A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Riverview’s Enzo Lio

Monday, May 22, 2023 | 11:06 AM

It’s a prime time for high school baseball and softball with the WPIAL playoffs underway.

Riverview baseball came into the postseason looking to build its recent success. Among the players with first-hand memories of past successful playoffs is senior pitching standout Enzo Lio.

“My sophomore year, we played the second seed, which was GCC, and made a ton of great plays,” Lio said. “That was the best game that I’ve ever pitched. We had great hitting and great energy. It was a ton of fun to be a part of.”

Enzo is the son of Kristin and Dominic Lio. He is a member of the basketball, golf and soccer teams. He is the recipient of the REA scholarship for academics and athletics, a member of the honor roll and reached the WPIAL finals with the Raiders in 2021. He’s been playing baseball since he was 3.

“I chose baseball because it was the one sport that I found a love for,” Lio said. “My dad pushed me to be the best at it. It’s more a love for a game than a demand to play the game.”

Lio took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

This year, Riverview moved from Class A to 2A. What was the transition like?

The competition was really different and more competitive. The pitching was faster, and there was a lot more depth in teams. In Class A, there’s usually one or two batters per team that can hit. And now in 2A, you’re looking at the first six or seven batters that can hit. We did well in the section, but we could have done better.

You play first base and pitch. How does the mentality shift as you change positions?

On the mound, I am focused on pitching and hitting my spots, whether that’s high, lower, in or out. I stay away from going down the middle for obvious reasons. When I’m playing first, I focus on my prep step, expecting the ball to come to me, cheering on my team and being ready for plays.

After a game earlier this season, your coach referred to you as a bulldog. What does that compliment mean to you?

The first time I’ve actually heard that compliment was when I read that interview. But it means a lot to me, knowing that my coach has confidence in me and lets me do my thing. He knows that I know what I’m doing and doesn’t try and butt in and give me crazy advice. I believe that being called a bulldog, which is now my nickname on the team, also shows a leadership role. And I wouldn’t be there without my teammates.

Serra Catholic split with Riverview this season. Tell me a little bit about the matchups that you had this season with them.

We aren’t rivals, but they are a good team. The series was a lot of fun. In the first game, we had everything going for us, pitching and batting wise. But in the second game, we really lost focus and got ahead of ourselves. It was a great series, and I hope to see them in the playoffs.

What is your favorite pitch and why?

I’d say a curveball to a left-handed batter. I like seeing them move, and then the ball curves down for a strike. Sometimes, they will duck and then miss a good pitch, and I think it makes them look silly.

What kind of pitcher do you think you are?

When playing teams like Serra, I’m focused on getting strikeouts, ground outs or pop flies. When we face teams that are toward the bottom of the section, I go mainly for strikeouts to get us out of there. It really depends on the team, and my mentality changes when it comes to being a pitcher and seeing different teams.

What type of hitter do you think you are?

I think it really depends on the situation. If there are runners on base, I’m looking to advance them or get them to score. It’s hard to be a home run hitter when there is no fence at our home field, but I love to help the team out when bunting or doing a hit and run (and hoping for the best). When no one is on base, though, I’m looking for a line drive into the outfield.

Bunting is a critical part for good teams that want to play small ball. What is your biggest concern when it comes to bunting as a first baseman and pitcher?

Good teams can bunt, end of story. As a pitcher or first basemen, when I see someone is starting to square around, you have to make a play. We do a great job of going over what we need to do in practice. As a first baseman, I have to make the plays. As a pitcher, I’m doing 180-degree turns to throw and covering the first-base line.

As a pitcher, what is your biggest worry?

I wouldn’t say I have worries, but I have a fear and that is letting up a home run. It happens to everyone; it’s part of the game. But it’s the worst feeling. But I try not to think about negatives when on the mound. I’m really looking to help my team.

What are your future plans?

I will be attending the University of Ohio State. I plan to try and go for club baseball, and, if something opens up, I plan to take that opportunity.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to leave with your teammates?

Have fun and don’t take it for granted. I remember my sophomore year like it was yesterday, and now here I am doing a senior interview. Time flies when you are having fun, so you have to make the most of it. If you aren’t having a good game, who cares? Go get the next one. Ultimately, enjoy it while it lasts.


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