Penn-Trafford baseball team looking at bright future
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It didn't take long after the Penn-Trafford baseball team's first-round playoff loss for coach Ron Evans to start thinking about the future.
In fact, it was mere minutes.
“(People are) going to hear a lot from Penn-Trafford next year, that's for sure,” Evans said after the Warriors' 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh Central Catholic on May 13. “This team's going to be very good next year — very good.”
Just over two weeks later, Evans' opinion hasn't changed much.
“We're very optimistic about next year,” Evans said this week.
The optimism isn't unfounded. Penn-Trafford will return all but two starters from the playoff loss to the Vikings, including the WPIAL Class AAAA Pitcher of the Year in rising senior Tyler Smith. Pitcher Ross Orgera and desginated hitter Dom Disso were the Warriors' only senior starters against Central Catholic.
That amount of returning experience should allow the Warriors to contend again for a Section 2-AAAA championship after the team finished second to Hempfield this season.
“That's a heck of a group of kids coming back,” Evans said.
The Warriors will be looking for another pitcher to step up in place of Orgera, who formed a potent 1-2 punch with Smith this season.
Evans said current freshmen Dom Coconcelli and Jake Laing could contribute on the mound next season after pitching at the junior varsity level in 2013, and current sophomores Shane Churma, Shane Mallon and Luke Smeltz will also pitch.
Churma and Smeltz will likely pitch for the Bushy Run American Legion team this summer in order to get ready for next season.
One player who probably won't pitch this summer is Smith, who developed inflammation in his elbow late this season and was unable to pitch in the playoff game. Evans said he thought Smith would rest his arm this summer but expects him to be ready in time for next season.
“I think he has unlimited potential,” Evans said of Smith, who went 5-1 with a 0.83 earned-run average this season. “He's still young, he's still growing. He's going to get bigger, (and) he's going to get stronger.”
This summer's Bushy Run American Legion team will include many of next year's expected contributors. Evans said he and varsity assistant Frank Pecora, one of the Legion coaches, pushed the players to stick together.
“I think it's tremendously important,” Evans said. “We've never had this before — they've gone in 10 different directions. Them playing together is going to be great experience for them and is definitely going to help our chances next year.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Year’s worth of rain floods Qatar
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers own tradition with ‘Waltz’
- Warrants issued for women accused of prostitution in New Stanton sting
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says