Members of the Lehigh baseball team walk into the Smith Center on Feb. 22, 2024. From left, junior infielder/pitcher Rafe Perich, sophomore infielder Ryan Cochran, first-year catcher Andrew Noone, first-year infielder Raffaele Rogers and first-year pitcher Julio Ermigiotti. (Holly Fasching/B&W Staff)

Lehigh baseball first year infielder joins starting lineup


Quiet confidence and level-headedness have been Lehigh men’s baseball first-year infielder Raffaele Rogers’ path to success in his debut season with the Mountain Hawks.

Rogers was named First Team All-Olympic Conference in 2023 and won several awards at his high school, Bishop Eustace in New Jersey. 

Coach Sean Leary said he has been pleased with Rogers’ composure and consistency defensively for this season. 

“He was making all the routine plays out there at second base, just looked very relaxed and like a veteran playing out there, which was really difficult to do as a first-year,” Leary said. “(Rogers) looked like he was able to slow down the game both on the offensive and the defensive side.”

Sophomore infielder Ryan Cochran said Rogers’ ability has reached a level beyond what’s expected for underclassmen. 

“(Rogers) has a really level head and that’s special for a freshman especially going through all the failure that comes with baseball, (Rogers) doesn’t really get shaken by it,” Cochran said. “It just feels like he’s already had a year or two of experience, which I think is really special.”

Rogers’ experience comes from over 16 years of playing baseball, starting at the age of two. Although he has experimented with basketball, swimming and soccer, baseball has always been his passion. 

With the prevalence of failure in the game, Rogers has learned to cope with failure during his years of playing baseball.

“You’re gonna have bad days, you’re gonna have good days,” Rogers said. “Regardless, you just gotta flush it, focus on the next day.”

Rogers said when competing it is important to know that you’re supposed to be there and have confidence while playing.

He said he builds this confidence through habits like trying to get as many reps as possible before games. But his confidence goes beyond the reps he completes; it also relies on his relationships with his teammates, his coach and faith. 

Rogers regularly attends mass at Packer Memorial Church. He also prays before games to help put him in a positive mental state.

“It keeps me motivated and it makes me just feel better about myself,” Rogers said. “I’ve been blessed with a lot to come play here. And at the end, it’s all glory to God.”

During his first year, Rogers developed a close relationship with his teammates. 

He said the baseball team’s family dynamic takes the pressure off of individual players.

“It’s a lot easier to play when you’re really good friends with everyone,” Rogers said. “We’re just picking each other up (when) someone’s down.”

Rogers has also proven himself to be a team player by doing whatever the team needs, even if it means sacrificing himself in a play.

“(Rogers) has been really selfless, especially at the dish when if we need him to give up an at-bat to bunt or get a guy over, move the runner, he’ll do it, no questions asked,” Cochran said.

Looking forward, Rogers prioritizes his team’s success over his own. His favorite experience playing baseball in high school was winning a trophy at the Diamond Classic in South Jersey. He hopes to do the same at Lehigh.

“The goal is to win a Patriot League championship, whether that means in the lineup, out of the lineup, whatever,” Rogers said. “As long as we’re winning, doesn’t really matter.” 


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