Mother Nature wasn't kind to the Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball and softball teams last week as all seven games either were postponed or canceled due to the weather. However, before Penn State University Athletic Conference play begins this week, the coaches of both teams took a few minutes to reflect on the progress their squads made during their season-opening southern swing one week earlier.
"I was really pleased about the way we were pitching and playing defense. I was really surprised how well we played defensively considering it was our first time outside since October. They really did a great job. They made all the plays, the outfield did an outstanding job, we were hitting the cutoffs, we were doing all of the fundamental things that we need to do and I was really happy with that," coach Chris Howard said.
"Pitching-wise, we did a great job limiting our walks. We were throwing a lot of strikes and giving the guys behind them and chance to make plays," Howard continued.
"You kind of expect hitting to be behind the first few games, just because you're getting used to seeing real pitchers out there throwing, but we competed every game (in a 3 and 5 trip). I feel we should have won at least two more of those games. Overall, I was really happy with the way we played," he said.
With sunshine and daytime temperatures in the 60s in Myrtle Beach, Howard said it was tough coming back to colder temperatures here than before his team went south.
"It's frustrating. You go down there and start to get a little bit of continuity and get revved up for the season, and the next thing you're sitting for a week and a half waiting around. It's tough to stay focused, and that's the biggest thing. We can't even get outdoors to practice. That's the nature of the beast in the northeast when you're playing college baseball," he added. "You just have to be ready when the games start back up again. My biggest concern is getting a few more games in before we open conference play (Thursday)."
"The first four games we gave everybody the opportunity to show us what they had and it gave us the opportunity to try our pitchers out," coach Roger Harris said.
"For the most part we were very competitive with everybody that was down there, although in two games one inning got away from us. It was just a matter of us knowing our pitchers a little better than we did, knowing what we can have them throw and what we can't have them throw," the coach continued.
"The last four games we settled into what we pretty much consider our starting nine and we played a lot better. We've got a lot of high hopes for the team. We hit the ball well. We're looking to have a good season," Harris added after his team's 2-6 start.
"We were spoiled last year," with great early-season weather, he said, crossing his fingers that it begins to warm up and dry out soon this spring.
Last week it was announced that wrestling coach Schuyler Frey has been honored with the 2013 Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling (PJW) Adult Recognition Award. The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the sport of wrestling in the state. It is voted on by members of the 11 areas that comprise the PJW as well as its executive board.
Frey has been involved with wrestling since his youth, wrestling for Warrior Run High School then the Navy. He started coaching the Montoursville Elementary School team as an assistant in 2000 before taking over as the head coach for three years starting in 2004.
Frey also served as a chairman for Area 10 of the PJW, helping grow the participation numbers from 381 in 2007 to 618 in 2010. In 2010, he served as State Championship tournament director and under his leadership established the 8-Under Division.
In 2010, Frey helped establish the wrestling program at Penn College as a varsity sport. Over the last three years, he has led the Wildcats to a 19-11 overall record and a PSUAC championship. In addition, he has coached three National Collegiate Wrestling Association All-Americans and PSUAC individual champions.