Pittston Area didn’t have the greatest regular season last year. But throw that out the window once district playoffs roll around.
A rough regular season quickly faded away as the Patriots nearly parlayed a No. 12 seed into a trip to PNC Field for the district championship.
Pittston Area will look to build on that finish — they have a lot to look forward to this season.
“After such a great run like last year, the team this year is definitely hungry for more,” ace pitcher Michael Schwab said. “We want to make sure that by the time May rolls around again, we will be even more prepared to attempt to win a championship.”
The team’s top pitcher, southpaw Schwab, begins this third sports in as many seasons — he was a do-it-all on the football team, the basketball point guard, and now the ace.
The starting rotation for coach Paul Zaffuto features a lot of experience. Four players who started at least one game for the Patriots will be back.
“Pitching wise, we didn’t lose a single player from last year,” Schwab said. “We feel it is one of our strengths, headed by seniors.”
Hurlers Matt Mott, Justin Glasgow, Dan Costantino and Schwab lead the core. The Patriot ace hopes each of them peak just in time for playoffs.
“We are improving every day with the help of our pitching coach John Richards, and hope to peak when playoffs roll around,” Schwab said.
The Patriots return four-year starter and top hitter in Josh Razvillas. Razvillas led the Wyoming Valley Conference in home runs a year ago.
A fixture in the Patriots lineup since his freshman season, Razvillas’ experience was critical for the team in 2013. His junior numbers included a WVC-leading four home runs and the slugger added a fifth in the district quarterfinals.
Well-suited as a middle-of-the-lineup hitter, Razvillas was asked to bat in the leadoff spot for much of the season out of necessity. He handled the challenge and succeeded at the plate.
It’s a 10-man senior class for the Patriots, who finished last season 4-11.
“Now, we feel that we are in a good position,” Schwab said. “We have a great group of seniors and are working hard every day to get better. We are embracing the team aspect of it.”