Pitcher Mike Burke is in the starting rotation for the Lehigh University baseball team.
Burke (Abington Heights) is a veteran right-hander for the Mountain Hawks. In his first two seasons, he worked in 23 games with five starts. The 6-foot junior picked up his first victory in his first start of this season when he worked 5.1 innings and got credit for a 4-1 victory over UNC-Wilmington. He gave up two hits, a run, walked two and struck out three.
“Mike has good enough stuff to get people out and this year he has really trusted his defense and has relied on the movement that he has,” coach Sean Leary said. “He’s an unbelievably hard -working kid and an easy kid to embrace as a teammate and front-line pitcher.”
The coach feels that Burke leads by example.
“Mike has a tremendous amount of respect from his peers based on his work ethic and the kind of teammate he is,” Leary said. “He has that intangible that is very hard to find in kids. He understands what coaches want and follows what we are asking. He’s the kind of player we look to build our program around character wise.”
INJURIES SLOW BRADY
Junior Kayla Brady (Abington Heights) is listed as a utility player and that’s just what she’s been doing this season with the Chowan University softball team. She’s played in 12 games and starter four – as a designated hitter. She has one hit in four at-bats and has scored five runs for the Murfreesboro, N.C. college.
“Kayla has been improving her game ever since she stepped foot on campus,” coach Amanda Balduf said. “Unfortunately, she has had some injuries this year that have limited her to mostly pinch running.”
The coach said that Brady remains positive and mentally strong throughout the ordeal.
“She is finding ways to stay fit and add new skills to her game – including working with a one-handed bunt.”
The coach is looking for Brady to bounce back next season.
“I’m hoping she’ll have a healthy senior year so she can showcase her full athletic ability,” Balduf said. “She is definitely a player I can go to if I need something done. I enjoy the conversations we have beyond the game of softball and I respect and admire her work ethic and persistence.”
BIG GAME FOR ROSENCRANCE
Junior Joel Rosencrance had the biggest game of the young season for the St. Bonaventure baseball team.
Rosencrance, from Clarks Summit (Holy Cross), pitched and batted the Bonnies to a 16-3 victory over Chicago State in Port Charlotte, Fla. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound right-hander worked a complete-game and gave up just five hits and three runs, one earned, with one walk and 10 strikeouts in eight innings.
Rosencrance helped his own cause by collecting a double and home run and knocking in three runs.
“In Joel’s first outing out of the bullpen, he didn’t locate his pitches very well and got hit around against South Dakota State,” coach Larry Sudbrook said. “But he pitched very well against Chicago State.”
Rosencrance also serves as a designated hitter when not pitching.
“Joel will DH against right-handed pitchers,” Sudbrook said. “He got off to a slow start in Florida but he broke out against Chicago State. He is going to be a guy like Jim Thome. He’ll hit doubles, home runs and will take walks and strike out some.”
DOGGETT DOES IT ALL
Senior Pete Doggett (Abington Heights) is in his fourth season pitching for the Misericordia baseball team. The 6-foot-3 right-hander entered this season with an 8-4 lifetime record with three saves. He pitched in 37 games with nine starts.
“Pete has been very versatile throughout his four years,” coach Pete Egbert said. “He has served as a starter, middle reliever and closer and has been effective in all those roles. This season, we will look to Pete to be a starting pitcher mostly.”
Doggett’s first start was very good. He worked six innings and gave up six hits and one earned run with three walks and four strikeouts in a 4-2 loss to PSU-Behrend.
“Pete adds depth, experience and competitiveness to a veteran pitching staff,” Egbert said. “He has matured both on and off the field in four years and we hope that he will have his best season yet.”
KILZI STILL PLAYING
Roger Williams senior Elizabeth Kilzi (Abington Heights) has one game remaining in her college career. The 5-foot-9 guard will play in the New England Women’s Basketball Association Senior All-Star game Saturday at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.
Kilzi was among 22 players selected to play in the game, the players nominated by their coaches and sports information directors.
Despite missing most of her junior year with an injury, Kilzi finished with 833 career points and hit 126 of 384 3-point baskets (.328). This season, she averaged 9.8 points a game and hit 52 of 154 3-point attempts (.338). She also had 47 assists, 34 rebounds and 21 steals to help the Hawks post a 19-9 record.