Christian Coppola makes history in his freshman season
For the Scarlet Knights, the 2023 regular season was one of their most successful in recent memory. They finished with a 33-21 record and earned the fifth seed in the Big Ten tournament. One key part to their success has been righthander Christian Coppola. On Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights pitcher made program history.
The New Jersey native became the first true freshman in Rutgers history to be named to the All-Big Ten First Team. As Coppola emerged as the team’s Friday night starter, he posted a 3.60 ERA, the second-best among Big Ten starters. On May fifth against Penn State, he struck out 13 batters, the most by any Big Ten player in a conference game this season.
While Coppola was one of the best pitchers in the conference, he was vital for Rutgers down the stretch. In his last five starts, the Cedar Creek High School product only allowed more than one run twice. In that span, he struck out 28 batters. With wins at a premium, Coppola gave Rutgers a chance to win.
Another strikeout for Christian Coppola as he tosses a 1-2-3 second inning!
Hugh Pinkney will get us started in the bottom half. pic.twitter.com/w4amQ1OcSh
— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) May 12, 2023
Additionally, the talented freshmen held opponents to a .245 batting average. His 68 strikeouts were the second most on the team, and he only allowed four home runs in 60 innings. As Coppola provided excitement for the future, he was a leader on the mound.
Christian Coppola works around a solo home run and gets a pair of strikeouts to end the fourth inning.
T5 | Rutgers 4, Mercer 1#TCD pic.twitter.com/8rRyrQ2sTo
— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) March 18, 2023
With Rutgers now focused on making a deep tournament run, Coppola will be more important than ever. He has been a player this team relied on in big moments, which will continue during the Big Ten Tournament. Tuesday’s news highlighted how good Coppola has been over the last few months.