Junior shortstop breaks out as baseball’s top offensive weapon

Media Credit: Sabrina Godin | Senior Staff Photographer

DiTomaso said his goal is for everyone on the team to play their best and to showcase the talent in their lineup.

Powering the offense with a hot bat near the top of the lineup during his first two years at GW, junior shortstop Steve DiTomaso has emerged as a leader on the baseball team.

Since his first full season on the team returning from the pandemic last spring, DiTomaso has recorded a .346 batting average and a .408 sluggish percentage in his first two seasons with 62 hits and 42 runs. This spring alone, he leads the team with a .436 batting average, .436 on base percentage and is tied for sixth most hits in all of NCAA Division I baseball.

His consistency at the dish has turned heads at both the collegiate and professional levels. He picked up the Colonial of the Week honors this season back in March and was named to the 2022 Brooks Wallace Award watch list of top shortstops in the country.

“I hope to be someone that people can look to and basically be an example of who people want to work like,” he said. “And it’s not really about the results – it’s really about how you go put your best foot forward everyday and your full effort every day and the process of getting to the results.”

He said he was recruited as an outfielder out of high school, but after the onset of the pandemic cut his freshman season short, he moved to shortstop when four starters were injured in the 2021 season. DiTomaso, who hadn’t played shortstop since he was a kid, said he had to adjust to play the position at the college level for the first time but has enjoyed it so far.

“It was a great experience, it was a lot of fun,” he said. “And it’s been quite the ride so far, just to keep learning and getting better at shortstop.

In his first season at the position last spring, he earned second team All-Atlantic 10 and the All-Rookie team with a .349 batting average and .425 slugging percentage.

During the current spring season, DiTomaso has started 34 of the team’s 35 games all at shortstop and carries a .923 fielding percentage. He said this season has allowed him to full play at the A-10 level after the pandemic cut short his first two seasons at GW.

“We never got A-10 and then last year was a weird short situation with COVID-19,” DiTomaso said. “So I’m really just looking forward to playing a full season, getting a full experience of A-10 play and honestly getting closer with my team every day.”

DiTomaso said he puts his best effort forward and his teammates can look up to him. He said his goal is for everyone on the team to play their best and to showcase the talent in their lineup.

“And I think there’s a lot more room and a lot left that we can show,” he said. “So my biggest goal right now is just to get every single person on our team to be their absolute best and play the best baseball we can because I think it’ll surprise a lot of people and show everyone how good we actually are.”

DiTomaso said players on the team push each other to be better with friendly competitions within the team, like his dynamic with senior centerfielder Cade Fergus to see who can get more hits in each game. He said he would “love it” if Fergus tallied more hits each game because it helps fuel the team around him.

DiTomaso said he looks forward to playing a full season of conference games and making a run for the A-10 championship in May.

“It’s a lot of fun playing conference games and bettering each other, traveling’s so much fun,” he said. “Just hanging out with your team and getting a chance to win an A-10 championship is what I’m most excited for.”

Head coach Gregg Ritchie said DiTomaso was originally intended to be a backup at shortstop last spring but adapted to the role quickly and earned a permanent spot for the following seasons. He said DiTomaso’s calm character helps his consistency in each game and keeps him in tune with the coaches’ directions.

“He doesn’t play there, and we just throw him in there very first game of the year, and boom, he becomes second team All-Conference,” Ritchie said. “He’s growing at that spot too because he’s learning the position more.”

Ritchie said DiTomaso is the “epitome” of what a GW baseball player represents because he plays with the passion, honor and resilience necessary to motivate the team to work together.

“He has the ability to go from first gear, to second gear, to third gear, to overdrive in his manner of playing the game,” Ritchie said. “So he plays the game with such ferocity and intent that you know everything he does. Even when it’s not a high level performance day, he’s still a guy who is leading the team with his actions, his intensity, his energy. He’s just that engine that makes things run.”

DiTomaso will look to carry his momentum through the rest of the spring with 18 more games left on the regular season.

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