Seton Hill trio finds summer home with BlueSox
A small town of loyal Knights has been taken over by Griffins. That’s not exactly the case, but there is a pretty strong contingent of the half lion, half eagle mythological figure roaming around Saxonburg in Butler County this summer.
When it came time for three Seton Hill baseball standouts, including Saxonburg resident and 2015 Knoch grad Chris Law, to decide where they were to play this summer, they chose to make the short hop from the Greensburg campus and play Prospect League ball for the Butler BlueSox.
“They’re all living at my house in Saxonburg,” said Law, who helped guide the Knights to a WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A title in 2015. “My mom and dad were basically like, ‘You can live with us.’ We have a guest room in the back of the house.”
Law, along with Seton Hill teammates Andrew Chuba and Colton Carney, get to enjoy all the spoils of home this summer.
The Seton Hill trio are just the latest in a late spring Griffins migration that has happened under second-year head coach, and former Seton Hill standout, Cody Herald.
“It’s always myself and my assistant coach (Josh Forbes), and we both played for (Seton Hill) coach (Marc Marizzaldi),” said Herald, who starred for the Griffins from 2012-15 and ranks first in school history with 222 career-games played. “We know anyone he sends here is going to work hard and they’re going to win.
“I was very fortunate enough that when I was a senior, Colton Carney was a freshman. I knew the type of player he could become.”
Having been away from the college game for just three years, there is a tiny bit of an overlap between Herald and his college playing days. Carney had plenty of Cody Herald stories from back in the day: “I remember we were at (Point Stadium) in Johnstown playing UPJ and I remember he hit a home run over the ‘Giant Monster’ in left field,” said Carney who hails from suburban Cleveland. “It’s a 30-foot (high) wall.”
Butler (7-17) is little bit off it’s pace from last year when the BlueSox put together their best season in the franchise’s nine-year history.
The BlueSox made it to the Prospect League Championship Series before losing the Lafayette Aviators, 2-1, in the best-of-three series.
Carney brings a .197 batting average to the plate and leads the team with three homers this season.
The redshirt junior catcher for the Griffins said the competition is on par with the PSAC schools Seton Hill competes against.
“The competition is real relatable to the PSAC and talent back at school, especially the pitching that we’ve been seeing,” Carney said.
Chuba, a redshirt junior and 2014 Steel Valley grad who helped lead the Ironmen to a 2014 WPIAL Class AA title, leads the BlueSox at the plate with a .316 average.
“It’s fun, and we get along. We’re all on the same page as far as our work ethic and what were trying accomplish,” Chuba said.
This should be Law’s second season with the BlueSox, but the redshirt sophomore suffered a broken bone to his left foot in the first game of the Griffins’ 2017 season. Law’s injury was slow healing and took every bit of 15 weeks before he could put his full weight on it.
“Last year, when I broke my foot, I was supposed to play for the BlueSox,” Law said. “My mind was set that when I came back to play for Seton Hill this past year that I was going to have fun playing the game, and then I would have success.”
Law finished the Seton Hill season ranked third on the team in batting average at .363.
He’s struggled swinging the bat thus far for the BlueSox, carrying a .175 average in 75 at-bats. Herald, a Butler native and former Golden Tornado baseball standout, isn’t worried.
He knows all about Law and what he’s capable of, having followed the Knights through their championship run a few years back.
“I always use the motto that coach (Marizzaldi) told us,” Herald said. “You don’t always go out and get the best players, you go out get the players that want to be the best.”
William Whalen is a freelance writer.