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Penn College Baseball Team Repeats as PSUAC Champ


The Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball team, Penn State University Athletic Conference champion for the second straight year.Pennsylvania College of Technology’s baseball team successfully defended its Penn State University Athletic Conference championship by winning all three of its games Friday and Saturday at Medlar Field in University Park.

Penn College completed a 28-3 conference season (fall and spring) and takes a 35-7 overall record, including an 11-game win streak, into the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships May 12-14 at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Va.

In PSUAC tournament action, the top-seeded Wildcats wasted little time asserting themselves Friday when they took to the field against No. 4 seed Penn State Abington, getting a seven-run first inning and going on for a 12-7 win. Phil Woodring (Waynesboro) led the offensive outburst by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and four runs batted in. Also contributing were Devon Liquori (Hawley), who had a triple and drove in three runs; and Tom Hughes (Easton), who drove in a pair of runs. Pitcher Mark Shaffer (Hanover) got the mound win and improved to 9-2 for the season.

“Mark Shaffer pitched a great game,” coach Chris Howard said. “It was raining the whole game and it was tough to play in, but all around it was a good game.”

Later Friday, the Wildcats got some help in knocking off second-seeded Penn State Brandywine, 6-5, as Penn College loaded the bases and Hughes was issued what turned out to be a game-winning walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hughes finished 2-for-2 with two RBI, while Liquori was 1-for-2 with an RBI and Skylar Gingrich (Lititz) 1-for-4 with an RBI. Adam Thomke (South Williamsport) and Christian Worth (Williamsport) combined on a five-hitter, with Thomke (7-0) picking up the win and Worth a save.

“It got a little hairy,” Howard said. “We had a few errors that kept it close, but everybody kept their composure and went back to work and we pulled one out. That’s the sign of a good team when you can overcome five errors.

“It was a learning experience. We have to tighten up a little bit here and there. You can’t give a team four or five outs in an inning. It always comes back to haunt you.”

With the game tied at 5-all, the Penn College defense worked some magic to keep Brandywine from going ahead.

“They had runners on second and third and there was a ground ball to Devon (at first base) and he hesitated a little bit, but he still got the ball home in time and (catcher) James Craft did a fantastic job of blocking the plate,” Howard explained.

“It was a great block and tag and that was a momentum-booster for us. It pumped us up and we got that last out. It really took the wind out of their sails.”

Commenting on Worth, the coach said, “Christian has been throwing well for us. He’s done a really good job. He’s been that calming influence out of the bullpen.”

In Saturday’s championship game, again facing Penn State Brandywine, Harrison Myers (Elizabethtown) tossed a five-hit, six-inning shutout to give Penn College its second straight PSUAC crown and third in four years. Backing Myers’ pitching gem were Liquori (Hawley), who went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and five RBI; Hughes, who went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI; and Garrett Hornung (Emporium), who went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

“It was probably one of Myers’ best outings all year. He kept the ball down. He mixed up his pitches. He threw the ball well,” Howard said. Myers now is 6-1 on the season.

“We jumped on them right away (scoring three runs in the first inning) and you could tell they were beat and they knew it was coming,” Howard added of Brandywine.

Next up for the Wildcats is a chance at a national title, and Howard said his team is set.

“This is what the guys have been shooting for all year (playing for a national crown). It’s great to win the conference title for the second year in a row, and the guys are proud of that, but this year there was a little something extra that they wanted to do,” the coach said. “The guys are motivated and they are ready.”

USCAA pairings are expected to be announced later this week.

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