With spring around the corner, a pair of Montclair State University siblings are gearing up to make their returns to the diamond and carry on their family tradition of athletic success. Siblings Peter and Kayla Cosentino are a couple of standout Montclair State athletes whose bond has carried from school to the diamond in a meaningful way.
Kayla, a sophomore outfielder on the softball team, is coming off a highly productive season for the Red Hawks where she batted .315. Peter, a senior infielder on the baseball team, is returning to follow up a historic season in which he batted .426 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs in the coronavirus (COVID-19) shortened year.
The siblings’ bond is one that has benefited from their shared love of sports for some time now. For Kayla, seeing her brother play baseball inspired her.
“At my age, in my town, softball wasn’t really a thing, so I would have to play baseball,” Kayla said. “So I saw him playing baseball, too, and I thought, ‘I want to be just like him.’”
Both siblings got their baseball and softball careers started from a well-known person in their lives.
“A thing that we have in common is our father, who has been a big influence on my career and my sister’s as well,” Peter said. “Kayla and I have always listened to whatever hitting style he had and I know for me, I attribute a lot of my successes to him.”
With this strong passion for their sport, Peter and Kayla have managed to take it further and use it to bring them closer together off the diamond. Kayla spoke about how cool of an experience that is for her.
“Being athletes at the same school has brought us closer together, obviously,” Kayla said. “I don’t see him as much on campus since we are two years apart, but seeing him be a college athlete and [reflecting on] how much he trained, made me ask him questions and also led to us training together.”
Peter expanded on how he and Kayla find time to bond as siblings, even with their hectic lives on campus.
“We’ve definitely become closer than ever over the past two years with her coming here,” Peter said. “[So], we try to find time in our schedules to get lunch and talk every week.”
With Peter coming back for a fifth season after the 2022 season, his time here isn’t done yet, but with the end approaching, it is comforting for him to know the Cosentino name will carry on here at Montclair State.
“It’s definitely a nice feeling,” Peter said. “This school has been awesome athletically and academically. Just to have a reason to be able to come back and see the guys and see Kayla play is definitely a nice feeling.”
The sentiment isn’t lost on Kayla, who is very aware of the impact the Cosentino name has already had on her brother’s impressive career.
“It means a lot,” Kayla said. “People know who I am through his success, so they expect the same from me. I like that and the competition it brings on me to reach that higher level.”
Kayla and the Montclair State softball team, who were recently ranked fifth in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Preseason Coaches Poll, will be looking to bring a conference championship to Montclair State this spring.
The Red Hawks look to improve upon their 13-9 shortened season last year. Kayla expressed her feelings about the upcoming season, which are mixed.
“I’m really excited,” Kayla said. “But at the same time, I’m nervous because last season we only played 22 games and now we have 44, but I [still] can’t wait to get into it.”
Peter and the Montclair State baseball team also have their eyes set on a championship, as they look to start their season up as well. The Red Hawks are ranked fourth in their NJAC Preseason Coaches Poll and are coming off an impressive 20-10 season.
Head coach Dave Lorber explained what the baseball team wants to succeed in, which has not changed for a while.
”Our goals don’t change,” Lorber said. “Our goals are to get back to the NJAC playoffs and compete for a championship there. If we don’t win that, then [we want to] compete for an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament and see what happens from there.”
Outside of winning an NJAC title, Peter can also become the all-time record holder in batting average for Montclair State baseball this upcoming season, and was also selected for the D3baseball.com Preseason All-American Team.
With both Cosentinos leading the way for softball and baseball, we can expect to see high success for the Red Hawks this spring.
The Montclair State softball team opens up their season on March 7 against Gettysburg College in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The baseball team has started their season off with an 2-1 record, with a Feb. 19 loss to Swarthmore College and a sweep of McDaniel College the next day.