Furman fuels Bucknell’s charge to first

Last updated: April 21. 2014 11:34PM - 2875 Views
By Bill Arsenault
For the Times Leader



Former Wyoming Area standout Corey Furman's bat has put Bucknell at the top of the Patriot League.
Former Wyoming Area standout Corey Furman's bat has put Bucknell at the top of the Patriot League.
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The Bucknell University baseball team stands in first place in the Patriot League and a big reason why the Bison hold such a lofty position is the hitting of senior Corey Furman.
Furman (Wyoming Area) leads the team with a .388 average. He has a team-high 45 hits in 116 at-bats with four doubles, a team-high five triples and a home run. He’s scored 18 runs, has a team-high 24 RBI and a .560 slugging percentage.
“Corey has hit the ball well all year,” coach Scott Heather said. “He took a few games to get his timing back after a shoulder injury, but now he is back in the swing of things. He’s doing a good job of being selective and swinging at pitches he can hit.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound co-captain plays the outfield but has been the team’s top designated hitter most of the last two seasons. He earned All-Patriot League honors at that spot last season, hitting .291 overall and .338 in league games.
Bucknell is 22-16-1 overall and 12-4 in the Patriot League and wraps up the regular season by hosting league foe Holy Cross in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday in Lewisburg. The Bison have already clinched a playoff berth and will be a host team in the semifinals starting May 10.
Marshall’s ready
The championship season is coming up and George Mason senior Mandissa Marshall has her eyes on a big finish to the outdoor track season and her college career.
Marshall (Crestwood) is one of the top pole vault performers in women’s track and she will be out to prove it, starting with the Penn Relays this weekend in Philadelphia.
“Mandissa has really been working hard this outdoor season,” jumps coach Kevin McGorty said. “She has been dealing with some nagging injuries as well. Some knee and shoulder pain have limited her practice a little.”
But the coach said that Marshall has some lofty goals as the season winds down.
“Her main goal is to be an All-American outdoors which would be a top eight finish at the NCAA Championships,” McGorty said. “She would like to win the conference meet with a meet record since this is our first time in it (Atlantic-10 Conference).”
But first things first, and that will be this weekend’s Penn Relays.
“The Penn Relays has always been a favorite meet of hers despite some poor weather conditions in the past,” the coach said. “She is a ‘northern girl’ and feels like she wants to represent the East Coast at the meet.”
Stepniak pitching in
Freshman Brian Stepniak (Dallas) has pitched in six games with three starts for the Hartford baseball team. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-hander, has an 0-1 record with a 4.00 earned run average. In 18 innings, he’s given up 18 hits, 12 runs, eight earned, with three walks and seven strikeouts.
He picked up his loss in a start, working 5.1 innings and giving up six hits and four runs, three earned in a 10-4 setback against Quinnipiac. In his latest outing, he worked 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in a 12-9 victory over Albany, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out two.
“I’m pleased with how Brian has competed during his appearances,” coach Justin Blood said. “He’s a strike thrower and has a pretty good feel for the game.”
The coach feels that Stepniak, like most freshmen, needs to find the next gear.
“At this level, you need to impose your will as pitcher and that’s something Brian will get better at in the coming years,” Blood said. “He’s definitely progressing and I expect him to pitch some important innings for us down the stretch.”
The Hawks are 21-14 overall and are currently in first place in the America East Conference with a 9-2 record.
Bone works in relief
Junior Jordan Bone (Pittston Area) has pitched in 12 games out of the bullpen for the Maryland Eastern Shore baseball team. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound lefthander has a 2-0 record. In 19 innings, he’s given up 24 hits and 24 runs, 20 earned, with 16 walks and 15 strikeouts.
“Jordan has been working very hard and has developed more velocity on his fastball and a sharper break on his curveball,” coach Pedro Swann said. “His command has also been a lot better this year.”
The coach feels that Bone is more confident this season as well. Last season he was recovering from Tommy John surgery and rehab.
“I feel that he was afraid to really let go of his fastball and snap off his breaking pitches,” Swann said. “This year he has been doing an outstanding job and is inspiring the younger players with his focus and work ethic.”
The Hawks are 11-20 overall and 6-8 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Hess sitting out
After missing most of last season and some time early this season with an injury, junior Ashley Hess finally got back on the field for the Indiana (PA) women’s lacrosse team. The 5-foot-1 midfielder from Mountain Top (Wyoming Seminary) had three goals and an assist as well as three ground balls and two draw controls. However, this season ended for her after just eight games.
“A couple of weeks ago, Ashley learned of a medical condition and won’t be participating for the remainder of the season,” coach Mindy Richmond said. “It’s unfortunate because Ashley worked very hard and she pushed herself when she was on the field. When she played, she added an aggressive spark to our offense.”
The Crimson Tide is 11-4 overall and 9-2 in PSAC play.
Dosiak ready to go
Steve Dosiak and the Delaware Valley men’s golf team will be competing in the Freedom Conference Championships on Saturday in Hershey. Sophomore Dosiak (Wyoming Valley West) prepped for the tourney by finishing tied for fifth out of 22 golfers in a win over FDU-Florham and a loss to Centenary recently. He posted a career-best round of 82.
“Steve worked last summer at Huntsville in Dallas and took some lessons from the pro-staff,” coach Doug Linde said. “He has made big improvements in his swing. He had a baseball swing and now it’s a golf swing.”
With the change came some higher scores this spring but the recent effort proves that the change is working.
“Steve’s been only playing golf seriously for three years and the work ethic and enthusiasm he has toward the game should have him shooting under 80 next season,” Linde said.
Bayzick a versatile pitcher
Junior Josh Bayzick (Hazleton Area) has worked in six games and started three for the Scranton baseball team. The righthander has a 1-1 record with a 4.85 earned run average. He’s pitched 13 innings and given up 16 hits and 10 runs, seven earned, with five walks and five strikeouts.
“Josh is having another solid season,” coach Mike Bartoletti said. “We have used him in every role – starter, long reliever and setup guy. He’s very durable and has a great work ethic and this season, his velocity has picked up and his secondary pitches have improved.”
The Royals are 8-14 overall and 3-10 in the Landmark Conference.


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