Sam Parente made a little history before the start of the baseball season.
Senior Parente (Pittston Area) became one of the few players in the University of Pittsburgh’s long baseball history to ever wear a “C” on his uniform. He was named the team’s only captain for this season.
The 6-foot, 205-pound third baseman was a two-year standout at Lackawanna College and then hit .302 with 26 RBI for the Panthers last season. He’s off to a great start this season. In 13 starts, he’s hitting .392 (20-for-51) with two doubles, two triples, nine RBI and 10 runs scored. He kicked off the season by going 7-for-16 with three runs scored and four RBI in a three-game sweep of Wichita State.
“Sam has done a very solid job for us,” coach Joe Jordano said. “The team has a great deal of respect for him and nobody works harder. We felt as a staff that he earned the ‘C’ he wears on his jersey. That honor is not given every year, but Sam earned it.”
Another standout for Pitt is junior Matt Wotherspoon (Crestwood). The 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.61 ERA. In four starts, he has a complete game and has worked 27.1 innings. He’s given up 33 hits and 16 runs, 14 earned, with four walks and 19 strikeouts.
“Matt has really matured on the mound,” Jordano said. “Each start he makes he gets a little better. I feel he is going to have a very productive year. He has a great arm and three pitches he can command. He has a bright future with us and beyond.”
The Panthers are off to a 9-4 record after sweeping four games to win the Panther Classic in Pittsburgh.
ZERFOSS AN ALL-AMERICAN: Clarion freshman Sarah Zerfoss (Dallas) competed in her first NCAA Division III Swimming Championships last weekend in Birmingham, Ala., and came up with a sparkling effort. She became the 239th All-American (men and women) in Dave Hrovat’s 23 years as Clarion diving coach.
Zerfoss earned All-American honors by finishing seventh in the 1-meter dive with a total of 425.55 points. She also earned All-American honorable mention for finishing 11th in the 3-meter dive with a total of 414 points.
Clarion finished in 17th place in the team standings, Zerfoss picking up 18 points for the Golden Eagles.
OSTROWSKI CHIPPING IN: The Ohio Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team is off to a 3-1 start and senior Chris Ostrowski of Pittston (Wyoming Seminary) is starting at midfield for the Battling Bishops.
Ostrowski, a 5-foot-7, 190- pounder, is a key performer on defense. He has nine ground balls and two caused turnovers. He hasn’t scored this season, but has four goals and four assists in 37 career games.
“Chris is a workhorse for us,” coach Michael Plantholt said. “He is almost always on the field during a game and we lean on him heavily every day. He is experienced, athletic and a great leader.”
The coach feels that Ostrowski’s leadership and confidence are the biggest improvement in his play.
“Right now he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder because he knows it’s his last year and it really has helped him focus.”
Ostrowski is also a team captain.
“There isn’t another player on the team that means more than Chris,” Plantholt said. “I’m relying on him to set the team standard and hold others accountable.”
GOOD START FOR INMAN: Freshman Ashley Inman (Tunkhannock) kicked off her college career by hitting a three-run single in her second at-bat to help her Mansfield softball team open the season with a 6-4 victory over West Liberty. She also had an RBI on a groundout.
Inman hit her first college home run in a 9-5 loss to Anderson University in South Carolina. An infielder/pitcher, she’s been serving as designated hitter and relief pitcher. She’s hitting .217 (5-for-23) in seven games for the 3-4 Mountaineers.
“Ashley has been a great addition to the team,” coach Edith Gallagher said. “She worked extremely hard in the offseason and earned a spot as the starting DH. She has also taken on the role of middle relief and is constantly improving on the mound. She is very coachable and learning about throwing to college hitters.”
The coach feels that the best is yet to come for Inman.
“She is a great competitor and she will continue to get better with more playing time,” Gallagher said.
Mansfield will play five games this weekend when it competes in the Salem Invitational in Salem, Va.
BIG HIT FOR FURMAN: Bucknell junior Corey Furman (Wyoming Area) hit a two-run home run to highlight a six-run fifth inning to help his team come from behind for a 7-4 victory over Harvard recently in Charlottesville, Va.
Furman, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound outfielder, is hitting just .189 (7-for-37), but also has a triple for the 2-9 Bison.
“Corey has settled in nicely as our leadoff hitter,” coach Scott Heather said. “He has been putting quality at-bats together, especially over the last two weeks. He is a hard-working kid who has made the transition from a high school shortstop to playing in the outfield on the college level.”
BAKER STARTING: Junior transfer Carson Baker (Lake-Lehman) is starting in left field in his first season with the 6-3 Kutztown baseball team. Baker, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, is hitting .193 (6-for-31) in the early going with a double, three runs scored and four RBI. He’s handled 12 chances in the field without an error.
“Carson has been a big boost for Kutztown baseball,” coach Chris Blum said. “He adds experience and credibility to a lineup that was in desperate need for some power with the loss of our seniors. He is a tireless worker and easy to coach – always taking the extra swings and reps to improve himself as a hitter. He and his family have been a wonderful addition to KU baseball.”
WINGERT LEARNING THE ROPES: Freshman Robert Wingert (Holy Redeemer) is seeing action as a backup to sophomore standout David Moler with the No. 11-ranked Stevenson men’s volleyball team.
Wingert, a 6-foot-4 setter, has played in five matches and 12 sets for the Mustangs, who are 11-6 overall and 1-1 in the Continental Volleyball Conference. He has 91 assists, six digs, five blocks, three service aces and two kills.
“Rob arrived and was immediately one of our stronger leaders and began pushing Dave Moler for the starting setting job,” coach Joe Tagye said. “He is a high-energy, intelligent player and we see his role increasing in the future as well as he becomes more acclimated to the speed of the college game.”
The Mustangs host Eastern Mennonite in a CVC match tonight in Stevenson, Md.