By Steve Beard, LebCoSports Baseball Contributor
As the regular season winds down and teams make runs at playoff spots, we’ve tweaked the layout, adding links to player Season Stats and the Upcoming Schedule in the header line for each player. The column will also have a “Featured Player Highlight” each week—this first one touches on a player’s first collegiate win on the mound.
The goal is and always will be to get “our guys” exposure—that includes both on the field and off. As the season winds down, we invite players/families to help us share what these players will do post-season. Maybe it’s graduation and a foray into the “real world,” or perhaps a collegiate league, or maybe an internship, or “men’s league” or Legion, or maybe a coaching gig, or a mission trip. We’re glad to brag for “your guys” and let the readers know just how special they are. If you would like to have anything included about any of these young men over the next few weeks, please email that info to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include it soon.
For now, onto this week’s highlights…
FEATURED PLAYER HIGHLIGHT
ELCO grad and Mountie sophomore Jeremy Eck earned his first collegiate win on the mound as Mt. Aloysius defeated PSU- Behrend, 9-6 (Box Score). Eck, an emerging bullpen weapon for his team, got an out in the top of the 8th and was the beneficiary of a five run outburst in the bottom, and subsequently closed out the game. Eck also threw a scoreless 6th inning to hold a lead as the Mounties defeated Juniata, 5-2, earlier in the week (Box Score). Eck has allowed zero runs in six of his eight appearances this year.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
Bishop State CC locked up in an important four game set against Coastal Alabama – North, winning three of four to propel them to the top of the ACCC- South (Standings). Miller was in the middle of all of it—2 for 4 with an RBI in a game one 4-3 win (Box Score) and 1 for 2 with two runs, an RBI, and a stolen base in game two, 11-8, won by Bishop (Box Score) on Tuesday. The sophomore infielder bounced back from an 0-2 with a walk in Thursday’s game one loss, 3-2, (Box Score), with a 1 for 3 with a run in the 4-2 finale win (Box Score). Miller’s average has climbed to .356, as his .493 on base percentage leads the team. Off the field, Miller received a Service Award as an outstanding student-athlete at BSCC—this Tweet (Link) shows a dynamic play he made and a photo with his head coach upon receipt of the service award.
Junior SS Amani Jones had a busy week as the Stevenson Mustangs played schedule catch up, playing six games in six days. On Tuesday at Hood, Jones was 1 for 3 in game one loss (Box Score). He scored two runs, walking once and plating a run with a sac fly, as Stevenson bounced back, winning game two, 8-5 (Box Score). Stevenson hosted #2 Salisbury University on Wednesday and were treated rather rudely by their guests, losing 27-5 as Jones was one of the few Mustangs who could handle the pitching, going 2 for 4 and scoring once (Box Score). Stevenson returned that favor to Albright, pounding the Lions 24-3 (Box Score) in a game that saw Jones bat 3 for 6 with a run and an RBI, flashing his speed for his sixth steal on the season. Jones’ two run single in the third was all the Mustangs needed in game one Sunday (Box Score) rolling to a 14-0 win. Stevenson closed out the weekend, putting down the Lions 6-2 (Box Score).
Freshman outfielder Jacob Deimling had an RBI in the 5th, two in the 6th, and one in the 9th enroute to his first collegiate four hit and four RBI day as York pounded Eastern on Monday, 15-4. (Box Score) Deimling was 4 for 6 with double and a run scored on the day. York continued their brutal (and voluntary) non-conference schedule and Deimling was 2 for 5 as the Spartans fell to the #6 Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets, 13-7. (Box Score). Deimling was 0-3 on Friday in a 7-3 win over Hood (Box Score), added a hit in a Sunday 3-1 loss to the Blazers (Box Score). Deimling doubled and scored as York defeated Hood in the finale of the series (Box Score). With LVC losing two of three to Widener, York losing the middle game to Hood, and Messiah taking two of three from Alvernia, the MAC – Commonwealth is heating up (Standings). In addition to facing LVC and Widener in the coming weeks, the Spartans will play #3 Shenadoah, #11 Catholic University, and #17 Rowan in the next two weeks, having recently played #2 Salisbury and (#6) “Randy Mac.”
Like his Falcon classmate Amani Jones, Jonathan LaBarbera had a busy week as well, as the Huskies played seven games in six days, five of which were PSAC-East Conference matchups. Following a 1 for 3 day in a 3-1 loss to West Chester (Box Score), the junior infielder had a scrappy 0 for 2 follow up, scoring a run, getting hit by a pitch, drawing a walk, and plating a run with a sac fly as Bloom knocked off the Golden Rams, 9-4 (Box Score). LaBarbera was 3 for 7 in a two game sweep of Pitt – Johnstown (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2). Bloom then shocked the ninth ranked team in the nation, East Stroudsburg, winning two of three (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2) (Box Score 3). In the middle game of the set, Jon was 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBI, and a solo home run (video). Bloomsburg is lurking just outside the top 4 qualifiers for PSAC – East playoffs (Standings), with three games against last place Mansfield and three games with powerhouse Millersville remaining.
Tyler Long’s week included two milestones. In a 16-4 loss to #7 Virginia, Long was hit by a pitch and scored a run (Box Score). He followed that game his first multi-HR game in college (video), in an 18-12 win over Saint Peters, (Box Score). Long’s bat was quiet in game two of the series, an 8-7 win in which he was 0 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored (Box Score). The junior SS saved the best for last as he was 5 for 5 with four runs and an RBI in the series sweep finale over Saint Peters, 18-12 (Box Score), notching his first five hit game in college baseball. Long’s 7 for 14 week helped put “The Mount” in fifth place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Standings), inside the top 6 that make playoffs with four conference series remaining.
Christian Kreiser, Stevens Institute of Technology (Palmyra ’20) Season Stats Upcoming Schedule
Number 21 Misericordia hosted Stevens at Muzzy Field in Bristol, CT on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 in a benefit game for the families of two Bristol PD Officers who were killed in the line of duty last year. Misericordia alumni baseball player Alex Iurato was involved in the incident, killing the gunman who killed Lieutenant Dustin DeMonte (Officer Down Memorial Page for Lieutenant DeMonte) and Sgt. Alex Hamzy (Officer Down Memorial Page for Sergeant Hamzy). (Local benefit game coverage) Kreiser was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored as Stevens upset Misericordia, 5-2 (Box Score). Kreiser had a walk and an RBI in a series game one over Wilkes (Box Score). He was 1 for 3 with a run as Wilkes upset Stevens in game two (Box Score) and 1 for 3 with a walk in the rubber match, won by Stevens (Box Score). Stevens is in good shape to secure a top five seed, with an eye on third, as they finish out their MAC-Freedom schedule (Standings).
Two-way player Brian Coburn led LBC to a 2-2 week at the plate and on the mound. His stellar performance on Friday featured a 2 for 4 day with a double and an RBI, a game that saw him throw a complete game, scattering six hits and one run over seven innings with ten strikeouts (Box Score). The Chargers defeated PSU-Berks 5-1. LBC did not fare as well earlier in the week, losing two to PSU – Altoona (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2), although Coburn was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a walk in those games. The junior infielder was 2 for 3 with an RBI, stolen base and a walk in Friday’s back end double header win (Box Score). Coburn continues to be an offensive force and mound presence as LBC is currently sitting fourth in the United East (Standings).
Sophomore catcher Mason Kepler returned to action over the weekend as he deals with a minor injury, working back in the lineup as a Designated Hitter. On Friday, Kepler plated the Golden Eagles’ only two runs with an RBI single as Clarion fell 4-2 to Seton Hill (Box Score). He was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run as the Griffins won again, 12-3 (Box Score). Kepler exited early in game three as Seton Hill raced out to a 9-0 lead early, winning 11-0 (Box Score). Clarion’s season has never gotten on track as Doc Neiman’s squad plays out the string, having fallen far behind in the PSAC – West (Standings).
Junior outfielder Kasey Shugart remains a fixture at the top of the lineup for the Golden Eagles. He has a walk, a hit and a run in a 19-2 loss to Wheeling early in the week (Box Score). Over the weekend four game sweep by the red-hot Seton Hall Griffins, Shugart has three hits and scored twice at Seton Hill won all four games by a aggregate score of 36-8.
Senior catcher Kyle Poorman’s RBI single in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie and later scored twice as RIT never looked back, rolling to an 11-7 win over Saint Lawrence (Box Score). Poorman had a monster day at the plate on Saturday (3 for 5 including two doubles, three runs, and two RBI), but it was not enough as Vassar defeated the Tigers, 17-13 (Box Score). He was held hitless in a Sunday loss to Skidmore (Box Score).
Austin Baal hit his ninth home run (video) and a single as Ship lost in a PSAC East-West crossover to IUP, 7-5 (Box Score). In a weekend series with #16 ranked Millersville, Baal was 0-2 in game one loss (Box Score), 2 for 3 with a an RBI double and a sac fly in a game two loss (Box Score). The slugging first baseman gave the Marauders pitchers all they could handle in game 3, with a home run (video), a double (video) walk, four RBI (video) and a 2-4 performance as Ship fell 8-6 (Box Score). Shippensburg needs help and has a lot of ground to make up if they hope to be one of the top four seeds to enter PSAC – East playoffs (Standings).
Freshman Deklyn Marks put together his first four hit collegiate game in an offensive battle with PSU – Berks in a game that saw the Albright Lions win, 16-12 (Box Score). Marks added two runs and two RBI for Albright as they won their fifth game of the season. Marks added an RBI double and an RBI single against Stevenson on Sunday in the closest game of the series sweep by the Mustangs (Box Score 1) (Box Score 2) (Box Score 3). Albright faces Penn State – Berks and Clarks Summit sandwiched around a weekend MAC – Commonwealth final series against Widener as they continue to rebuild under new leadership.
Thomas Zeigler pinch hit for Messiah as they nearly toppled the #4 team in the nation, Johns Hopkins, losing 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th(Box Score). The sophomore outfielder was inserted as a pinch hitter and delivered a sac fly to tie the game in the tenth (video), moments before Messiah stole a conference win from Alvernia on a walk off error (video), 5-4 (Box Score). Zeigler entered again as a pinch hitter, walking, swiping a bag, and hitting a sac fly as Messiah upset Alvernia again, 9-0 (Box Score).
Senior outfielder Jake Wagner added so his impressive career for Penn College with a 1 for 4 with a run scored in a 7-6 loss to Pitt. – Greensburg (Box Score). He was hitless in doubleheader game two loss to Pitt. – Greensburg, 11-4 (Box Score). Penn College faced the red hot PSU – Harrisburg Nittany Lions and was 1 for 3 as PCT was routed in game one, 10-0 (Box Score). Wagner singled in a run to give PCT a 3-0 lead in a game that saw them bounce back to win 8-6 (Box Score). He then Exited early in a wild XXX – X loss to PSU- Harrisburg to close the series.
Sophomore infielder Gavin Neal flashed the leather on Thursday (video) and added a 2 for 4 effort, but it was not enough as Mercer fell to Salem, 9-4 (Box Score). Neal’s bat was quiet in games on Friday (Box Score) and Sunday (Box Score), but he still finishes the week just shy of .300 as Mercer County looks to improve their playoff seeding (Standings).
ON THE MOUND
Dakota Smith was back in the win column, allowing one earned run over five innings as FCC defeated Community College of Allegheny County, 9-5 (Box Score). Smith struck out four but issued no free passes in a big win for FCC as they had recently fallen from 6th to 13th in the NJCAA D2 Rankings (Week Five Rankings). Smith leads the FCC staff in innings pitched for the season.
Riley Blatt pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing no runs, in an 8-6 loss to Penn College of Technology (Box Score).
Freshman LHP Braden Collazzo was on the mound again following an early season injury issue and pitched a scoreless seventh in a non save situation, closing out a 10-0 win for PSU – Harrisburg (Box Score).
Senior RHP Isaac Wengert pitched one third of an inning, inducing a fly out end the seventh, in a 7-6 loss to Indiana Southeast (Box Score). The hard throwing righty is still dealing with a minor shoulder impingement as he closes out his senior season.
Sophomore LHP Dalton Reinhart struck out six and walked one in 9-4 loss to Salem Community College (Box Score). Mercer continues to play well and are well on their way to a berth in the Region 19 playoffs (Standings).
Sophomore RHP Cameron Dubbs pitched two scoreless innings in relief as PSU – Altoona routed Lancaster Bible College, 13-2 (Box Score).
Freshman RHP Austin Beard entered in relief for the #13 ranked Spartans (NJCAA D3 Baseball Rankings Week 5) against D2 Raritan Valley, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out three (video). Beard’s eight appearances and 10.59 strikeouts per nine lead all freshman for NCC who was rained out for the weekend after two innings versus Montgomery County on Saturday. The Spartans need to win several series to ensure they are .500 in the region for playoffs (Standings), as they appear evenly matched with RJSJ-Cumberland for a three game series and a makeup with Atlantic Cape and have favorable matchups against Montgomery County, Ocean County, and Bergen County.
Caleb Fisher appeared in relief for the Skipjacks, allowing two runs over an inning and a third in a 9-4 loss to CCBC- Essex (Box Score). Fisher pitched five innings in relief on Sunday against Anne Arundel CC and was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on five hits (Box Score). Fisher leads Chesapeake’s freshman class in innings pitched.
The following players appear on collegiate rosters but did not see action this week due to injury (*) or other reasons.
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