Staff Report

Former Cedar Creek High standout pitcher Christian Coppola is finding his groove as a freshman at Rutgers University. He was recently named the Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Week after striking out 12 in eight innings against Michigan on Friday.

Making his first Friday start, according to, Coppola scattered five hits and didn’t allow a run, and didn’t walk a batter, as the Scarlet Knights routed the Wolverines, 13-0.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Galloway native has allowed just 12 earned runs in 33 1/3 innings pitched this year and has 40 strikeouts against just 12 walks. He’s faced 155 batters so far this year, and they are hitting just .225 against him.

As a junior at Cedar Creek, Coppola was named second-team All-Group 2 by after posting a 2.82 ERA with 38 strikeouts in just less than 29 innings, and as a high school pitcher he was ranked in the top 20 in the state for right-handed pitchers by Perfect Game. He was also a varsity scholar for three years in high school.

Rutgers — which also features Holy Spirit graduate Trevor Cohen, Ethan Bowen of Shawnee, Xavier Massey and Isaiah Pinkney of Audubon, Max Martin of Moorestown, Sam Portnoy of Eastern, Tony Santa Maria of Atlantic Tech and Jordan Sweeney of EHT — is 20-16 overall and travels to Monmouth today at 3 p.m. The Scarlet Knights return to Big Ten play this weekend with a three-game series at Northwestern followed by a game next Tuesday at St. John’s in New York City.