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Baseball: LaBranche Finalizes Staff

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Smith, Cervizzi, Mayo, Senia named assistants by first-year coach

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Eastern Connecticut State University's Matt LaBranche - hired this past summer as the sixth head baseball coach in program history -- has announced his coaching staff for the 2013-14 season.

Scott Smith and Steve Cervizzi will return to the Eastern staff after both had previous assistant coaching tenures at Eastern and Trinity College, and will be joined by Tim Mayo and Marc Senia.  Mayo served as pitching coach the last four years under LaBranche at Western New England University and will serve in a similar capacity at Eastern. Senia has coached at the AAU and American Legion levels and is a former four-year member of the Wheaton College (MA) baseball program.

A former catcher in the Eastern program, Smith will work with catchers and hitters. Cervizzi will work with outfielders and hitters, and Senia will work with infielders and be responsible in the area of baserunning. On game days, Smith and Cervizzi will serve as bench coaches and Senia will coach first base.

 "I am very excited about how quickly the remainder of the staff has come together," said LaBranche. "It is a tremendously experienced and knowledgeable staff. These are outstanding baseball men that bring a great passion and enthusiasm for teaching the game of baseball."

A Rockville native and Eastern graduate, Smith brings 22 seasons of collegiate coaching experience to the program. Smith previously spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern and three as an assistant coach at Trinity College, helping Eastern to national championships in 1990, 1998 and 2002 and Trinity to the 2008 championship. The only coach in the 38-year history of the NCAA Division III baseball tournament to be part of national championships with two institutions, Smith also served as field manager (2000) and assistant coach (2007) with the Manchester Silkworms of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).

"I am thrilled that Smitty has agreed to rejoin the staff," stated LaBranche. "He has been such a vital member of not only the Eastern Connecticut baseball tradition but the entire university community.  The student-athletes will benefit from his ability to coach, but more importantly, from his intense pride in this institution." 

A  long-time area resident and Springfield College graduate, Cervizzi previously spent 21 seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern and Trinity. In six years, Cervizzi helped Eastern to five NCAA tournament appearances, two of which resulted in regional championships and national tournament berths. As an assistant at Trinity for 15 years, Cervizzi helped the Bantams to two NCAA Division III regional championship, the first of which in 2008 resulted in a national championship.

"Steve is a versatile coach and a great teacher of the game," points out LaBranche. "We are really fortunate that a coach of his experience was available and able to join the staff.  The program will benefit from his positive energy and his love of the game."                    

An Enfield native and resident, Mayo served as pitching coach at Western New England as the Golden Bears qualified the NCAA Division III tournament every season, winning the regional title in 2011, placing second in 2012 and third in 2013.  WNE compiled a 148-49 record in that span, winning the Commonwealth Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles seven times. The pitching staff's walks per game average ranked second nationally in 2011 and its earned run average rated o. 20 nationally in 2012. 

For four years, Mayo was also on the staff of the Holyoke Giants of the NECBL and spent one season as pitching coach at Elms College prior to being appointed at WNEU. A left-handed pitcher, Mayo was a four-year member of the Springfield College baseball program. Mayo played high school baseball at Fermi High School under Eastern baseball graduate and left-handed pitcher Bob Cressotti '79 and spent ten years as head instructor at the Cressotti Baseball School in Enfield.

Says LaBranche of Mayo, "It was very much a priority for Tim to make this move with me. He has a proven track record of developing a pitching staff that will throw strikes and compete at a high level every day. The pitchers will benefit from his presence."          

A South Windsor native, Senia has served as head coach at manager for the South Windsor American Legion program since 2003 and also is an assistant baseball and asketball coach at Watkinson School in Hartford and an instructor at the Dream Bat Baseball Club in Somers. Senia played from 1999 through 2002 as an infielder and outfielder at Wheaton, where the Lyons won four straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference  regular-season and tournament titles, and competed in three NCAA and one ECAC tournaments. He served as a senior captain.

"I have had the opportunity to watch Marc over the years as both a player and an aspiring coach," said LaBranche. "I have always been impressed with his energy and commitment to playing the game the right way.  He will be a tremendous role model for our players."



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