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Penn College golfers look to spring season


Golf, anyone?

Ask Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Matt Haile about that and you will get a resounding “yes.”

The Wildcats, who are coming off a fall season during which they won two multiteam invitational tournaments, begin spring play Monday, April 1, at the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Spring Invitational at Lebanon Country Club and the coach, in his 10th season, said his players are eager to get outdoors and back on the links.

“Two of my guys, they headed south for spring break and got to play some golf and get a jump on their game. They’re in midseason form and they played pretty well, so they’re excited about the upcoming season and warmer weather,” Haile said.

Penn College’s fall success – thanks mainly to the contributions of senior Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown; fifth-year senior Tyler Marks, of Beachwood, New Jersey; sophomore Brian Whelan, of Cresco; and junior Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia – came on the heels of last spring’s season that saw it finish third in North Eastern Athletic Conference play, its best ever.

Individually a year ago, Moscariello placed fifth in the NEAC and was awarded first team honors, Baumbach was sixth and named to the second team and Whelan was 15th and named to the third team.

Among those vying for starting positions are sophomores Sean McNamara, of Lancaster; Eli Dyer, of Wallingford, Connecticut; and Jordan Wise, of McClure.

“That’s what is interesting about the spring season, you never really know what kind of games they’re going to bounce back with after the long offseason. Some guys play better, just having that fresh start,” Haile said.

In a preseason poll of conference coaches, the Wildcats were picked to finish third with 36 points, behind defending champion Penn State Berks (49 points) and Rutgers-Camden (43). Following them in the poll were SUNY Cobleskill (31), Penn State Abington (20), Keuka College 19, Morrisville State College (19) and Lancaster Bible College (7).

In addition to their opener, the Wildcats have four other invitationals on their schedule before the NEAC Championship on April 27-28 at Foxchase Golf Club in Stevens.

Between now and the championship, Haile will have his golfers working on getting repetitions in, finding their swing and gaining confidence in their games.

One advantage his players had over the winter was the use of a SkyTrak swing simulator.

“It’s added another dimension to hitting indoors, especially for this generation of players who have come to know technology. … You have all of this extra information to validate (where the ball is going). A lot of guys have embraced it and used it over the offseason. I think it’s a great tool that we added to our program,” the coach said.

“I’m excited to see these guys come out and play. A lot of them are going to be graduating so this is their last hurrah. I looking forward to see how they go out,” Haile said. “This is it. This is their last chance.

“We have the potential to surprise. We have the talent. It’s just a matter of all of the pieces of the puzzle coming together for those two days. … We’ve had some spurts of greatness, but we’ve never fully, as a team from top to bottom, put a round together. We’re right there and we’re trending in the right direction. It’s just a matter of making that hurdle and making that next jump to get to that position where Penn State Berks is now and where Rutgers has been for the last several years.”

Baseball
“I was a little surprised at how we came out the first few games. We really looked like a team that had been indoors all winter. It was surprising, some of the mistakes we were making,” coach Chris Howard said of his team’s first six games earlier this month in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

“The defense concerned me greatly. You just can’t give teams more than three outs an inning. We were playing sloppy defense and, unfortunately, wasting some really good starting pitching. I was really happy with the starting pitching we were getting,” the coach continued.

By the end of the week, however, play started to improve and the Wildcats closed out their trip with what Howard called “two complete wins. Not just good pitching, but good defense and timely hitting.”

In action leading up to their North Eastern Athletic Conference opener on Saturday, March 30, at Bowman Field against Lancaster Bible College, Howard still is evaluating his players to see who will start. And the team will be without NEAC All-Conference second teamer Ben Flicker, of Topton, whose collegiate eligibility has run out.

“That’s a big loss,” the coach said. “But it’s ‘next guy up’ and you’ve got to go in and do your job.”

One area that does appear relatively in order is starting pitching, where sophomore right-hander Nathan Holt, of Shippensburg; senior right-hander Devon Sanders, of Bloomsburg; senior right-hander Trevor Dolin, of New Bloomfield; and senior southpaw Cody Nelson, of South Williamsport, have stood out.

“This year, as much as any, we really have to use these nonconference games to get ourselves squared away and ready for conference play. … I think the last two games at Myrtle (helped get us back on track) and we’ve got to build on what we did there,” Howard added.

In action this past Saturday at once-beaten Washington College, the Wildcats lost by scores of 1-0 and 10-9 to drop to 2-8 overall. In the opener, Penn College was limited to three singles in a pitcher’s duel where both starting hurlers went the distance. Sanders took the mound loss for Penn College. In the second game, both teams’ offenses awoke and Penn College held leads of 4-0 and 9-5, but Washington again came out on top at the end. Alex Flicker, of Topton, had two hits for the Wildcats while Brittan Kittle, of Millville, plated three runs and Brayden Lippert, of Carlisle, drove in two runs. Pitcher Andrew Gilbert, of Yardley, the last of three Penn College pitchers, took the loss.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that Holt and freshman Jacob Carles, of Bernville, earned NEAC weekly honors. Carles was named the Player of the Week with a .556 batting average in five South Carolina games with 10 hits, four RBIs and seven runs scored. Holt was the Pitcher of the Week after firing a complete-game shutout against Wells College while in Myrtle Beach when he scattered three hits over nine innings to help the Wildcats to a 13-0 victory. Holt also struck out nine batters and walked two to earn his first win of the season.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Lancaster Bible College (2) at Central Columbia High School, 1 p.m. Saturday; host Lancaster Bible College at Central Columbia High School, 1 p.m. Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Lancaster Bible College: W, 6-2 and 22-7 on April 21.

Softball
“There were definitely more good things than challenging things we saw (in South Carolina, where the Wildcats went 4-4). … One of the big things that we saw, which was great, is that everybody was trying to pull themselves out of it and work as a team to pull themselves out when we started to make some mental mistakes and having some miscues,” coach Jackie Klahold said.

“One of the highlights was our hitting. Our offense really started to come together. Even in the first four games where we didn’t have a win, we were hitting the ball well and hitting the ball hard at times, and then things just started clicking by the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth games (all wins),” Klahold added.

Penn College has a young pitching staff, with sophomores Morgan Heritage, of New Castle, Delaware, and Kassidy Svenson, of Auburn, the most experienced. Freshman Kyla Benner, of Bethlehem, also impressed on the mound and, was named the NEAC Pitcher of the Week after she finished with a 1-0 record in three appearances in North Myrtle Beach where she picked up a complete-game win against Dean College after allowing just one run on three hits with 14 strikeouts. The next day against Dean, Benner tossed 1⅔ innings of relief where she surrendered one run on two hits and struck out four. Overall, she totaled 22 strikeouts in 10⅔ innings of work with a 1.31 ERA.

“We’re relying on a young pitching staff to work through some pretty good hitting teams. They were really backing each other up, which we were very impressed with,” Klahold said.

Thanks to the most player depth she has had during her four years at the helm, Klahold and her assistant, Jeff Tomb, used varied lineups in North Myrtle Beach and will continue to do so when conference play begins Saturday as the Wildcats host Penn State Berks at Elm Park.

Senior right fielder Taylor Krow, of Mechanicsburg; senior Liz Asher, of East Stroudsburg; senior Maddie Wenk, of Biglerville; and junior Kylie Shreiner, of East Petersburg, have played key roles in helping bringing younger players along.

“Penn College is a very unique institution. We know that we are going to be without certain girls for certain weekend games because of clinical commitments. … We’re going to be working in our depth to take over those positions when they (starters) are not there,” Klahold said.

“I think we’re in a good position. The big thing with us, we know, as a team of 21 players and two coaches, that we could have come out of Myrtle a little better than .500. We knew gave a couple of games away. … Our goal isn’t to be great right now, our goal is to get better now. And we want to continue to get better; that way when we get toward making that final playoff push, and hopefully a playoff run, we can (be better) and just go into that great aspect,” Klahold added.

In nonconference games on Sunday, the Wildcats outdid Keystone College 9-1 in five innings and 7-2 to improve to 6-4 overall and extend their winning streak to six games. In the first contest, Chelsea Gray, of Marysville, went 3 for 3 hitting and drove in four runs while Olivia Hemstock, of Northford, Connecticut, went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and one RBI. Both Gray and Hemstock had doubles in Penn College’s 13-hit attack. Benner went five innings on the mound, allowing just three hits, and improved to 4-1. In the second game, Gray again went 3 for 3 and scored three runs while Asher went 3 for 4 with a double and run scored and Taylor Brooks, of Cogan Station, went 2 for 2 with three RBIs to back the six-hit pitching of Morgan Heritage, who went the seven-inning distance walking just one and striking out 12. The Wildcats hammered out 12 hits, including a triple by Jessica Brooks, of Cogan Station.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Penn State Berks at Elm Park, 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Berks: Lost 4-0 on May 4.

Men’s tennis
Penn College opened its spring season on Saturday with a 6-3 nonconference win at Elmira College that improved its overall record to 2-2 and gave interim coach Jessica Bower her first career coaching win. Winning both their singles and doubles matches for the Wildcats were Tucker Phillippe-Johansson, of Mattituck, New York, at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles; Nicholas Pascual, of Doylestown, at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles; Stephen Helminiak, of Williamsport, at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles; and Tommy Cavanaugh, of New Hope, at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): At Lancaster Bible College (1-1 overall, 0-0 NEAC), 4:30 p.m. Friday; at Penn State Berks (2-7 overall, 0-0 NEAC), 11 a.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Lancaster Bible College: W, 6-3, on April 21.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Berks: L, 8-1, on April 20.

Women’s tennis
In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): At Lancaster Bible College (1-2 overall, 0-0 NEAC), 4:30 p.m. Friday; at Penn State Berks (1-6 overall, 0-0 NEAC), 11 a.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Lancaster Bible College: L, 9-0, on April 21.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Berks: Lost, 9-0, on April 20.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS
Baseball
Overall: 2-8
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, March 23 – at Washington College (2), L, 1-0; L, 10-9
Tuesday, March 26 – at Lebanon Valley College, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27 – at Penn State Harrisburg, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC, 2) at Central Columbia High, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 31 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC) at Central Columbia High, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, April 3—host Penn State DuBois at Bowman Field, 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 – at Keuka College (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 7 – at Keuka College (NEAC), 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9 – at Penn State Altoona (2), 1 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10 – host King’s College at Bowman Field, 4:30 p.m.

Softball
Overall: 6-4
NEAC: 0-0
Friday, March 22 – host Keystone College (2) at Elm Park, ppd. to Sunday
Saturday, March 23 – host SUNY Pottsdam (2) at Elm Park, canceled
Sunday, March 24 – host Keystone College (2) at Elm Park, W, 9-1in 5 innings; W, 7-2
Saturday, March 30 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC, 2) at Elm Park, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 31 – at Penn State Harrisburg (2), 1 p.m.
Monday, April 1 – host Penn State Hazleton (2) at Elm Park, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 3 – host Lycoming College (2) at Elm Park, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 – host SUNY Poly (NEAC, 2) at Elm Park, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 7 – host Morrisville State College (NEAC, 2) at Elm Park, noon
Tuesday, April 9 – at Susquehanna University (2), 3 p.m.

Men’s Tennis
Overall: 2-2 (1-2 fall)
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, March 23 – at Elmira College, W, 6-3
Friday, March 29 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 – at Penn State Berks (NEAC), 11 a.m.
Sunday, March 31 – at Misericordia University, noon
Saturday, April 6 – host College of St. Elizabeth (NEAC), noon
Sunday, April 7 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC), 11 a.m.
Saturday, April 13 – host Marywood University, 1 p.m.
Thursday-Friday, April 25-26 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Center, Clarks Summit

Women’s Tennis
Overall: (0-3 fall)
NEAC: 0-0
Friday, March 29 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 – at Penn State Berks (NEAC), 11 a.m.
Sunday, March 31 – at Misericordia University, noon
Saturday, April 6 – host College of St. Elizabeth (NEAC), noon
Sunday, April 7 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC), 11 a.m.
Saturday, April 13 – host Marywood University, 1 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, April 26-27 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Center, Clarks Summit

Golf
Monday, April 1 – Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Spring Invitational at Lebanon Country Club, noon
Saturday-Sunday, April 6-7 – Susquehanna Invitational at Susquehanna Valley Country Club, TBA
Wednesday, April 10 – Keuka College Spring Invitational at Lakeside Country Club, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, April 16 – Gettysburg College Spring Invitational at Hanover Country Club, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23 – Elmira College Spring Invitational at Elmira County Club, 11 a.m.
Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28 – NEAC Championships at Foxchase Golf Club, Stevens

Archery
Saturday-Sunday, April 13-14 – Adam Wheatcroft Memorial/U.S. Archery East Regionals at James Madison University
Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19 – U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships at Darree Fields Park, Dublin, Ohio.

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 33

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