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Penn College Golf Season Set to Open, Weather Permitting

Whether Mother Nature allows it to become a reality remains to be seen, but the Pennsylvania College of Technology golf team is scheduled to open its spring season later this week.

“We had a couple of nice days (in February) and I was getting excited. Now, I look at the forecast and it certainly threw a wrench into things as far as getting the guys out and trying to prepare them,” eighth-year coach Matt Haile said of his team, whose opener is set for March 26 at Bryn Athyn College. And with only four outings on the slate prior to the North Eastern Athletic Conference Championships from April 22-23, every day counts.

“I hope that we can continue on the success that we had from the fall season. The guys worked hard and improved on their games. They managed things well and were able to eliminate the big numbers,” Haile said.

“Anytime coming off the off-season, it’s always tough trying to find that swing again. But on the flip side of that, the guys have often told me that they play better in the spring. … Yeah, their games may be a little rusty, but they’re not as daring to pull off a shot that maybe they shouldn’t try,” he continued.

The Wildcats traveling squad will include sophomore Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown; junior Tyler Marks, of Forked River, New Jersey; sophomore Justin Geedey, of Turbotville; freshman Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia; and sophomore Evan Johnson, of Towanda.

Two newcomers who will vie for starting berths are freshmen Ben Fails, of Hummelstown, and Matt Ciccone, of North Wales.

In a preseason poll of 10 conference coaches, Penn College was picked to finish seventh. Last year, it ended sixth.

“We are a pretty young team, but certainly (we have) a lot of playing ability. It’s just a matter of putting things together and making them click at the right time,” Haile said. “I’m excited for the season to get rolling. It’s been a long off-season.”

Men’s Tennis
In its spring season opener played indoors at Elmira College on Friday, Penn College lost, 9-0, to drop to 0-5 overall.

The Wildcats had a productive (5-2) trip to South Carolina two weeks ago and coach Chris Howard believes his players can build on that to achieve greater heights as their season resumes after a two-week layoff on Friday with a doubleheader at Pitt-Bradford.

“On a whole, it was a good week, but there were a lot of things that we need to improve on,” Howard said.  “One thing I do like is (that) we came back from this trip knowing we can be a pretty good ball club. I think that was as important as anything we did hit-wise or defensively – coming back with confidence knowing that if we continue to work we really can be a good club.”

Penn College was picked to finish sixth in the conference, which would keep it from a top-four finish and playoff position for the second straight season, but Howard thinks a higher finish is possible.

“I think the guys know we’re better than sixth, but we still have to go out there and prove it on the field. You can talk all you want to, but what it boils down to is what you do between the lines,” the coach said. “We know what we have to do.”

Some of Howard’s areas of concern are improved pitching – especially when it comes to closing – and outfield defense.

The offense provided by freshmen on the team was a real positive, Howard said, noting that third baseman Ben Flicker, of Topton, was the squad MVP for the week after going 11-for-20 with a home run. The coach also was pleased with infield defense.

Due to a late-winter storm earlier last week, Penn College’s scheduled doubleheader at Wilkes University on Thursday was postponed and its twin bill at home on Sunday with SUNY Potsdam was canceled. The Wildcats are slated to begin NEAC play March 31 at Wells College.

Overall record: 5-3
NEAC record: 0-0
Friday, March 24 – at Pitt-Bradford (2), 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 25 – host Pitt-Bradford at Loyalsock Township High School (2), 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28 – at Marywood University, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, March 29 – host Summit University at Logue Field (2), 1 p.m.

Overall record: 4-4
NEAC record: 0-0
Thursday, March 16 – at Wilkes University (2), ppd.
Sunday, March 19 – host SUNY Potsdam at Elm Park (2), canceled
Friday, March 31 – at Wells College (NEAC) (2), 3 p.m.

Men’s Tennis
Overall record: 0-5
NEAC record: 0-0
Friday, March 17 – at Elmira College, L, 9-0
Saturday, April 1 – at St. Elizabeth (NEAC), 1 p.m.

Women’s Tennis
Overall record: 0-7 (fall)
NEAC record: 0-0
Saturday, April 1 – at St. Elizabeth (NEAC), 1 p.m.

Sunday, March 26 – at Bryn Athyn
Friday, March 31 – host Lycoming College and Susquehanna University at Williamsport Country Club

Saturday-Sunday, April 1-2 – at Adam Wheatcroft Memorial at Harrisonburg Va.

For more, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 31

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