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Plum fares well in fall baseball season

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | Plum Advance Leader
Sophomore Ethan Winesburgh has helped the Plum varsity baseball team to an 8-0 record in the Western Pennsylvania Fall Baseball League.

Plum varsity head baseball coach Carl Vollmer said fall baseball at the high-school level has come a long way in recent years.

The evolution of the sport during September and October, Vollmer said, has developed into a Western Pennsylvania Fall Baseball League with games each Saturday.

“The league is very organized with a regular-season schedule and a playoff system,” Vollmer said.

At Plum, almost 60 players are participating this fall on one varsity and two junior varsity teams.

The varsity team, made up of juniors and seniors with a few returning varsity sophomores sprinkled in, is 8-0 heading into Saturday's doubleheader with Norwin at Plum High School.

Plum was slated to play at Kiski Area last Saturday, but Mother Nature's rain eliminated those plans.

Vollmer did say the weather, for the most part, has been agreeable with more dry conditions than in the spring.

“The kids are committed, excited and interested,” Vollmer said.

“It's extremely important for the younger players, especially the freshmen, to be introduced to what we do and our system, because it's quite a bit different than what they are used to. They get a good feel for what we do, even though it's on a much lesser scale than what they will have in the spring.”

Plum and Kiski Area most likely will make up the doubleheader the weekend of Oct. 5, and the playoffs are set to begin on Oct. 12.

Vollmer said the players meet for workouts three days a week.

“We try to not make it too demanding,” he said.

“We want to get some good work in and evaluate what we have going into this spring. To me, at this stage, I find the workouts to be more important than the games. The kids learn a lot, and it's an important part of their training and our success.”

A couple of Plum baseball players, including catcher Dante Palmieri, play a fall spot and don't take part in the fall baseball activities. Palmieri, has the physical and time demands of a full football schedule mixed with academic work in and out of the classroom.

“Whatever sport you are doing in the fall, you should be committed to that sport alone and do the best you can there,” Vollmer said.

One of the Plum JV teams also will host Norwin on Saturday, while the other JV squad will play at North Allegheny.

In addition to the varsity and JV games, the WPFBL will host a showcase event on Oct. 6 at 9 a.m. at Woodland Hills High School.

For more information on the showcase or the schedule of league games, visit www.wpfbl.org.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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