Hazleton, Pa. – The Nittany Lion baseball squad returned home this weekend following their spring trip to RussMatt baseball in Auburndale, Florida. Although the Lions came up empty in their three official games, both players and coaches got in plenty of work in the sunshine state and will look to make a run in the Penn State University Athletic Conference later this year.
From the hill – Hazleton faced some talented hitters in Florida but by in large the Lion's arms looked very good in their first outdoor action of the year. Sophomore Brett Kosciolek (Tamaqua, Pa.) mowed down hitters in his first appearance during Hazleton's exhibition match on Monday and continued that trend later in the week. The sophomore struck out 5 hitters in just 2.2 innings of work giving him a projected average of nearly 17 strikeouts per nine innings. Sophomore returners Colin Stuaffer (Hazleton, Pa.) and Dominic Yannuzzi (Hazleton, Pa.) combined for seven innings of work against Erie County Community College, allowing five earned runs and just seven hits. Rounding out the top efforts from the hill was freshman Scott Shamany (Hazleton, Pa.). Shamany drew a tough opponent in St. Cloud Tech but showed off a talented arm in his three innings of work. The freshman allowed just one hit and two earned runs during his outing, adding three strikeouts to his credit.
At the dish – As is usually the case during spring training, the arms seemed to hold the advantage over the hitters. Hazleton collected just 11 hits during their first looks at live pitching but expect those totals rise as the squad heads north to continue the regular season. Freshman Wyatt Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) struck for three hits during the week including a 2-for-3 effort with an RBI against Erie C.C. while Colin Stuaffer went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in Hazleton's 11-2 loss to St. Cloud Tech.
Next up: All in all, a very positive week for Hazleton who looks to hit the ground running following the spring training trip. The Lions remain busy this week leading off their season with four non-conference dates this week. Hazleton travels to Williamson School of the Trades on Tuesday, March 12 for a nine inning affair, followed by a bout with Lebanon Valley College on Wednesday. The Lions will wrap up the week with two double-headers at In The Net in Palmyra, Pa. Hazleton will face Southern Maine Community College on Thursday, March 14 and wrap up early season non-conference play with a double-header against Williamson.