Ready to Strike
The Penn State Brandywine baseball season is now in full swing. With over half their games already played, the Brandywine Nittany Lions sit 4th in the PSUAC at 13-12(7-3), and still have the ability to reach a 2 or 3 seed come playoffs.
The season started off somewhat slow coming back from Vero Beach, Florida, at 2-4. But as the weather has heated up, so did the team.
The strong offensive supply from captains Gabe Encarnacion and Tom Osenbach, as well as strong pitching from captain Matt Trotta, Brian Pennock, Brian Bosco and Carmen Scota are what’s pushing this team as a top threat in the conference.
Osenbach leads the conference in RBIs (32), while Encarnacion is currently sitting 4th in batting average (.447). Freshman centerfielder John Gorgone is also 4th in the PSUAC in stolen bases (12), while the weekend warrior, Steve Trainor, leads the league in the always flattering hit by pitch category (9).
There’s no stopping “The Train.”
After a 2-2 split with Greater Allegheny and Beaver, two of the top three teams in the conference this past weekend, the Lions are ready to make their strike.
Brandywine’s star outfielder Alex Rivera knows what it will take to finish strong.
“We have to have nothing but confidence at this point in the season,” Rivera said. “Every man, from 1 to 22, wants it as much as the next guy, and has to be ready to play every single pitch for the rest of the year.”
The team knows that they must take it one game at a time. No team can be overlooked at this point; every game matters.
“Things are finally coming together, but we are not yet where we need to be,” Encarnacion said. “We have a lot of work to put in and everyone needs to step it up to get ready for the push towards the playoffs.”
The remaining schedule will allow Brandywine to schedule their pitchers well in advance, and keep them on a good four to five day rest prior to each start. As every team knows, pitching and defense will win championships.
If Brandywine is able to maintain their approach at the plate, and can keep the defense pretty clean, they can’t be anything but happy at where they sit right now in conference.
With games coming up against Schuylkill and Penn College, who both sit only one game in front of Brandywine, the time is now for the final push for a bye in the first round of the playoffs. They control their own destiny.
Catcher John McGarvey said it best.
“We all have one common goal that we need to achieve, and that’s a championship,” McGarvey said.
Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, Rjt5281@psu.edu