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With Boost From Holowaty, Former Catcher Ron Pizzanello Back in the Game

Catcher Ron Pizzanello (center) celebrates the final  out of a 3-2 win over King's College in the 1974 NAIA Area 8 Tournament at the old Alumni Field. Former head coach Bill Holowaty (at right in inset photo) with former director of athletics and baseball coach Francis E. Geissler at a reunion in 1994 at Hurley Hall.
Catcher Ron Pizzanello (center) celebrates the final out of a 3-2 win over King's College in the 1974 NAIA Area 8 Tournament at the old Alumni Field. Former head coach Bill Holowaty (at right in inset photo) with former director of athletics and baseball coach Francis E. Geissler at a reunion in 1994 at Hurley Hall.

Over his 45-year baseball coaching career at Eastern, Bill Holowaty had a positive effect upon hundreds of his student-athletes. In retirement, the Hall of Fame coach continues to be a motivational and inspirational force to all with whom he connects. Case in point is Ron Pizzanello, who played four seasons (1973-76) under Holowaty during the first decade of the coach's career. Under Holowaty, the hard-nosed catcher was a member of four post-season tournament teams and two NAIA national tournament qualifiers and served as a senior captain. Soon after graduating, Pizzanello experienced a number health problems which necessitated the amputation of both legs. In his role as Commissioner of the Greater Hartford Baseball League (GHBL), Holowaty reached out to Pizzanello, encouraging him to get involved in a coaching role in a league where Pizzanello spent decades on the powerhouse Vernon Orioles team. In a recent edition of the Hartford Courant, columnist Mike Anthony describes Pizzanello's journey back to the gave that he has loved, and Holowaty's role in that journey.

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