to see Cossetti’s potential outside of high school. The evidence was already there.
“I saw a young guy who had good skills at a young age,” Wheeler said. “I could tell he had a good frame on him and was very passionate about the game.”
Wheeler said whenever Cossetti speaks, you never know what’s going to happen and you may see something you haven’t seen before.
“Every time he swings the bat, it’s electric,” Wheeler said. “I mean, the ball jumps off his bat.”
Wheeler said Cossetti isn’t the first player whose turns at bat create an exciting sense of unpredictability. Deon Stafford Jr. ’17 generated the same feeling. Stafford, also a catcher, was St. Joe’s highest draft pick in 38 years when he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
According to Cossetti, one of the main reasons he chose to play at Hawk Hill was the program’s reputation for producing high-quality catchers such as Stafford and Brian O’Keefe ’14.
“The reason I came to St. Joe’s is that Coach Hamburg said he was dedicated to receiving and bringing good guys here and then taking them out in the draft,” said said Cossetti.
Cossetti said he spoke to both Stafford and O’Keefe and they were both great resources that helped him throughout his career.
“I would be lying to you if I said it wasn’t my goal to get drafted after the season, but like I said, I can’t control that.” Cossetti said. “So I just put my head down, got to work and kept trying to win ball games.”
With 30 regular-season games remaining, Cossetti is just six homers away from equaling Stafford’s record of 18 home runs in a single season.