Baseball Heaven Staff
Joe Di Benedetto
Joe has extensive experience in what it takes to teach the fundamentals of winning baseball. Over 20 of his former players have signed professional contracts with both Zack Minor and Chris Stynes reaching the Major leagues. He also does private lessons and operates baseball camps in Michigan. Prior to joining Northwood, Coach "D" was a scout in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
28 Years of experience as a Head College Baseball Coach
Coached over 1,000 College Baseball Games
Has won 616 games as a Head Coach
Over 20 of his former players have signed contracts in Professional Baseball
Worked as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to Coaching at Northwood
Please welcome Dave to our Baseball Heaven Staff!
Dave played baseball locally at Bullock Creek high school and continued on to play baseball at Missouri Valley College. He began playing men’s fast pitch softball at the age of sixteen and has competed locally at all levels. While serving with the Air Force he continued competing in fast pitch softball.
His coaching experience ranges from local youth leagues (both baseball and softball), to being an assistant softball coach and freshman baseball coach at Dow High School, along with being an assistant softball coach at Northwood University. He also led a first year team to a first place finish at the 2013 ISC II World Tournament in Moline, IN.
Dave currently operates O’Keefe Softball Prep and continues to develop young softball players of all ages and for all skills.
Former Northwood University pitcher Lennon Gwizdala has signed a professional contract with the Washington Wildthings of the Frontier League.
In his senior season, Lenny earn Second Team All-Region and First Team All-GLIAC. He lead the GLIAC with eight saves while going 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He holds both the saves in a season (13) and in career (28) record at Northwood. Lenny finished his career with seven more saves than any other pitcher in school history. Lenny led all active Division II pitchers in saves. He earned Second Team All-Region from the NCBWA, D2CCA and the ABCA two straight seasons.
Lenny is orginally from Bay City, MI.
Connor Smith was born and raised in Midland, Michigan. He played baseball at Dow High and continued on to Western Michigan University to play short stop for three years.
In 2018 he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians to play short stop and second base for three years.
Connor is currently finishing his bachelor's degree in sports marketing at Northwood University.