Penn College Baseball Team Eager to Take Next Step
Last fall, the Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball team advanced to the semifinals of the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference. This spring, coach Mike Stanzione would like to take his team one step further.
"(In the fall) we had a lot of depth on our team. We had 10 reliable pitchers, two people for each position and defensively we were sound. But in a reversal for our teams, we just didn't hit. That's never been our problem," said Stanzione, who is in his 12th season with the Wildcats.
Despite the shortcoming in the hitting department, Penn College posted a 15-10 overall record, 12-4 in the EPCC, and won seven of its last eight games going into the playoffs.
In an effort to turn things around this spring the Wildcats are scheduled to open their season with a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday at King's College, weather permitting Stanzione has had his players working on their hitting stroke since early February.
"We've been in the batting cages working on hitting and working on trying to get some of the guys to try not to do too much just try to take the ball and hit it where it is pitched. Hopefully, the end result will be more runs scored," Stanzione said. "They need to concentrate on contact and not pulling off the ball just basically putting it in play. We're trying to make tougher outs, that's what the goal is."
Penn College enters the campaign with an 18-player roster. Starters will include Ted Kirner (sophomore, Central Bucks West) at first base, Christian Scheller (sophomore, North Pocono) at second, Robert Petrosky (sophomore, Jersey Shore) at shortstop, Henry Wells (freshman, Pottstown) at third, Jacob Seachrist (freshman, Central Dauphin) in left field, Mike Daciw (sophomore, Sun Valley) in center and John Vitovsky (freshman, Western Wayne) in right. John Poole (sophomore, Downingtown) will start behind the plate.
The starting pitching rotation will consist of lefthander Andy Roth (sophomore, Catasauqua) and right-handers Vitovsky, James Vaughn (freshman, Williamsport) and either Andrew Blauvalt (freshman, Horseheads, N.Y.) or Tyler Cullen (freshman, New Fairfield, Conn.).
Relief pitchers are Chris Faerber (sophomore, Newport), Jared Rabell (freshman, Northwestern), Kyle Newberry (sophomore, Valley View) and Scheller.
Also on the roster is sophomore Curtis Taylor (Hershey) and freshmen Chris Horsefield (Central Columbia) and Randy Lake (Marion Central, N.Y.)
In the fall, Kirner earned all Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association honors while Kirner and Roth were named all EPCC. Kirner and Daciw are team co-captains.
"We're solid at all of our positions. To determine how far we go in the season will really depend on our hitting and how well we can score runs," Stanzione reiterated.
In addition to Stanzione and assistant Dave Cipriani, also with the team this year is Jeremy Reidy of Williamsport, who will work primarily with pitchers.
Northampton County Community College, last fall's champ, will again be the team to beat, according to Stanzione.
"We need to get through them. They're always going to be good and we're always going to have to beat them in order to meet our goals, which are to make the playoffs and win the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championship," the coach added.