The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

March 6, 2013

Concord to host Seton Hill in big early-season series

The premier series of the season in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — at least on paper — will take place before spring even starts.

Concord will host Seton Hill this weekend in a battle of preseason picks to win their respective divisions. The teams will play a seven-inning doubleheader starting at noon Saturday, and the finale will be a single nine-inning game, also at noon, at Concord’s Anderson Field.

“It’s good to see where you are early,” Mountain Lions coach Andrew Wright said.

The Lions are 5-8 after getting swept last weekend at Shippensburg. No shame there — the Raiders are the No. 1 team in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and No. 20 in the nation.

In the Griffins, Concord will face perennially one of the top teams in the conference. Seton Hill, the 2010 league champion, has appeared in three straight Atlantic Region tournaments.

“I know they can pitch,” Wright said. “That’s for sure.”

Seton Hill returns 2012 WVIAC Pitcher of the Year Alex Haines. The junior left-hander has not been involved in a decision and has a 4.22 earned run average in two starts thus far, a year after he went 7-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 108 strikeouts and just 38 walks in 70 innings.

But the Griffins, who were 3-3 going into today’s doubleheader with Clarion, are about more than just arms. They are batting .294 as a team, averaging 5.5 runs per game early in the season.

“They are the definition of a good baseball team,” Wright said. “They pitch well and they do enough offensively to beat you. The way to defense that is to pitch well on your end and do some things offensively.”

Concord is getting plenty of both.

The offense is led by Josh Wenger (.433, 12 runs batted in) and Bret Blevins (.417, 15 runs scored). First baseman Joey Miller is hitting .314 and leads the team with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

Miller is in his first season with the Mountain Lions after transferring from Frederick (Md.) Community College.

“He has been a nice addition to the middle of our order,” Wright said. “It’s nice to have that kind of presence in your lineup. And of course Bret Blevins is playing like he is capable.”

Junior Ryan Weatherholtz (1-1, 5.28) and Tyler Coyle (1-1, 6.97) have bolstered the rotation to this point. Coyle will get the nod in the second game. The Game 1 starter will be Drew Spear (0-2, 8.24), while junior Tyler Zimm (1-1, 6.48), an Oak Hill graduate, will start the third game.

Wright said the most noticeable improvement is in the bullpen. Tim Leather is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six relief appearances. Will Zuspan, a junior out of Wahama who made a name for himself when Concord rolled to the 2011 tournament championship, has a 2.08 ERA in five appearances.

“We are going to be able to hold more leads than we have in the past,” Wright said, adding that Oak Hill alumnus Dustin Nuckels “will be a big-time guy for us out of the bullpen.”

— E-mail: gfauber

Text Only
College Sports
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp