WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – One of only two starting pitchers to win as many as two games for the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team in national tournament competition, Scott W. Czerwinski ’99 is the fourth announced 2018 inductee into the E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame, it has been confirmed by committee chair Scott Smith.
The 6-foot-4 inch, 200-pound Somers native gave up only three earned runs and nine hits (eight singles) in 13 national tournament innings as a junior right-hander in 1998 at Salem, VA in defeating Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 9-3, in the 1998 tournament opener, and sealing the third of the Warriors’ four NCAA Division III national championships under Bill Holowaty with seven shutout innings in a 16-1 rout of Montclair State University four days later in the national championship.
Previously announced members of the Class of 2018 are Stephanie (Altman) Anderson ’01, Jennifer A. (Butts) Hounshell ’01 and Sarah A. (Barber) Grundfast ’08. Altman played lacrosse, Butts played volleyball and competed in the weight events in track & field, and Barber swam.
Czerwinski’s two-win performance in the 1998 nationals made him only the second of two Eastern pitchers in the program’s14 NCAA and NAIA national tournament appearances since 1973 to win two games, following an identical feat by Gary Kuzoian in the 1982 NCAA national tournament.
The 25th E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. A 4 p.m. reception will precede the 5 p.m. ceremony. A buffet meal will be available following the ceremony. Tickets are priced at $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at email@example.com visit the Hall of Fame website at https://easternct.prestosports.com/Hall_of_Fame/index
Czerwinski will become the second member of the’98 title team to gain induction, following Scott Chiasson (2012), who closed out six of Czerwinski’s victories in 1998, including all four of his starts in Little East, regional and national tournament play.
In 1998, Czerwinski won a staff-high eight of nine decisions with a 2.97 ERA and 45 strikeouts in a staff-leading 69 2/3 innings. He averaged nearly seven innings a start and limited opposing batters to only 12 extra-base hits and a .232 batting average. Although he shared the staff lead with 11 starts that year, he missed several starts up north with a groin pull --going more than two weeks between starts in early April because of the injury – but pitched through the pain in the national tournament.
Czerwinski’s 20th career win came against Wis.-Oshkosh in the ’98 national opener and made him only the sixth pitcher in program history to attain that milestone, one of only 12 currently in program history. In a career between 1995 and 1998 (injury limited him to 3.0 innings as a freshman in 1995), Czerwinski won 21 and lost seven with a 4.32 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 218.6 innings. He left the program ranked fourth in starts (34), and fifth in innings.
In conference, regional and national competition in 1998, Czerwinski was 4-0 in four starts with a 2.17 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 29.0 innings, and gave up only three extra-base hits (one HR). He pitched at least six innings each time out in that post season and never gave up more than three runs or seven hits in a start. Prior to receiving ample offensive support in two national tournament triumphs, Czerwinski’s effective starting pitching paved the way for slim 3-2 victories in the conference and regional tournaments. He went the first eight innings (his season-highs) both against UMass Dartmouth in the second game of the Little East tournament and in the New England Regional Tournament opener over LEC rival University of Southern Maine.
Through the early going when the national tournament title game against Montclair was still up for grabs, Czerwinski got a strikeout looking to leave the bases loaded in the bottom of the first and an infield ground ball to strand two in the third and preserve the Warriors’ 1-0 lead. He scattered two hits through the first six innings and departed with a four-hit shutout after seven innings.
After avoiding rival Southern Maine during their three-game run through the Little East tournament the previous weekend, the Warriors turned to Czerwinski against the Huskies in the regional opener five days later at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
Having been credited with the first victory during opening ceremonies of the Eastern Baseball Stadium six weeks earlier, Czerwinski made two third-inning runs stand up in the regional opener against Southern Maine, spinning a seven-hitter with a season-high seven strikeouts in eight innings. While protecting a precarious 3-1 lead, Czerwinski faced the minimum nine batters from the sixth through eighth innings before surrendering his only post-season home run leading off the ninth. In relief, Chiasson needed only ten pitches to end the game.
Czerwinski rebounded from one of the worst outings of his career (seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in a no-decision over Plymouth State April 25) by leading the Warriors to a 13-1 record in the month of May en route to the 1998 national championship. In that final stretch, Czerwinski won his final five starts with a 1.80 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 35 innings.
In his four healthy seasons, Czerwinski helped the Warriors to three NCAA tournament berths, three conference regular-season and one conference tournament title in three years of LEC play, an overall record of 124-53 (70.1 percent) and three-year LEC regular-season mark of 38-6 (86.4 percent).
As a sophomore in 1997, he was named second-team All-New England (6-2, 4.52 ERA) and first-team All-LEC after sharing the conference lead in wins. As a junior in 1998, he topped the conference in winning percentage (88.9). His only loss in 1998 was a 2-0 decision at West Coast power Chapman University in a game where he was touched for only six hits in seven innings. He went on to win his final seven decisions in eight starts.
As the head baseball coach at Tolland High School since 2005, Czerwinski has led the Eagles to five conference championships and a first-ever No. 1 state ranking in 2017 and over 200 career coaching wins.
Czerwinski holds a B.S. Degree in Sport & Leisure Management and has been employed by Billings Sports as a sales representative for the last 16 years. Scott and wife Christy (Pabon) – a former four-year letterwinner and two-year captain in the Eastern softball program – reside in Tolland with their three children.