College kids return to lead Williamsport

May 17, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Williamsport Post 202 manager Rick Keefer makes it a goal each year to see the high school seniors on his team receive college scholarships.

All six of Keefer's seniors last year moved to the next level this spring - and as an added bonus, five of them return to give Williamsport plenty of experience.

"We've got a lot of college guys (at the top of the lineup)," Keefer said. "That's gonna help us with our experience, for those college guys to come in and contribute right away."


Gerad Haupt, a .405 hitter last season with a team-high 12 doubles and 22 stolen bases, is back from Messiah College and will lead off.

"The thing about Gerad, he gets a lot of extra-base hits and he hits for power occasionally, but when he gets on, he steals a lot of bases," Keefer said.

Marty Kaetzel, who plays for Boonsboro, is the only high school player who figures to be a regular at the top of the lineup. The undersized but skilled second baseman likely bat second, where his ability to put the ball in play (he batted .398 last year) will be needed.

"Marty comes to practice a half-hour early, leaves a half-hour late and he works his butt off," Keefer said. "He does all the little things for you."

Two Hagerstown Community College players - Aaron Davis (.348, eight homers, 32 RBI) and Eric Fitzgerald (.367, four homers) - and Eastern University's Chris Hoffman (.322, seven homers, 17 RBI) will supply the power from the 3-4-5 slots.

"(Davis) hits for power, hits for average and also has some speed," Keefer said. "(Hoffman) and Fitzgerald will swap (batting spots)."

Four county high school players - Josh Bowers and Andy Taylor of Williamsport, Andy Simmons of Clear Spring and Nathan Himes of Boonsboro - will see plenty of action, mostly at the bottom of the order.

Himes, who batted leadoff for the Warriors this year, is a player Keefer plans to use in various spots.

"He's a lefty that could hit leadoff, could hit eighth, he can bat anywhere in the order," Keefer said. "As far as catchers, we were fortunate to have Nate and (David) Warrenfeltz.

Pitching could be the team's question mark. Only Adam Mills, who went 5-2 with a 1.96 earned run average last year and starred for Clear Spring during the prep season, is a proven big-game pitcher.

"He's a high strikeout pitcher" Keefer said, "and we're counting on him to be our number one."

Casey Constable - a reliever for HCC this season - Josh Bowers (Williamsport), Taylor and Zeb Jacobs (Clear Spring) round out the starting five.

"If anything this year, our pitching is a little suspect," Keefer said. "We've got some arms we can throw out there, but whether they can get legion hitters out, we'll see."

Williamsport Post 202

Manager: Rick Keefer

Last Season: 29-15

No. Name

1 T.J. Boswer

2 Marty Kaetzel

3 Casey Constable

4 Zeb Jacobs

5 Josh Bowers

6 Chris Hoffman

7 Andy Simmons

8 Adam Mills

9 Jon Bishop

11 Gerad Haupt

12 Mike Snyder

14 Aaron Davis

15 Brad Stotelmyer

16 Nathan Himes

18 Josh Barnhart

19 Andy Taylor

20 David Warrenfeltz

22 Eric Fitzgerald

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