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Penn College Baseball Team Opens Season

Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball coach Rees Daneker thinks his team will be strong defensively, but wonders how the early-season pitching will hold up.

It won’t take him long to find out as the Wildcats are scheduled to open their season with doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at Bowman Field against Westmoreland Community College. Saturday’s action begins at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s at 11 a.m.

Anchoring the defense up the middle will be brothers James (at second base) and Phillip (at shortstop) Woodring of Waynesboro. James, a sophomore, played at shortstop during the spring season when Penn College went 8-7 and reached the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference playoffs, but offered to move to make way for his brother who transferred in from Mansfield University. Phillip has freshman eligibility.

“They’re a great double-play combination,” Daneker said of the Woodrings. “They’re pretty solid.”

Starting at first base will be either Jordan Richert (freshman/Pine Grove), Justin Wanner (sophomore/Robesonia) or Matt Francis (freshman/Williamsport) with either Doug Sponseller (sophomore/Hanover), Mike Leone (freshman/Philadelphia) or Cody Lytle (freshman/Watsontown) at third base. The catcher will come from among Francis, James Craft (freshman/York) or Adam Hoisington (freshman/Sugar Grove) and the outfielders from among Mike Daciw (junior/Aston), Dave Miller (sophomore/Pen Agryl), Tai Mitchell (freshman/Milton), Ryan Eshelman (freshman/Lancaster) and Chad Maidenford (freshman/Pine Grove).

“I’m very optimistic. I think it’s one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever coached,” Daneker said.

Expected to pitch this weekend are Todd Orndorf (freshman/Bellefonte), Austin Upright (freshman/Montoursville), Nate Hill (freshman/Loyalsock Township) and Christian Worth (freshman/Williamsport).

Through the first several games, all pitchers will be on a strict 40- to 50-pitch pitch count until they work themselves into shape.

“All of our pitchers are very young, but they’re working hard,” Daneker said.

Also on the Penn College 27-player roster, trimmed from 50 who tried out for the squad, are Brian Bell (freshman/Butler), Aaron Emerick (junior/Boswell), Chris Jones (freshman/Penn Hills), Dan Preston (freshman/Little Meadows), Courtney Shreiner (sophomore/St. Thomas), Brian Stiltner (freshman/Pottsville), Ryan Stuart (sophomore/Emporium) and Joe Vassallo (sophomore/Windsor, Conn.)

“I think we can put some runs on the board. I think we’re going to have some power,” Daneker said, noting that “Saturday and Sunday will probably be more of a learning situation than anything else. We’ve got a few games to iron out the wrinkles.”

Daneker is being assisted by Alan Morgan of Williamsport and volunteer assistants Paul Cristini of Montoursville, Butch Anthony of Williamsport and Tom Herrold of Milton.

The Wildcats have three non-league engagements before stepping into Penn State University Athletic Conference play Sept. 8 at Penn State Harrisburg.

Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s athletics Web site.

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