HCC has young baseball team-preview

March 08, 2002|BY JACK HILL III

The Hagerstown Community College baseball team could face some growing pains in the early days of the 2002 season.

Seventeen of the 24 players on the roster are freshman as the Hawks prepare for a season-opening doubleheader at Allegany on Saturday.

"Last year, we had a great year," HCC coach Scott Jennings said. "We were 28-12. This year with 17 freshmen, I don't know what to expect. Right now, we are very young and immature."

Jennings is counting on his seven sophomores to provide the team with leadership.

Jeff Kirkpatrick (Waynesboro) will be the starting first baseman. Trey Cobb (St. Maria Goretti) will start at shortstop and Justin Warner (Waynesboro) will start at third base. Kevin Trevey (Good Counsel) will be the closer after he recovers from off-season shoulder surgery.


Josh Berger (Williamsport), Les Martin (Williamsport) and Darrell Clopper (Smithsburg) are competing with three freshmen for the three starting outfield spots.

"Offensively, we're going to need good production out of basically all of our sophomores," Jennings said.

"The question is how well we are going to play defensively and if we're going to score enough runs," Jennings added. "We're going to need to manufacture runs offensively. We are not going to be a power-hitting team, so we're probably going to bunt more than we have in the past. We will hit and run. We will also be aggressive on the bases."

Jennings, who is in his second year at HCC, said he likes the pitching staff that he has put together, despite the fact its dominated by freshmen.

"I believe that pitching is our strength right now," Jennings said. "I am comfortable with all of our pitchers. Our top four starters right now would probably be Ryan Devlin (Waynesboro), Sean Ritson (Pittsburgh), Matt Bellon (North Hagerstown) and Jason Bozzi (Musselman)."

Bozzi is the only left-hander on the 10-man pitching staff.

Jason Embly (Williamsport) is competing for some time on the pitching mound. Brent Hoover (Williamsport) and Brad Kimball (Clarksville) will split time at second base.

Paul Medina (DeMatha) and Justin Wenger (Harrisburg) will share the catching duties. Zach Glover (Martinsburg), Nick Wenger (Harrisburg) and Joe Helisek (Deltona, Fla.) are trying to get playing time in the outfield.

Pat Tuthill (Furlong, Pa.), Bryan Crossley (Williamsport, Pa.) and Jordan Russell (Cannonsburg, Pa.) are the other pitchers. Robert Revercomb (Shady Gap, Pa.) and Curtis Montague (Neelyton, Pa.) are the other infielders.

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