Hurlers, hitters face Seton Hill test


Nate Bottiger, Staff Writer

Sophomore captain Zach Vignero said Pitt-Johnstown young pitching staff has done fairly well so far this season.

Pitcher John Fees, who has a record of 3-2, earned the conference pitcher of the week and was an honorable mention during another week.

Sophomore Rylan Schnably was also a honorable mention, and said he expects that Derek Younker, who has a 5-0 record, was to have been last week’s conference pitcher of the week.

Last Wednesday’s game against Glennville (W.Va.) State College may be the game that Younker would receive the honor for.

Younker threw a complete-game in the 7-1 victory.

Head coach Todd Williams said Younker had an efficient game, throwing 68 pitches over the entire game, and walking only one batter in the game’s last inning.

“Younker is very effective on the mound.”

Vignero said Younker and Schnably have had great starts to their seasons and said Paul Tunink has done well coming out of the bullpen.

The pitching staff consists of mostly freshmen and sophomores, with the exception of two upperclassmen.

Williams said out of the 30 players on his roster, 22 players were recruited last year and this year.

Williams said the pitching staff is right where it needs to be to continue their success.

Schnably said the team has been through a lot since the start of the season, but has played hard to maintain balance.

“For how young we are and how much adversity we have overcome we are doing very well.”

Vignero said the team has lost key players to injuries, and the team has been trying new things to make up for the losses.

Also, Vignero said the team has been spotty on offense.

“Some games we hit very well, and others we struggle to score runs.”

Freshman Mike Palvovitz and sophomore Jake Warner have done a great job stepping up to the plate Vignero said.

“We are just working to make it more consistent every day.”

Williams said the inconsistency is most likely due to the team’s youth. He said the team will work on improving consistency by experience. Williams said this roster can be a dangerous team if their consistency is improved.

The team was tested over last weekend when they traveled to Seton Hill University to play a doubleheader in what Schnably called their toughest games of the season.

Seton Hill is ranked first in the conference’s north region.

“They have a great lineup, Vignero said therefore, our pitchers need to come out throwing strikes, and keep us in the game.”

Vignero said Seton Hill has a good pitching staff as well, and that Pitt-Johnstown batting line-up needs to perform equally well.

Vignero said the team’s goal this season is to make it to the conference tournament, and more so because the tournament is to be held at Point Stadium at 100 Johns St. in Johnstown.

The stadium is where the conference was held in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and is now returning after a year at Epling Stadium in Beckley, W.Va.

Point Stadium is also the location of a good portion of Pitt-Johnstown’s home games, which could mean a home field advantage for Pitt-Johnstown.

UPJ lost three straight games to Seton Hill last weekend.