By Brian Christiana and Ian Kemmerer
The Central Penn baseball team recently returned to the field after its previous appearance in the 2017 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) World Series.
The Knights have many changes this season. The big change includes a new coach. Coach Robert Stern, and Assistant Coach Philip Brown, were hired to take over the helm from former Coach Harry Hitz.
Stern is a very straightforward coach who has high expectations for his team.
“The coaches have been able to push us to our best potential,” said Brandon Casiano. “Both coaches know what hard work is and they were able to show us what hard work and brotherhood is really about.”
The team is very excited to have many players return. They are welcoming back Brandon Casiano, Christian Fulp, Ryan Strevig, Fred Bahr, Jerry Biller, Gabe Arellano, Luis Padilla, Todd Cook, Keith Gregory, Cam Woodward, Miguel Arredondo, Emmitt Enslin and Drew Myers.
The leadership these players bring is going to be a key part in the success the team wants to have.
Fulp is expected to be a huge part of the pitching staff. He came off a good season. He was second on the team in innings pitched, and led the team with 43 strikeouts.
“The returning players are even more motivated than ever, knowing that we have a chance to make it to the USCAA World Series again, especially with the young talented additions we have,” Casiano said.
The team had a very successful recruiting class as well. The team has new players from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
They brought in Adanskee Henry Jr., Max Thorpe, Owen Livingston, Quinton Heckard, Emory Herb, Christopher Rosario, Derek Danko and Jared Rivera.
“I really like Central Penn College. The small class size is really good for me academically. The students, faculty and staff are really good to me,” said Rivera.
The Knights have helped the freshmen with their academics and baseball. The team has a study hall on Tuesdays from 6 – 8 p.m. They all work together on homework and other school assignments.
The team had a very successful season last year. They made the tournament, which hadn’t been done in a long time. The tournament was in New York and the team played quality competition. They also played against Bluefield State College and Cleary University.
The team had an overall record of 14-16. A few games were postponed or canceled due to weather. The Knights had key victories against the University of Valley Forge, and Williamson Trade.
Brandon Casiano was named Athlete of the Month in May 2017. Casiano said the reason he decided to come to Central Penn was to attend college and have a chance to play at the next level.
This season will be a huge part in the development of the baseball program for the future. The team has the goal to make it very far into the tournament. One challenge is having no home field this season. Previous home games were played at Veterans Park in Susquehanna Township near Progress Avenue.
This year, the team will be playing home games in several locations throughout the Harrisburg area, including Lebanon.
The schedule for 2018 is exciting. Central Penn will travel to Pine Grove to play Penn State Schuylkill at Stump Field. The Knights won their opener against Piedmont International University, in Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 2—16-8—and lost two games to Piedmont on March 3, 7-5 and 11-10.
On March 5, the team lost to Cairn University, in Langhorne, 20-4.
The team faces Hood College, in Frederick, March 9, and will be traveling to Penn State DuBois, Mont Alto, Schuylkill and York. Penn State Hazleton will travel to play the Knights.
See the season schedule for other games.
This season the Athletic Department and the Communication Program will have the opportunity to livestream the games. Equipment was donated so the games can be seen by parents, and others not from the area.
Communication Professor Paul Miller and Athletic Director Dave Baker have gathered a few students to work the livestream games. The students will have the opportunity to broadcast, and work the cameras.
Brian Christiana is president of the Knightly News Media Club.
Ian Kemmerer is the vice president of the Knightly News Media Club.
To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media club co-adviser Michael Lear-Olimpi.