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Jennings hopes to get what he wants for HCC

March 08, 2001

Jennings hopes to get what he wants for HCC



By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent


Hagerstown Community College baseball coach Scott Jennings doesn't know exactly what he's got, but he knows what he wants.

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"I expect us to be competitive," the first-year coach said. "We are going to set our goal to be able to compete for the Region XX title. If you set your goal lower than that, then you are selling yourself short."

Jennings, who coached Williamsport Post 202 in summer leagues for seven seasons, hopes not to come up a little taller than last season's 18-15 team did.

He'll be relying on a pitching staff led by five sophomore starters, and Jennings is pleased with their progress.

"I am pretty happy with the pitching staff," Jennings said. "As long as we throw strikes and work ahead, I think that we will be OK."

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South Hagerstown graduate P.J. Hiser will lead the rotation. The University of Pittsburgh signee will be all over the place, playing in the outfield when he's not starting and, occassionally, filling in as the closer.

"P.J. Hiser is going to be our number one starter," Jennings added. "He is a very hard thrower. After that, we won't have a power pitching staff. It will be more of a finesse pitching staff."

The rest of the starting pitchers will be Derek Hoffman (Hancock), Mike Knous, Rick Swauger and Nathan Butts (Greencastle).

Jennings is also impressed with his everyday position players.

His four-man catching crew is led by Regan Smith (Waynesboro) and relief pitchers Jeff Kirkpatrick (Waynesboro) and Kevin Trevey will also split time at first base. Shippensburg University signee Chaz Runk (Chambersburg) will shuttle between second and third and another Pitt signee, Brooks Williams, is the anchor at shortstop.

When Hiser is not pitching, he will be in the outfield splitting time with five freshmen.

All Jennings needs now is to see them in action.

"It should be interesting," Jennings said. "Right now, the biggest challenge is trying to get outside and practice. We have been practicing since February 1, but we have only been outside a few times because of the cold and windy weather. Once we can get outside on a regular basis, then we can analyze the team better."

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