Penn College Teams Look Ahead to Playoffs
In Penn State University Athletic Conference action on Wednesday, the Wildcats swept Penn State Schuylkill by scores of 5-3 and 6-5 in eight innings. In the first game, Tyler Cooklin, of Rippey, Iowa, fanned 14 in posting the mound win and he got offensive support from Josh Longsderff, of Columbia, who went 1 for 3 and drove in two runs while Zach Buterbaugh, of Conestoga, was 2 for 2, including a double with two runs scored, and Jeremy Rall, of Williamsport, was 1 for 2 with two runs scored. In the nightcap, Buterbaugh scored from third on a wild pitch with two out in the eighth to secure the win. He finished that game going 1 for 2 with two runs scored while Longsderff doubled and also scored twice.
Penn College closed out the regular-season portion of its PSUAC schedule on Saturday with losses to Penn State Brandywine by scores of 4-1 and 5-2. In the first game, Cole Weachock, of Pottsville, was 2 for 3 at the plate and both he and Zach Weil, of Kutztown, had doubles. In the second game, Cody Buterbaugh, of Conestoga, was 2 for 3 at the plate and Weachock tripled, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats went to 15-5 in the conference and 21-10 overall.
In the Week 4 United States Collegiate Athletic Conference Coaches’ Poll, Penn College remained tied for seventh. Penn College remains second in the PSUAC standings.
With every game important in its hopes of achieving a playoff berth, Penn College took two games from Penn State Schuylkill on Wednesday by scores of 9-1 and 10-2, both in five innings. In the first game, Jessica Gmerek, of Bellefonte, went 3 for 3 with a home run and five runs batted in to back the four-hit, 10-strikeout pitching of Arika Stopper, of Williamsport. Rachel Sheaffer, of Hampstead, Md., also homered for the Wildcats in the game. In the nightcap, Macie Lucas, of Reedsville, homered and doubled, driving in three runs and scoring twice herself, while Sheaffer went 2 for 3 with one RBI and one run scored to back the four-hit, 11-strikeout pitching of Kimberly Watson, of Beavertown.
The Lady Wildcats made it four wins in a row during the week on Friday with a twin-bill sweep of Penn State Scranton by scores of 16-0 and 12-1, both in five innings. In the first game, Stopper tossed a three-hitter, striking out eight. Key hitters were Lucas, with three hits including a two-run double; Walter, who went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs scored; Karey Wolfe, of Milton, who had two hits, including a bases-loaded triple, and drove in six runs; and Alexandra Brennan, of St. Clair, who had three hits and three RBIs. In the second game, Nicole La Furno, of Glen Mills, hit a solo home run while Sheaffer had two hits and Brittney McHugh, of Frederick, Md., had three hits. Penn College now is 6-4 in the conference and 10-12 overall.
In the Week 4 United States Collegiate Athletic Conference Coaches’ Poll, Penn College was No. 16. The Wildcats are fifth in the PSUAC.
On the road Wednesday, Penn College avenged its only conference loss of the season with a 6-3 victory over Penn State Brandywine. Posting Wildcat wins in both singles and doubles were Jordan Rodgers, of Biglerville; James Jeffries, of Bedford; and Noah Stahl, of Sunbury.
“The season started out rough for us. We faced some (NCAA) Division III teams we hadn’t faced before, but the kids really took on the challenge and as the season progressed they got better,” coach Robert Kemrer said of his team’s campaign that ended 5-5 overall and 3-1 in the PSUAC.
“This has been a big step for the tennis program, going from just playing Penn State schools and playing them twice the same season. Now, we’re progressing playing some normal Division III teams where the competition is a little higher. It forces our program to take it up a notch to be at their level and we’ve done pretty well,” the coach added.
Competing April 19-20 at the outdoor Eastern Regional championships at Storrs, Conn., in their final tuneup before next month’s national championships, Penn College archers took seven first-place finishes, three seconds and three thirds.
Recording individual firsts were Kendel Baier, of Jersey Shore, in women’s bowhunter, and Cody Wolfe, of Tioga, in men’s compound. Firsts in team events came for Wolfe; Justus Leimbach, of Westminster, Md.; and Markus Weber, of La Plata, Md., in men’s compound; Baier and Kelvin Dewalt, of Easton, in mixed bowhunter; Dewalt; Robert Heinrich, of Muncy Valley; and Chris Lafey, of Weatherly, in men’s bowhunter; Leimbach and Nicole Lapinski, of Bloomsburg, in mixed compound; and Lapinski; Ashley Baker, of Coudersport; and Abigail Hricko, of Nicholson, in women’s compound.
Leimbach placed second in men’s compound, as did Lapinski in women’s compound and Baier; Courtney DeShong, of McConnellsburg; and Holly Neely, of Lebanon, in women’s bowhunter.
Dewalt and DeShong were third individually in men’s and women’s bowhunter, as was Weber in men’s compound.
Named to the All-East Team were Dewalt; Heinrich; Baier; Deshong; Leimbach; Wolfe; Lapinski; Matt Cummings, of Mountville; and Gregg Foust, of Murrysville.
The season-ending U.S. Intercollegiate Championships are set for May 15-18 in Long Beach, Calif.
It also was announced last week that the NCAA has granted Penn College provisional membership in Division III.
The announcement comes one year after Penn College was approved for exploratory membership status in Division III for 2013-14. The five-year membership process features one exploratory year of membership and four years of provisional/classifying membership.
Penn College teams will compete in the North Eastern Athletic Conference during 2014-15.
PENN COLLEGE SCHEDULES/RECORDS
Overall record: 21-10
PSUAC record: 15-5
Wednesday, April 23 – host Penn State Schuylkill at Bowman Field, W, 5-3; W, 6-5
Saturday, April 26 – at Penn State Brandywine (2), L, 4-1; L, 5-2
Sunday, Sept 27 – host King’s College Jayvees, noon
Thursday-Saturday, May 1-3 – PSUAC championships at Penn State Mont Alto
Overall record: 10-12
PSUAC record: 6-4
Tuesday, April 22 – host Penn State New Kensington (2), ppd. to April 28
Wednesday, April 23 – host Penn State Schuylkill at Elm Park, W, 9-1; W, 10-2
Friday, April 25 – at Penn State Scranton, W, 16-0; W, 12-1
Saturday, April 26 – at Penn State Brandywine (2), ppd. to Tuesday
Sunday, April 27 – host Penn State Fayette at Elm Park (2), noon
Monday, April 28 – host Penn State New Kensington (2), 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29 – at Penn State Brandywine (2), 2 p.m.
Wednesday, April 30 – at Penn State Beaver (2), 4 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, May 2-3 – PSUAC championships at Hess Field, Penn State University, TBA
Final overall record: 5-5
Final PSUAC record: 3-1
Wednesday, April 23 – at Penn State Brandywine, W, 6-3
(End of season)