Penn College seeks men’s golf, tennis championships | News, Sports, Jobs

End-of-the-season North Eastern Athletic Conference championships are on the line later this week for Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s golf and men’s tennis teams.

GOLF

“It’s been a whirlwind.”

That’s how Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Matt Haile described his team’s spring season thus far that has consisted of just five competitive outings, four of them a week ago, heading into this weekend’s North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship.

And not only is the conference title on the line, but with it comes an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships – the first time Penn College is eligible to compete in them – and it has one distinct advantage: as tournament host it will play on its home course at the Williamsport Country Club.

A practice round is scheduled for Friday with 18 holes of championship play taking place on the par 71, 6,583-yard course both Saturday and Sunday. Tee times begin at 9 a.m. each day.

In a preseason poll of NEAC coaches last August, Penn College was picked to finish fifth in the nine-team field, behind five-time defending champ Rutgers-Camden, Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington and SUNY Cobleskill and ahead of Keuka College, Morrisville State College, Bryn Athyn College and Wilson College. But Haile thinks a poll taken that early is unreal.

“The preseason poll is kind of skewed. … It is what it is. … With golf, to an extent, when you have some talent it’s anyone’s. It’s a matter of putting two days together, and having it (championship) at our home course certainly is an advantage (for us),” Haile said.

“That’s (poll) not a true reflection of what’s to come,” the coach, in his ninth year, continued. “Right now, Penn State Berks is probably a little stronger in my mind, based on what I’ve seen. But, certainly, having the past history that Rutgers has, they’re definitely going to put up a fight. We’re looking to put up a fight as well.”

Assessing what he has seen from his team thus far, Haile said, “It’s tough to go out and find any rhythm when it’s snowing, it’s raining, it’s cold. You can’t get those reps in. Golf is all about repetition and grooving your swing. It’s been difficult to work on that with the weather that we’ve had.”

Each of the nine teams will bring five players, with the top four scores from each day determining the team champ.

“We have some work to do to get the guys ready … We have 11 guys on the roster and at this point they’re still qualifying for the five spots in the lineup,” the coach said, noting that based on play thus far the Wildcats’ top players will come from junior Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown; freshman Brian Whelan, of Cresco; freshman Eli Dyer, of Wallingford, Connecticut; freshman Dan Pivirotto, of State College; sophomore Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia; freshman Jordan Wise, of Mclure; and sophomore Ben Fails, of Hummelstown.

“(Looking at the extended forecast) … it looks good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have good weather,” the coach said.

“We’ve talked about that (going to the NCAA tournament) opportunity as a team. It’s definitely within reach. We’re trying to keep things level-headed with expectations, but they know what’s at stake and they’re excited. They’re on home turf and it would be awesome, it would be great for our program,” Haile said.

“I think these guys are hungry and I’m excited to see how we do,” Haile said.

MEN’S-WOMEN’S TENNIS

With the regular season behind it, the Penn College men’s tennis team now turns its attention to this week’s NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club in Clarks Summit. Team action is scheduled for Friday and Saturday while individual competition takes place on Sunday. Although the college women’s team didn’t make the playoffs, junior Emily Bell, of Jersey Shore, did in individual singles.

Wrapping up the conference regular season last week, both teams fell to Penn State Berks on Friday, the men 8-1 and the women 9-0. The lone men’s win came at No. 1 doubles where Luke Whitenight, of Berwick, and Blake Whitmire, of Shickshinny, were victorious.

Playing twice on Saturday, the men topped Lancaster Bible College, 6-3, and Penn State Abington, 5-4, to end 7-6 overall and 4-1 in the NEAC while the women lost to Lancaster Bible College, 9-0, and Penn State Abington, 8-1, to finish 1-12 overall and 1-4 in the NEAC. Penn College men winning in both their singles and doubles matches against Lancaster Bible College were Will DeMarco, of Glen Mills, at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles; Ethan Rosler, of Bloomsburg, at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles; and Stephen Helminiak, of Williamsport, at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. Men winning both of their matches against PS Abington were DeMarco at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles and Rosler at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. The lone Penn College women’s winner on the day was Bell, at No. 4 singles against Abington.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats ended second in the conference and were short-handed in their lone loss to Penn State Berks, which makes coach John Machak looking for big things in the tournament. Penn College will open play against Penn State Abington with the winner to face the winner of a match between Berks and Lancaster Bible College.

“Really, our goal is to capture the first-place prize,” Machak said.

In singles and doubles competition, Machak expects big things from Helminiak, at No. 6 singles, and DeMarco and Garrett Benner, of Selinsgrove, at No. 2 doubles.

Whitenight will go at No. 1 singles with Whitmire at No. 2 singles, they also are the No. 1 doubles team; Benner is at No. 3 singles; Nicholas Pascual, of Doylestown, is at No. 4 singles; Joe Morrin, of Morrisville, is at No. 5 singles; and Helminiak is at No. 6. Pascual and Morrin will play at No. 3 doubles.

“We’re looking forward to having practice on Monday instead of not being involved in tennis any more for the season. We’re excited. We’re going to go and practice hard for a week and come out, hopefully, with a lot of victories,” the second-year coach said.

Despite the women’s team record, Machak said he saw improvement that should pay dividends down the road.

“They hit better over the course of the year. The best player easily was Emily Bell, she has become a really consistent tennis player,” the coach said, noting that the team will lose its No. 1 singles player Jane Herman, of Greencastle, who finished third in the tournament a year ago and earned Third Team all-conference honors.

“We do have some good recruits coming in for (next) season, so we’re optimistic,” the coach added.

BASEBALL

On Wednesday in non-conference play at Juniata College, the Wildcats lost by scores of 7-4 and 8-3. In the first game, Cody Cline, of Waynesboro, went 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in a run, but a seven-run third Juniata could not be overcome. In the second game, Cline again had the hot bat for Penn College as he went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs with a double.

In NEAC play on Saturday at Lancaster Bible College, Penn College won 6-2 and 22-7 to improve to 7-1 in the conference and 13-10 overall. In the opener, Brittan Kittle, of Millville, went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and a run scored while Colton Riley, of Danville, and Ben Flicker, of Topton, each hit home runs. On the mound, Nathan Holt, of Shippensburg, went the seven inning distance and improved to 3-1 with a three-hit performance. In the nightcap, the Wildcats pounded out 18 hits with Flicker, Riley and Nick Perna, of Frenchtown, New Jersey, all homering. Perna’s was a grand-slam in a seven-run ninth inning and Riley had solo shots in the second, fifth and eighth innings. Flicker ended the game going 4-for-6 at the plate with five RBIs.

SOFTBALL

Hosting St. Elizabeth on Saturday in its only games of the week after two postponements and a cancellation, Penn College lost by scores of 4-3 and 2-1 to drop to 10-16 overall and go to 4-6 in the NEAC. In the opener, three Wildcats had two hits each and Penn College out-hit St. Elizabeth, 10-6, but it couldn’t get the timely hit when it was needed. In the second game, the Wildcats again were stymied at the plate, stranding nine baserunners.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS

Baseball

Overall: 13-10

NEAC: 7-1

Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Altoona (2), ppd. TBA

Tuesday, April 17 – host Mt. Aloysius at Bowman Field (2), ppd. to Monday, April 23

Wednesday, April 18 – at Juniata College (2), L, 7-4; L, 8-3

Saturday, April 21 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC, 2), W, 6-2; W, 22-7

Sunday, April 22 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC, 2), noon

Monday, April 23 – host Mt. Aloysius at Bowman Field (2), 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24 – host Mansfield University at Bowman Field (2), 4 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 – at SUNY Cobleskill (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.

Sunday, April 29 – at SUNY Poly (NEAC, 2), noon

Wednesday, May 2 – at Elmira College, 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 5 – host Penn State Berks at Bowman Field (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 6 – host Penn State Abington at Bowman Field (NEAC, 2), noon

(End of regular season)

Softball

Overall: 10-16

NEAC: 4-6

Sunday, April 15 – at Cazenovia College (NEAC, 2), ppd. to April 22

Monday, April 16 – at Elmira College (2), ppd.

Thursday, April 19 – at Wilkes University (2), canceled

Saturday, April 21 – host St. Elizabeth at Elm Park (NEAC, 2), L, 4-3; L, 2-1

Sunday, April 22 – at Cazenovia College (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 25 – host Wells College at Elm Park (NEAC, 2), 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 26 – at Lycoming College (2), 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 – at SUNY Poly (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.

(End of regular season)

Men’s Golf

Overall: 2-0

Saturday-Sunday, April 28-29 – host NEAC Championship at Williamsport Country Club, 9 a.m.

(End of regular season)

Men’s Tennis

Overall: 7-6 (1-5 fall)

NEAC: 4-1

Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), ppd. to April 21

Friday, April 20 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 8-1

Saturday, April 21 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), W, 6-3

Saturday, April 21 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), W, 5-4

Friday-Sunday, April 27-29 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club, Clarks Summit

(End of season)

Women’s Tennis

Overall: 1-12 (0-7 fall)

NEAC: 1-4

Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), ppd. to April 21

Friday, April 20 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 9-0

Saturday, April 21 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), L, 9-0

Saturday, April 21 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), L, 8-1

Wednesday-Friday, April 25-27 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club, Clarks Summit

(End of season)

Archery

Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22 – host East Region Outdoor Collegiate Championships

May 18-21 – Collegiate Outdoor Nationals at Newberry, Fla.

(End of season)

Source