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Penn College Sports Teams in Tournament Action

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports teams are in tournament action over the weekend and early next week and three are seeking championships in two sports.

Saturday, the Wildcat men’s cross country team will defend its Penn State University Athletic Conference crown while the Wildcat women are looking for their first PSUAC title in meets at University Park.

Saturday and Sunday, the college’s baseball team is hosting the six-team PSUAC Fall Mid-Season Classic at Bowman and Logue fields.

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Penn College golf team, which has won all of its regular-season matches for four consecutive seasons, defends its PSUAC championship in action on the Penn State Blue Course.

Cross Country “It’s our meet to lose,” coach Mike Paulhamus said of his men’s team. And the reason for his optimism is obvious the Wildcat men were unbeaten during the regular season and have the conference’s top runner.

“We dominated the whole regular season and, even if somebody got injured, I can’t see anybody beating us,” Paulhamus said. “It’s never in the books until you run the event, but it’s our meet to lose. I feel pretty confident going in.”

Leading the Penn College men is Greg Kammerle, a freshman from Willow Grove who has been at the top of the heap all season. Other key Wildcat men are Brian Gardner (freshman/Drexel Hill), Dan LaSota (sophomore/Lake Ariel), Jeff Faherty (freshman/Wantage, N.J.), Zach Lengel (freshman/Linden), Brad Robinson (freshman/West Chester), John Greenwood (freshman/Harrisburg) and Mark Renninger (freshman/Barto).

“On the girls side, we have talented girls, but Penn State DuBois has the numbers, so it looks like it might be another second-place finish for the Penn College women,” Paulhamus said.

Competing for the Penn College women will be Tracey Brewbaker (freshman/Middletown), who has improved her times considerably since she ran in high school and become the team’s top runner; Melissa Francola (freshman/Bloomsburg), and Shannon Gibble (sophomore/Coudersport).

During the regular season, the Penn College men were 17-13 overall and 10-0 in PSUAC meets. The Lady Wildcats were 2-3 in PSUAC action.

Baseball The Mid-Season Classic has two pools with three teams each playing seven-inning games in round-robin format Saturday.

In Pool A at Bowman Field at 9 a.m. , Penn College plays Penn State Harrisburg; at 11:30 a.m. , Penn State Harrisburg plays Penn State Beaver; and, at 3:30 p.m. , Penn College plays Penn State Beaver. In Pool B at Logue Field at 9 a.m. , Penn State Fayette plays Penn State Abington; at 11:30 a.m. , Penn State Abington plays Penn State Delaware ; and, at 3:30 p.m. , Penn State Delaware plays Penn State Fayette.

On Sunday, the two third-place teams from pool play will square off at noon at Logue Field, the second-place teams will meet at noon at Bowman Field and the first-place teams will vie for the championship at 3:30 p.m. at Bowman Field.

The Wildcats are 10-7 overall and 8-1 in conference games going into the tournament, and coach Chris Howard is confident that his team has what it takes to win.

“The last few games, I can see them starting to put everything together, from pitching to the hitting to the defense,” Howard said.

“We’ve played fairly well lately. I think the biggest problem is that we’ve been playing down to our competition, instead of playing to our ability. I think we’re a vastly more talented team than what we’ve been playing,” Howard continued.

“The guys know what they have to do. They know how to prepare. They’re (now) a lot more focused. I’ve got the staff that I want, in terms of starters, and I’m looking forward to the start of the second half (in the spring),” the coach continued.

For now, however, the event at hand is the Classic.

Howard expects to start Jordan Staib (sophomore/Williamsport) against PS Harrisburg, Ricky Cowher (freshman/Williamsport) against PS Beaver and Mark Shaffer (sophomore/Hanover) in Sunday game, with Christian Worth (sophomore/Williamsport) waiting in the wings, if needed.

“I’m very pleased. I think we’re right where we need to be right now,” Howard added.

Golf The last three seasons have been perfect in every way imaginable for Wildcat golf teams as they’ve not only gone unbeaten every regular season, but won season-ending team and individual championships, as well.

This fall, Penn College went 23-0 in PSUAC matches, extending their win string to 123-0, and had the medalist in each of four conference outings; yet coach Chet Schuman is cautious going into the championships.

“I’m optimistic, but I’m also very nervous,” Schuman said. “We have players who can put up the scores . I think we have yet to play our best match. If we play to our ability, we should do all right.”

Medalists during regular-season events were Tony Stopper (junior/Williamsport) in the first outing, Matt Winder (freshman/Montgomery) and Shaun McQuay (junior/Watsontown) sharing honors in the second, and T.C. Reynolds (freshman/Muncy) in the last two.

Those four, along with Gilbert Balliet (junior/Watsontown) and Craig Flint (sophomore/Port Allegany), are the players who will compete for the team title.

Joining them in the battle for individual honors, won last year by McQuay, will be Ryan Nornhold (sophomore/Enola) and Len Nicholas (sophomore/Hollywood).

Schuman is so confident about his players’ ability that he said any of the eight are capable of taking the individual title.

Weather, however, may play a factor, and, if it rains one of the days, Schuman said the best “mudder” will win.

Competition this year is to return to the Blue Course after a two-year lapse due to course reconstruction. Golfers will get a practice round on it Sunday.

“Only a couple of our guys have played it, so, Sunday, we’ll spend a great deal of time getting to know the course,” Schuman said.

( Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site ).

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