TUSCON, Ariz. - Lipscomb baseball’s right-handed pitcher Jeffrey Passantino and outfielder Michael Gigliotti continued their postseason haul Wednesday afternoon, being named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team, announced by Collegiate Baseball.
Both players helped anchor a squad that set the school’s record for wins (39) in a single season. They also were keys to helping Lipscomb claim its second-ever Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament title and earn a trip to the NCAA Baseball Championship.
For their work during the season, coaches from around the league voted both Passantino and Gigliotti onto the A-Sun All-Conference Second Team, as well as the A-Sun All-Freshman squad.
Passantino, a Fort Myers, Florida native, posted a 5-1 record on the season as a mid-reliever who worked his way into the weekend rotation in A-Sun play. Passantino drew his first-career start against North Florida on April 11. He picked up his first-career win a week later at USC Upstate where he tossed 7.1 scoreless innings and only gave up four hits on his way to earning his first of two A-Sun Pitcher of the Week awards.
Passantino ended the season on a tear, winning each of his last four starts and throwing 19.2 consecutive-scoreless innings over three games to lower his ERA to 2.69 for the year. He finished fifth in the league with 64 strikeouts in 67.0 frames. In conference play, Passantino sported a league-best 1.01 ERA while holding opponents to a .186 batting average against.
Gigliotti became an integral part of the Bisons’ lineup, drawing 58 starts from his center field position. The speedy lefty got things rolling for the offense all season, hitting .336 from the leadoff position and reaching base in 32 straight games to end the season. He was named the league’s Player of the Week on May 17 after going 9-for-15, including three-hit and four-hit performances at Northern Kentucky. He also drew five walks, swiped three bags and scored six times during the week.
The freshman led the team with 51 runs scored and finished second with 78 hits and 17 stolen bases. He also recorded five home runs, five doubles, three triples and 28 RBI while drawing 25 walks. Gigliotti finished second on the team with 20 multiple-hit games.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native proved he was the best in the country at laying down bunts after leading the nation with 22 bunt singles.
In the field Gigliotti was just as good, totaling a .985 fielding percentage with only two errors in 134 total chances.
The duo was among six Atlantic Sun freshman to be awarded with the honor, and was they are just the second and third Bisons to ever be honored as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.