ShareThis Page

Cal boasts imposing 1-2 pitching punch

| Thursday, March 31, 2011

There are probably a lot of baseball coaches who wouldn't mind having the biggest problem facing California Area's Don Hartman this season.

Hartman is worried about who will be the No. 3 through No. 5 pitchers on his staff.

Senior righthanders T.D. Conway and Tom Sparrow make up one of Class A's top one-two starting punches.

Conway was 9-0 last year before suffering his lone loss to Elk County Catholic, 3-1 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

Sparrow, meanwhile, went 6-2.

Besides Conway and Sparrow, senior Sam Luketich, a four-year starting catcher, is expected to be one of the WPIAL's premier relievers.

"Luketich has a cannon of an arm," said Hartman, the school's all-time winningest coach in his 14th season with 176 victories.

Experience won't be a question mark for the Trojans, who return seven starters from last year's 21-4 team that lost in the semifinals to Neshannock, 4-2, before advancing to the state playoffs with a 5-4 third place consolation victory over Vincentian Academy.

The infield remains intact with either Conway or Sparrow at first when they're not pitching, senior Mike Britton at second, senior Dakota Conway at shortstop and junior Sean Cotton at third, backed by promising freshman Ron Baron.

Junior Pat Tunney will replace D.J. Martinak in centerfield with senior Adam Miller in left field and versatile Matt Bakewell in right instead of Zac Edmiston, the Trojans' No. 2 hurler a year ago with a 7-1 record.

Dakota Conway, sophomore Brian Fisher, freshman Josh Luko and Baron are the others expected to be on the mound.

Like Luketich, Dakota Conway and Sparrow are four-year starters.

Dakota Conway (.425), Sparrow (.397) and T.D. Conway (.380) were among the top hitters last year.

The Trojans will miss the bats of last year's designated hitter Preston Shaw (.442), Martinak (.417) and Edmiston (.380).

Edmiston also was 6-2 on the mound as California's top lefty.

California is returning to the Greene County section for the first time since 2008. That was when the Trojans missed the playoffs for the last time after finishing fifth with a 7-7 record.

Hartman isn't looking for a repeat when the Trojans open Section 1 play Monday at home with Geibel.

"We have a pretty solid team," he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me