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Hofstra’s Chris Weiss embraces his role of closer with a laser focus

Hofstra senior Chris Weiss who currently leads NCAA

Hofstra senior Chris Weiss who currently leads NCAA Division I in strikeouts per nine innings. Credit: Hofstra University

Chris Weiss has done it all for the Hofstra baseball program. The selfless senior has started at multiple positions and moved all around the diamond over the years before finally settling in as the Pride closer.

The senior, who made a staff-high 27 appearances with two starts and posted a 6-4 record as a junior, relishes his role. He currently leads Division I in strikeouts per nine innings at 16.30.

“There’s a mentality to be a closer and it’s who I am,” said Weiss, who is 4-for-4 in saves. “I come out of the bullpen with my best stuff. It’s usually a pressure situation where fear is not an option. I like the game on my shoulders. I want to lift my team.”

Weiss, 5-10, 210 pounds, mixed a 92 mph heater with a vicious slider to strike out eight of 12 in three innings in an 8-6 win over Norfolk State for his first save. In his fourth save, he struck out six in two innings of work in a 5-3 win over nationally ranked University of North Carolina Wilmington.

“I worked on my slider all summer with our pitching coach John Habyan,” said Weiss, who held hitters to a .197 average a year ago. “There’s a mindset, a laser focus to a closer.”

Weiss is 2-1 with 32 strikeouts in 17.2 innings and a 1.53 ERA. He’s held hitters to a .148 average in nine appearances in Hofstra’s 12-6 start.

Weiss, of Ridge, is looking forward to major league baseball’s amateur draft in June.

Two other senior right handers with a shot at the draft are St. Thomas Aquinas’ Frankie Moscatiello of Rocky Point and East Islip’s David Palmer of the University of New Haven.

Moscatiello, 5-9, 190 pounds, was named the East Coast Conference pitcher of the week the past two weeks. He is 3-0 with a save, 31 strikeouts in 29 innings and a 0.93 ERA. He has thrown 16 straight scoreless innings for New Haven, 18-3.

The 6-5, 210-pound Palmer had his streak of 35 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run stopped in the first inning of Friday’s 2-0 loss to American International. The NE10 Conference tournament MVP from a year ago is currently 5-1 with 33 strikeouts in 44 innings and an 0.41 ERA. Opponents are hitting a meager .138 against Palmer.

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