Alumnus baseball player earns two pitching awards


Gerard Borne/The Lion’s Roar

Corey Gaconi, an alumnus pitcher, finished the 2019 season with a 7-3 record and a 2.53 earned-run-average. Gaconi, went undrafted and later signed with the New York Mets Organization. Gaconi’s current team the Brooklyn Cyclones won the 2019 New York-Penn League Championship defeating the Lowell Spinners.

Corey Gaconi, an alumnus pitcher, earned two accolades for his performance in the 2019 regular season. Gaconi brought home the 2019 Louisiana Sports Writer Pitcher of the Year and the 2018-2019 SLU Male Student-Athlete of the Year award.

The university baseball team finished with a 33-27 record in 2019 and wrapped up the season with a 6-3 loss to the University of Central Arkansas in the Southland Conference Tournament, Gaconi earned these two awards after finishing his last season of eligibility.

He is the 10th baseball player in program history to bring home the award given by the university and first baseball player since Jameson Fisher earned the award in 2015-2016.

Gaconi explained how it felt to win the awards at the end of his final season.

“It was pretty awesome to win both accolades,” shared Gaconi. “We did not finish the season how we wanted to. To finish with both of those awards at the end of the season was pretty awesome. It feels great when other people notice all of the hard work you put into the regular season.”

Gaconi was inspired by his father to play baseball.

“I have played baseball since I was three years old,” explained Gaconi. “When I was growing up, I played as much as possible. I played in numerous different leagues just so I could keep playing the game year-round. My dad was the person who inspired me to play baseball. He was my coach growing up my whole childhood and always pushed me to do the best that I possibly can.”

The Metairie native was crushed when he did not initially get drafted to a Major League Baseball team.

“I felt like I had a pretty good chance to get drafted,” said Gaconi. “I really did not know what to do for two or three weeks after the draft. Everyone told me just to keep throwing and preparing in case any team gave me a call. Eventually, I gave up and started throwing altogether. I went through the university’s amazing sales program and planned to do something along those lines. I started to make my resume, but then Coach Riser called me and said that the Mets were interested in me, and I got a call the next day from them to play baseball.”

Gaconi shared how his time playing baseball for the university prepared him for the minor leagues and his favorite university baseball experiences.

“Southeastern did a great job preparing me for different in-game challenges,” stated Gaconi. “My favorite memory would have to be pitching against Rice University in the Baton Rouge regional in 2016. My second all-time favorite memory would have to be pitching a complete game shutout against Sam Houston State this year at the Pat. That series was so vital last season for us. It was awesome to have such a good performance in front of all the Southeastern fans.”

On Sept. 10, Gaconi’s minor-league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, won the 2019 New York-Penn League Championship defeating the Lowell Spinners.

Gaconi shared what he does during the off season to stay in shape and how he stays physically active.

“I usually go back and forth to Southeastern to throw a couple of times a week,” stated Gaconi. “I work out and do a lot of stuff to stay in shape so I am prepared for spring training next season. On the side, I teach pitching lessons to kids who want to learn how to pitch or need help with pitching.”