By Andrew Lichtenauer
After an impressive junior season in relief for the Orange and Blue, Alex Cillo ’12 was nominated as one of 45 potential collegiate pitchers for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association(NCBWA)Stopper of the Year Award. The award, to be announced during the 2012 College World Series, is given each year to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
The Bucknellian spoke with Cillo this past week about the upcoming season for the Bison.
The Bucknellian: What do you think has contributed the most to your success on the mound throughout your
career as a Bison?
Cillo: Learning how to locate my fastball, slider, and change-up has been very effective for me. I’ve worked with Coach [Scott] Heather (our pitching coach) a lot to get to where I am today in terms of control. Also, [starting catcher] Scott Reed [’12] and I work very well together. We’re always on the same page when it comes to what pitches to throw and when.
The Bucknellian: What, if anything, do you think you can improve on from last season?
Cillo: I could improve even more on my control. The more control, the better. Also, I could improve on throwing better pitches in certain counts. It’s important to be able to set up the batters in certain counts so that the next pitch is even more effective than it previously would have been.
The Bucknellian: What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment so far in your career?
Cillo: Personally, my greatest accomplishment was last season as a whole. I thought that I threw pretty well the bulk of the year and I only gave up two runs in Patriot League play. As a team, I think our greatest accomplishment was winning the Patriot League title in 2010. We needed to win one game against Army to make it to playoffs and we managed to win one game. Then we went back to Army for the first round of the Patriot League Playoffs and won that series. We then came back to win two games on Saturday at Holy Cross after we lost a tough game the night before by one run. We fought hard against two tough teams and managed to win the Patriot League.
The Bucknellian: What goals do you have for yourself personally for the upcoming season?
Cillo: This season I would like to win the Patriot League title. We have a very solid team, from the senior class to the freshman class. There are many players on our team, both upper and underclassmen who are going to contribute big this year and help us accomplish our season goal.
Cillo and the rest of the Bison will hit the field in
for opening day with games against La Salle and Niagara at Davidson, N.C. on Saturday .