Penn College Baseball Season Begins in Florida
Anticipation and excitement abound for the Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball team this spring.
The Wildcats are coming off a great fall season, during which they went 13-5 overall and 11-1 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, and, before they resume their PSUAC schedule in late March, they have nearly a dozen nonleague games scheduled nine of them in Florida.
Players will be housed at Little League's Southern Regional facility in St. Petersburg and play games there and in the surrounding area, according to coach Rees Daneker. They open Sunday against the Cornell University jayvee squad.
In Florida, Daneker will use multiple players and multiple positions. Among them will be Matt Francis (freshman/Williamsport), James Craft (freshman/Central York) and Courtney Schreiner (sophomore/Mercersburg) behind the plate, twin brothers James Woodring (freshman/Waynesboro) at second base and Phillip Woodring (freshman/Waynesboro) at shortstop, Doug Sponseller (sophomore/Hanover), Cory Lytle (freshman/Warrior Run) and Devon Liquori (freshman/Hawley) will see action at third base and Nate Hill (freshman/Loyalsock Township), Ryan Stuart (sophomore/Emporium), Mike Lang (freshman/Monroe, Conn.) or Francis at first base.
Outfielders will come from among Mike Daciw (junior/Sun Valley), Ryan Eshleman (freshman/Penn Manor), Mike Leone (freshman/Philadelphia), Dave Miller (sophomore/Pen Argyl), Tai Mitchell (freshman/Milton), Jordan Staib (freshman/Williamsport), Mike Stitt (freshman/Chicora) and Curtis Taylor (junior/Hummelstown).
Stuart and Joe Vassallo (sophomore/Windsor) will split time as designated hitters.
Pitchers on the team are Austin Upright (freshman/Montoursville), Hill, Brian Bell (freshman/Butler), Christian Worth (freshman/Williamsport), Staib, Brian Stiltner (freshman/Pottsville), Dan Preston (freshman/Montrose), Chris Jones (freshman/Penn Hills) and Sponseller.
"I feel our pitching has improved since last year," Daneker said.
Although the coach said in their first starts in Florida his pitchers will be limited to two innings or 50 pitches, whichever comes first, they are in shape as they've been throwing twice a week since early in February.
"We're going to move some people around down there and see what happens. Our main job is to get some playing time and get ready for the season," said Daneker.
After the Florida trip, the conference season will kick in, with eight of the team's last regular-season games scheduled at Bowman Field.
"We're sitting pretty good right now. If the guys just come out and play like they did in the fall, we should be in pretty good shape," Daneker said.
A complete roster and schedule are available on the college's Athletics Web page.