Senior athletes begin a new journey
Four baseball players prepare for final games as a Cougar
The MVNU baseball team will graduate four seniors this year who have made a big impact on Cougar baseball.
The 2016 graduates are Roberto Cediel, Lucas Daugherty, Efrain Montero and Riley Swanson. These men have each helped build upon the long-standing legacy of Cougar baseball.
The seniors have led the Cougars to an overall four-year record of 116-44. They’ve competed in three Crossroads League Tournaments, two Crossroads League Championship games and three NAIA National Playoffs.
Roberto Cediel, a native of Puerto Rico, is a biology pre- med major who plans to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Throughout his four years of pitching,Cediel has held a steady ERA of 3.00 and racked up 173 strikeouts. He was named a Crossroads League Pitcher of the Week three times, once each in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Cediel will miss the competition and hopes to influence younger players and encourage them to be their best.
“If you want something you have to go and get it, but of course nothing comes easy,” Cediel said. “In order to reach any goal in life there are some sacrifices that are worth doing and working hard towards.”
Also graduating is environmental science major and future zookeeper Lucas Daugherty who hails from Galena, Ohio.
Daugherty has thrown 250 strikeouts and held batters to an average of .265 or below. During his four-year career he acquired an impressive ERA of 2.10.
He was named a Crossroads League Pitcher of the Week during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Daugherty has had multiple other NCCAA and Crossroads League honors, including being named to the All-Crossroads League team in 2014 and 2015.
The oldest of the Montero brothers will also hang up his cleats. Efrain “Jay” is a biology pre-med major from Puerto Rico.
Montero has been a versatile player, filling the positions of both catcher and first baseman. Over the last four years, Montero has led the Cougar offense with a steady batting average of .343 that includes 10 home runs.
In 2015 Montero was awarded Crossroads League Player of the Week and received All-Crossroads League Team and Academic All-Conference honors.
Riley Swanson, a business management major from Mount Vernon will leave big expectations to fill for the next shortstop.
He has paced the Cougars offensively the past four years with a .319 batting average.
He was named Crossroads League Newcomer of the Year in 2013, Crossroads League Player of the Year in 2014 and Crossroads League Academic All-Conference in 2015.
Swanson was picked for the All- Crossroads League Team in 2014 and 2015 and was also honored as a part of the Crossroads League Gold Glove Team in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Swanson has many more awards and honors from MVNU, CoSIDA, NCCAA and the Crossroads League for his time at MVNU.
“My time on the baseball team has taught me a lot about life and I am grateful for what I have learned,” said Swanson. “God has blessed me and I give Him the glory.”