Getting to Know Aaron Dona: ECC Player of the Week


Image credit: STAC Athletics

Jeremy Silber, Contributor

Aaron Dona, the top starter in the Spartans rotation, won ECC Player of the Week honors last week after pitching a complete game against the West Chester Golden Rams on March 4th, 2023.  

The right-handed graduate student from Gloversville, NY threw seven scoreless innings, striking out 15 while only allowing one hit and two walks.  It was his most dominant performance of the season so far.

Dona is determined to win a championship with the Spartans before graduation. It felt good to win Player of the Week, but Dona said he’s not satisfied — yet. “I’ve got bigger goals to accomplish,” he said. “When I get my ring, I’ll be satisfied.” 

Like fellow Spartan pitcher John Archer, Dona’s favorite playing memory was making the East Coast Regional in 2021. “We had very good chemistry that year,” he said.

He senses a similar chemistry with this year’s team. “Hopefully we can get back there this year,” he said. “Baseball is a lot more fun when you’re winning.”

He tries to keep to a routine on days he’s scheduled to throw. “The days I pitch, guys kind of know to let me do my thing,” he said. “As a starting pitcher you only pitch once a week, so that’s kinda like your day of the week to go out and do your thing.”

He’s grateful for the support he’s gotten from the batting order in his recent starts. “My first couple of outings they’ve been able to give me some runs,” Dona said. “When you have run support, it’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re up in the game, so hopefully I’ll be able to get run support and win some more ball games.”

He loves playing on the road.  “We’ll go to the hotel pool,” Dona said. “We’ll eat dinners together. That kinda helps us connect with one another.” At home the team has to worry about going to practice or the gym, not to mention attending class. 

Dona has had to make adjustments during his time at STAC, like living away from home. “It’s definitely tough, I kind of struggled with it the first semester coming in my freshman year,” he said.

“It’s kinda like anything once you’re doing it over and over again you get used to it. It becomes a lot easier.”

He’s also getting used to the year-round grind.

“College is definitely a whole different ball game than what high school is — the mindset piece of it and the physical piece of it as guys are a lot stronger mentally and physically.” 

His advice for younger players? “Do whatever you can do to just keep working hard,” Dona said. “Baseball is one of those sports where it doesn’t matter how big or tall you are. There’s a lot of good players.” 

Last summer Dona played in the New England Collegiate League with the Vermont Lake Monsters 

The summer before his junior year, he played with the Wilson Tobs in the Coastal Plains League. When he played there, he roomed with Trey Sweeney, a first-round pick for the Yankees first round pick in 2021.

Despite his New York roots, Dona grew up a Boston Red Sox fan. He used to go to Fenway Park as a kid rather than Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.

A graduate student, Dona is focused on getting his masters degree and starting a career. “Hopefully I get the opportunity to play professional baseball somewhere,” he said. “But if not, I’m getting my MBA in healthcare management informatics so hopefully I could do something in the healthcare field.”

Dona is a person who likes to be outdoors in the warm weather. “No one really likes the cold, especially for baseball.”