Written by Erin Dunne, Athletics Media Relations Student Intern

NEWARK, Del. -- As the baseball season closes and the uniforms are put away, it is important to recognize those players who have made a strong impact on the program this year.

For the University of Delaware’s baseball team, it was sophomore pitcher Ron Marinaccio who stepped up to the plate this year as a staff’s ace and elected team tri-captain. A right-hander, Marinaccio finished the season with a 7-4 record for the Hens.

After redshirting his freshman season due to an injury sustained during his senior year of high school, Marinaccio says it has been a long road to recovery over the past two tears.

“One of the last games my senior year I tore a ligament in my elbow, so I spent freshman year here mostly rehabbing from surgery. Last year was my first year back,” recalled Marinaccio. “It felt good being back, but I was tired by the end of the year since I had been out for so long. This year was the first time I really felt 100 percent.”

The process took almost a year of working with coaches in an intensive throwing program to recover. They took the development slowly, beginning with throwing 30 feet, then gradually increasing until he could reach his full potential.

Now, the Toms River, N.J. native and criminal justice major is seen as a leader both on and off the diamond.

“His leadership goes out there once a week when he starts on the field, but off the field, meaning in the other games and in the dugout, he’s one of the loudest voices of support for all the other guys that are regular player positions,” commented Jim Sherman, who just completed his 16th season as the head coach at his alma mater. “He’s in the game mentally and physically, supporting the guys, so he shows leadership there. He does a really consistent job game in and game out.”

Marinaccio’s leadership also shows in his ability to harness his energy to opening strong for his team. He makes himself essential by putting the team in a good positon for the rest of the weekend.

“It is really important to get out on the mound strong on Fridays, so you don’t get your team in a hole,” Marinaccio stated. “Friday games are the most exciting, everyone is pumped up for Friday games, we want to get off to a good start and get momentum into the weekend.”

His focus is to take games week by week and attack each game individually. Over the course of the week practices, the pitcher says he will strategize on what he needs to do to thwart the team they will face that weekend.

“At this point in the season, you work from week to week on what you can improve in your pitches for the next week,” said Marinaccio. “At this level, everyone is good. You have to focus and really work on things each week to prepare specific things for specific teams.”

With the season at a conclusion, Marinaccio looks forward to continuing to make an impact for Delaware baseball in the years to come.

“In the next two years, I think we will be able to make a regional, we’ve got a young team, I think we have a really good group of guys coming up,” said Marinaccio.

But he hopes his career will not end at Delaware, his plan is to move on to the world of professional baseball after he leaves the Blue Hens.

“That’s the ultimate goal, to get a shot to play professional baseball,” said Marinaccio.