Penn College athletes have big weeks

Published 05.13.2023

Wildcat Weekly

What a week it was – and is coming – for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletics.

Over the past seven days, the Wildcats’ baseball team finished second and the softball team was third in their respective United East Conference Championships; combined, they celebrated eight all-conference players, a Pitcher of the Year and a Coach of the Year.

And over the next seven days, the college’s golf and archery teams will compete on the national stage.


In a three-plus-hour contest that saw 33 hits, 30 runs, 24 base runners stranded, two ties and three lead changes, second-seed Penn College dropped a 16-14 decision to third-seed Penn State Abington in its opening UE playoff game Thursday, sending it into a must-win game on Friday.

Penn College led twice against Abington, 1-0 in the first inning and 7-6 in the fifth, but from the sixth inning on, the Lions held the upper hand as they led by eight after the top of the ninth before the never-say-die Wildcats scored six runs in the bottom of the inning before falling to 20-19 overall and 14-7 in all conference games.

Quinn Hanafin, of Sayre; Tristan Current, of Reinholds; and Tyler Rudolph, of Hemlock, New York, each drove in three runs for Penn College, with Current and Rudolph delivering home runs. Justin Porter, of Fairless Hills, the first of five Wildcats pitchers, went four innings and dropped to 2-4 in taking the loss.

Trailing fourth-seed Lancaster Bible College 4-0 after the top of the fourth inning of Friday morning’s elimination game, Hanafin launched a two-out, three-run homer that ignited a six-run fourth, and the Wildcats added another six runs in the bottom of the fifth en route to a 14-4 victory as they improved to 21-19 overall and 15-7 in the UE.

Against LBC, Hanafin ended the game with four RBIs and Current with three hits and three RBIs. Jake Wagner, of Palmyra, had three hits and scored three runs. Ben Bretzman, of Bendersville, the second of four Penn College pitchers, earned the win and improved to 5-4.

Playing Penn State Abington in the team’s second elimination game on Friday, Current cracked a three-run homer to give the Wildcats a first-inning lead and Penn College extended its lead to 7-3 after six – thanks in part to a two-run home run in the sixth by Hanafin – before the Lions scored four runs in the top of the seventh to knot things at 7-all. Continuing his red-hot day, Hanafin drilled a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to put the Wildcats back on top 10-7, and that’s how it ended.

Hanafin’s five RBIs in the second game gave him nine for the day and put Penn College into the championship game for the first time since 2018.

Zac Weaver, of Pottstown, the Wildcats’ fourth pitcher in the game, allowed just one hit over the final three innings and improved to 6-1 on the year as his team went to 22-19 overall and 16-7 in the UE.

Facing top-seeded Penn State Harrisburg on a rain-plagued Saturday, Penn College led 5-1 after the top of the third before Harrisburg outscored it 26-2 the rest of the way for a 27-7 win to claim its third UE championship in a row.

Shane Price, of Kersey, drove in two Wildcat runs and Jacob Carles, of Bernville, went 3 for 5 at the plate, including the 200th of his career, to lead the Penn College offense. Bretzman, the first of eight Wildcat pitchers, went 3⅓ innings and dropped to 5-5 in taking the loss as Penn College ended 2-2 in the tournament and finished 22-20 overall, 16-8 in all conference games.

Also last week, seniors Brian Robison, of Quakertown, and Carles; junior Chance Webb, of Hughesville; and sophomore Weaver were named to the UE second team, while Chris Howard was honored as the conference’s Coach of the Year after guiding the team to its sixth straight postseason appearance and second 20-win campaign in a row.

Mackenzie Weaver, of Montoursville, continued her masterful pitching with a three-hit shutout as the top-seeded Wildcats opened play in the UE tournament on Monday with a 5-0 win over fourth-seed Penn State Abington.

Maddie Hurst, of Mechanicsburg, drove in one Penn College run with a triple and Ivvy Morder, of Mechanicsburg, plated another with a double as Weaver improved to 16-4. The Wildcats went to 21-4 in the UE and 29-8 overall, with the 29th win setting a new program single-season record that eclipsed the 28 of last season.

Squaring off against second-seeded Penn State Berks Monday afternoon, Lexi Snyder, of Hegins, drove in two runs in the bottom of the third inning after Berks had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the inning, and with Weaver again in the circle, two fourth-inning singles resulted in the final run of a 3-2 Berks win as Weaver fell to 16-5. After the third frame, the Wildcats were held to three hits the rest of the way.

Facing elimination on Tuesday morning, Weaver started her third game in two days and held third-seeded Penn State Harrisburg to two hits, but both came in the fourth inning – leading to two runs – and the Nittany Lions added another run in the sixth, thanks to two Wildcat errors, for a 3-1 win ending second-seeded Penn College’s season at 29-10 overall, 21-6 in all UE games.

An RBI single by Snyder gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but they stranded seven base runners during the contest as Weaver capped her sophomore season with a 16-6 record.

Berks went 3-1 in the tournament to capture its second championship in a row.

“It was disappointing to end the postseason where we did. Our bats did not produce when needed, and mentally, we did not allow ourselves to be at our absolute best, and we simply did not get it done. This provided a big learning opportunity and we look to project off of that in the future,” coach Angie Stackhouse said.
“The body of work this team put together this season is record-breaking and incredible – so many big-time moments. We witnessed athletes reaching 100 hits, 100 steals, no-hitters, perfect games, 300 career strikeouts, and the list goes on,” Stackhouse said.

“Next season, we will certainly have some big shoes to fill. I am confident with the experience the underclassman got this season, they will have a full understanding of what it takes at this level. I look forward to continuing the success we seem to build upon each year,” said the coach, whose record with the team in four seasons is 81-28.
For the second week in a row, Weaver and Jordan Specht, of Frederick, Maryland, garnered UE Pitcher and Player of the Week honors, respectively, for their play in games May 1-7.

After the tourney concluded, four Wildcats earned all-conference honors, with Weaver being named the UE Pitcher of the Year and getting first-team recognition along with Hurst, while Specht and Morder earned UE second-team accolades.

“Weaver certainly earned Pitcher of the Year. She was incredible and focused and currently sits second in the nation throwing nine shutouts this season,” Stackhouse said. “Hurst, Specht and Morder were all excellent and led by example in very different ways. I am happy to see these athletes being recognized among the best of their peers.”

As a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference in addition to the UE, Stackhouse said there is a chance her team will receive an at-large berth in its Division III championships when selections are announced Monday.

“Selection criteria is you must have a won-loss record of .500 or better, and then your winning percentage, head-to-head results of other declared teams and strength of schedule come into play for team championship criteria,” Stackhouse said.


Five Wildcats, coached by Rob Lytle, will be in a field of 43 teams and 221 golfers in the sport’s premier event – the NCAA Division III Championships – and will compete starting Tuesday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky, where there is a slight chance of storms on Tuesday and Friday.

After 36 holes of play Tuesday and Wednesday, the field will be trimmed to the top 18 teams and the top six individuals who are not on a qualifying team, who will continue playing on Thursday and Friday.

Representing the college are Peyton Mussina, of Montoursville; Gunner Redmond, of Lock Haven; Will Orwig, of Mifflintown; Trevor Keaton, of Worcester; and Gavin Baer, of Bainbridge.

Seven archers, coached by Dustin Bartron, will be in Statesboro, Georgia, Friday through Sunday for the USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals. The weather forecast for Statesboro has a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday.

Wildcats competing are Matthew Byrnes, of Manahawkin, New Jersey; Alex Edwards, of Kutztown; and Emery Gunsallus, of Mill Hall, in men’s compound; Brady Fowkes, of Mayport; Jansen Balmer, of Ephrata; and Grant Walters, of Dover, in men’s fixed pins; and Alexis Burrell, of Danville, in women’s fixed pins.

Final overall: 22-20
Final UE: 16-8 (14-6 regular season)

United East Tournament at Penn State Harrisburg
Thursday, May 11 – Penn State Harrisburg vs. Lancaster Bible College, Harrisburg W, 20-2
Thursday, May 11 – Penn College vs. Penn State Abington, Abington W, 16-14
Friday, May 12 – Penn College vs. Lancaster Bible College, Penn College W, 14-4
Friday, May 12 – Penn State Harrisburg vs. Penn State Abington, Harrisburg W, 9-7 (10 innings)
Friday, May 12 – Penn College vs. Penn State Abington, Penn College W, 10-7
Saturday, May 13 – Penn College vs. Penn State Harrisburg, Harrisburg W, 27-7

Final overall: 29-10
Final UE: 21-6 (20-4 regular season)

United East Tournament at Elm Park
Monday, May 8 – Penn College vs. Penn State Abington, Penn College W, 5-0
Monday, May 8 – Penn State Berks vs. Penn State Harrisburg, Berks W, 1-0
Monday, May 8 – Penn College vs. Penn State Berks, Berks W, 3-2
Monday, May 8 – Penn State Abington vs. Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Harrisburg W, 6-1
Tuesday, May 9 – Penn College vs. Penn State Harrisburg, Penn College L, 3-1
Tuesday, May 9 – Penn State Berks vs. Penn State Harrisburg, PS Harrisburg W, 2-0
Tuesday, May 9 – Championship: Penn State Berks vs. Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Berks W, 9-1 (5 innings)

Tuesday-Friday, May 16-19 – NCAA Division III Championships at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Friday-Sunday, May 19-21 – USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals at Statesboro, Ga.

For more about the United East, visit the conference website .
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website .

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