Fordham Baseball Camps

Kevin Leighton Baseball Camps

Coaching Staff


Rob DiToma
Associate Head Coach / Recruiting Coordinator

Heading into his fifth season with the Fordham baseball coaching staff is Rob DiToma, who added the title of recruiting coordinator in 2016, and was promoted to associate head coach during the summer of 2017.

The 2017 season saw the Rams finish the year with an over .500 record with 27 wins.  It also marked the first time since 2011 that a Fordham player earned Freshman All-American status as pitcher Kyle Martin was honored by Baseball America and pitcher Alvin Melendez was honored by the NCBWA.

In 2016, he was part of the Rams' staff that helped guide the team to 29 wins, the most for the program since 2011, and 14 conference wins, which was good for fifth place in the conference standings and a third straight trip to the Atlantic 10 Championship.

DiToma, who is responsible for the Rams' running game and infield, saw the Rams lead the Atlantic 10 in stolen bases (97) and stolen bases per game (1.80) in 2015, while ranking 17th and 14th nationally in those categories, respectively.  The Rams also advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship for the second straight year and had five players receive Atlantic 10 awards.

In his first season at Rose Hill, DiToma helped coach the Rams to their first Atlantic 10 Championship appearance in four seasons in 2014, where the Rams picked up their first tournament win since 2007.  Fordham also saw a number of award winners throughout the 2014 campaign, as four players earned All-League honors, marking the first time since 1997 that Fordham had four players honored by the Atlantic 10. 15274

DiToma saw the Rams improve their running game by 36 stolen bases in 2014, leading the Atlantic 10 with 101 stolen bases.  It marked the third time since 2000 that Fordham has reached the century mark in a single season.  Nationally, the Rams finished in the top ten in stolen bases and stolen bases per game, while individually, Fordham had three players in the top ten in the conference in stolen bases, led by Joseph Runco, who swiped a league-best 23 bags.

Prior to Fordham, DiToma had a four-year stint at Iona College, serving as the team's hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator.

In four seasons at Iona, DiToma guided Iona's offense to some of its most productive seasons in the last decade. In 2010, the Gaels posted their highest batting average, slugging percentage, and scored the most runs in the last 10 seasons. Four of his hitters from that team received All-MAAC honors including First Teamers Andrew Passerelle (OF), James Beck (DH) and Chris Burke (3B) and Second Teamer Mike Chiaravalloti (1B).

Under the direction of DiToma, the program started the Iona Elite Skills Camp, an instructional camp designed to help high school players and provide these players an excellent opportunity to receive position specific instruction.

In 2012, DiToma helped a trio of players earn All-MAAC recognition, including MAAC Player of the Year Chris Burke, who finished fourth in hitting with a .351 batting, second in RBI with 50 in 53 games played and second in home runs with 11 among MAAC performers. His 72 hits, 44 runs scored, 20 doubles, 127 total bases led the league while his .620 slugging percentage was second and 23 stolen bases ranked fourth. In June of 2012, Burke became the 24th Iona player to be selected in the draft when the San Diego Padres selected him with the 555th pick in the 18th round.

In 2013, DiToma had three more hitters earn All-MAAC accolades, as Matt Kriss (UT) was named First Team All-League, while Joe Torres (OF) and Matt Byrne (DH) were both Second Team All-League.

Prior to Iona, DiToma coached for one season at Siena and one at Temple. At Siena in 2009, he helped mentor eventual two-time MAAC Player of the Year Dan Paolini during his freshman campaign. The Saints finished fourth in the MAAC in slugging (.439) and total bases (748), and third in home runs (54).

DiToma also served as an assistant coach at Temple University during the 2008 season helping the Owls to 28 wins and a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. He instructed the infielders and catchers, as the Owls reached the postseason for the first time in seven years.

Before Temple, DiToma's served on the baseball coaching staff at Manhattanville while pursuing his master's degree. He guided the College to the 2007 Skyline Conference Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals. DiToma gained additional coaching experience as an assistant in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in the summers of 2006 and 2007, working primarily with the infielders and assisting with recruiting.

A 2005 graduate of Mercy College, DiToma earned his master's degree in physical education from Manhattanville College in 2007. He played four years as the starting second baseman at Mercy as an undergraduate, serving as team captain as a senior. As a junior, he batted .309 and was an All NYCAC selection.


Tony Mellaci
Director of Baseball Operations

Tony Mellaci, who served as an assistant coach at Fordham and as Director of Baseball Operations, returned as a volunteer assistant coach in 2015. Over the past 30 years, he has directed the infield play and the defense, served as first base coach, and championed Fordham's strong recruiting program, which has brought some of the finest players coming out of high school and junior colleges to Rose Hill, and served as a community service contact with youth programs.

Along with 2005 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Nick Restaino, Mellaci helped the Rams have a resurgent year in 2005, posting 34 overall wins and 17 conference wins. The 34 wins were the most since the 1997 campaign, while the 17 conference victories were the most by Fordham since joining the Atlantic 10 in 1995-96.

As a member of the Atlantic 10, Mellaci has helped Fordham to the Atlantic 10 Tournament on four occassions, including the 1998 title. Mellaci has also helped coach ten All-Atlantic 10 players, two Players of the Year, and two Rookies of the Year.

Among the team accomplishments in Mellaci's tenure, Fordham has had eight 30-win seasons, and captured seven league titles (3 - MAAC, 3 - Patriot League, 1 - Atlantic 10).

Prior to Fordham, Mellaci's first significant stop was at Westchester Community College where he was the head coach for five years. His club won four Mid-Hudson Conference Championships, in the process notching 106 wins against just 43 losses for a better than .700 winning percentage. This stretch was highlighted by a 30-4 record in 1981, when the diminutive general led his troops to a National Junior College World Series appearance.

Mellaci moved to Iona College following the 1983 season and not coincidentally, the program turned around. He helped the Gaels to two MAAC titles in the mid-1980's, including an ECAC playoff bid in 1985. Mellaci served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the New Rochelle, NY school for four years before joining Fordham's staff in a similar role in 1987.

Mellaci graduated from Mercy College in 1981. He currently resides in Oradell, New Jersey with his wife, Allison, and sons, Tyler and Jordan.


Peter Larson
Pitching Coach

Larson joins the Fordham staff after spending 2017 at Albany as their pitching coach.  The Great Danes went 26-26 on the year, winning two games at the America East Tournament and had seven players earn postseason honors, including relief pitcher Dominic Savino (First Team) and starting pitcher Jack McClure (Second Team).
 
Before Albany, Larson spent the 2016 season as an assistant coach at Siena College, helping the Saints to a second place regular season finish with a 16-8 record and a runner-up finish in the MAAC conference tournament. Under Larson's watch, Siena had a pitcher earn second-team All-MAAC honors, a MAAC Rookie of the Week pitcher, and two hurlers named to the All-MAAC Tournament Team.
 
Prior to Siena, Larson was an assistant on the King University (Tenn.) baseball staff. He contributed in all aspects of the program, primarily working with outfielders, high school recruiting and serving as base coach during games. The Tornado finished third in the Conference Carolinas in 2015 (16-10) and posted an overall record of 24-26.
 
In the summer of 2015, Larson served as the pitching coach for the Madison Mallards in the Northwoods League. Under his direction, the Mallards staff led the league in strikeouts with 580 and finished fourth in team ERA at 3.73, closing the summer with a record of 43-28.
 
Larson began his coaching career as a pitching coach at Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, Va. for two seasons, and then spent a year at the Collegiate School in Richmond. He helped lead both teams to state tournament appearances while lowering the pitching staffs’ ERA from the previous years. At the same time, he worked as a baseball instructor at Rock-It Sports, Richmond Baseball Academy-West, and Colonial Baseball Instruction.
 
Larson graduated from Ferrum College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  While at Ferrum, Larson was a four-year member of the Panther baseball team and helped his squad to USA South conference titles in 2005 and 2007, as well as South Regional appearances in both years. As a senior reliever in 2009, Larson led the pitching staff in ERA. After graduation, Larson went on to play professionally in the Can-Am League and North American League in 2011.


Pat Porter
Volunteer Assistant Coach

“Pat is going to be a huge help for me, my staff, and our players. He will be responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes, day-to-day tasks of running this program. He brings high level playing experience, tremendous energy and work ethic, along with the desire to learn every day,” said Fordham head baseball coach Kevin Leighton.

Porter comes to Fordham after spending 2017 as an operations intern for the Ohio State baseball team, where he also played for the Buckeyes from 2012-15.  He was a First Team All-BIG TEN outfielder in 2015, and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 15th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.  He has spent the last three seasons in the Astros minor league system, most recently playing for Buies Creek in the Carolina League in 2017.


*Other qualified high school and college coaches along with current college players may work our camps.