Ford City's Retzer to pitch at West Liberty
By Matt Grubba
Published: Friday, June 14, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
Justin Retzer didn't always think he would play college baseball, but one recruiting trip and some interest from coaches was all it took for him to pick a destination.
Retzer, Ford City's No. 1 pitcher and shortstop as a senior, will continue his baseball career at the next level when he joins the team at West Liberty University as a pitcher next season.
The credentials for Retzer are impressive — he was an all-Section 3-AA selection with an ERA below 2.00 this season. But his college recruitment was a short process after he was impressed with what he saw during a weekend at West Liberty, located 10 miles northeast of Wheeling, W.Va.
“I went there for that recruiting weekend, and everyone was real cool there — the players and the coaches,” Retzer said. “My (high school) coaches were telling me about some other schools I could have visited, but I just liked it there. It's somewhat close to home, and it's a small school.”
Retzer said he's eager to step in as a pitcher for the Hilltoppers, a Division II team that showed improvement this spring under first-year head coach Eric Burkle by reaching the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament after missing the postseason in 2012.
The Hilltoppers begin play this fall in the newly created Mountain East Conference, and Retzer hopes he'll be able to contribute to his team's first year in the new league.
“I've been a pitcher ever since I was little, so it's cool thinking I might get to be a college pitcher,” Retzer said. “The coaches there say I have a lot of potential, and a lot of the people I've talked to think I should do well there.”
That he will get a chance to play in college came as a bit of a surprise to Retzer, who said it wasn't until the later part of his high school career that he began to think of himself in that light.
“Growing up and going into high school, I didn't think I was really good enough,” Retzer said. “I went down there and pitched in front of college coaches for the first time, and I was just shocked that they liked me.”
Retzer is keeping busy this summer by playing for his high school coaches, Dave and Dennis Montgomery, on the Kiski Valley Legion team. While he plays in that league to stay in game shape, he's also receiving advice from the coaches at West Liberty on ways he can strengthen and maintain his arm before his arrival in the fall.
“Their coaches have been talking to me and updating me on the team,” Retzer said.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_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.
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
- Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
- At least three people dead in Armstrong County crash
- `Women Build’ tackles two Armstrong Habitat projects
- Play of the game: Sutter’s goal completes rally
- Former Apollo Police Chief Breznican scheduled for release from Armstrong County Jail
- Apollo Earth Day Dash to benefit trail expansion
- Kittanning suspect waives prelim on drug charges