Detail-oriented Greensburg CC baseball team has pitching to contend

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Monday, March 22, 2021 | 5:55 PM


Fundamentals are a big part of the coaching staff’s philosophy at Greensburg Central Catholic. Nothing is taken for granted in preparation for each opponent. Nothing is too simplified.

“We work on the basic fundamentals all the time and try to get them down,” junior pitcher Zach David said. “Our coaching here is really good and they get us ready.”

The basics will play a key role for the Centurions, who will look to make up for inexperience and new faces with crisp, sound baseball.

There won’t be a lot of room for error — or errors.

“Tom (Appleby) is big on fundamentals. We’re working on bunting all the time, stealing bases and trying to keep (opponents) from advancing when they get on base,” GCC assistant coach John David said.

Appleby will begin his first full season as head coach after last year was canceled by the pandemic. He took over for Dennis Reist, who resigned after a three-year run that included a WPIAL runner-up finish and two PIAA playoff trips.

GCC made the Class A quarterfinals in 2019 and was anxious to spin the wheel again last year with five seniors. But as disappointing as it was, that year has to be written off so a new one can begin.

“Last year, we really believed we could make a deep run in the playoffs,” Zach David said. “It’s super-exciting to be able to play again.”

David will be the top pitcher on a staff that also includes Dylan Sebek and Alex Miller, the team’s only seniors. Miller went 3-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 13 appearances as a sophomore.

Sebek also can play center field of shortstop, while Miller also is an infielder. Sebek hit .406 with 28 hits two years ago.

“We’re a mostly young team, but we do have a deep pitching staff, which should benefit us,” John David said. “With the back-to-back (format for section games), pitching depth is a lot more important. You can’t just win with one guy.”

Lefthander Zach David threw just seven innings as a freshman but did not allow an earned run. He worked more than 50 innings over the summer in showcase events.

Junior Cole Benning will do the catching. Sophomore Max Kallock also could provide a boost offensively.

Another player to watch is junior second baseman Ryan Appleby.

He and Sebek won a WPIAL title this year in soccer and helped GCC reach the boys basketball championship game in Class 2A.

Zach David isn’t completely sold on the idea that small ball will carry GCC to wins.

“Pitching will be our biggest strong point,” he said. “But hitting-wise, we also have a lot of potential. The more live pitching we see, the better I think we’ll be.”

GCC will be in Section 2-A with Bishop Canevin, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, Monessen and West Greene.

“We don’t have a lot of familiarity with these teams,” John David said. “We used to go against Vincentian a lot, but that school closed. We’re going to have to get to know these teams as we go.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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