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La Roche College baseball team headed to conference tourney

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For the third season in a row, the La Roche College Redhawks baseball team is enjoying success.

At 27-11 overall, the team is third in the Mideast Region and earned a bye in the conference tournament, which begins on today at Penn State Behrend.

The 27 wins are a school record for regular season wins, according to coach Chase Rowe.

“It's no secret our pitching has been phenomenal,” said Rowe, whose team ERA is less than 3.0. “The players are having a special season.”

Tyler Ferguson has hurled 77 strikeouts, and James Connelly — the school's career wins leader — has torched the competition with an ERA of 1.22.

Leadoff hitter Shane Healey, who also holds the school record for stolen bases, sparks the offense.

“The pitching has been top shelf,” Rowe said.

“I am really proud, because these guys love baseball and enjoy the game. When you put that with talent and good assistant coaches, it really helps you win games.”

La Roche is a rather young team with only five seniors on the roster, and only two of them start.

The Redhawks will play the winner of Mt. Aloysius College and Penn State Altoona (which played a three-game series earlier this week). Even if La Roche does not win the conference tournament, it has a chance to grab a bid for the NCAA Regional bracket if it can win a couple of games.

Rowe said the team will take a few days off prior to the fray. The Redhawks had a bit of a rough stretch to end the season, and Rowe wants to take time to rest, work in the batting cages and watch film on those sessions to clean up the swings.

“I am looking for a game (or two), but I am more concerned with working in some individual skills,” Rowe said.

“I want to sharpen some things and am not too concerned about getting another game in. I want us to get back to our game.”

Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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