Fox Chapel baseball eager for 2020 season
Friday, June 28, 2019 | 6:36 PM
Fox Chapel baseball coach Jim Hastings felt his team made some strides this past season.
“We qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the second year in a row. Though we lost in the first round, it was to a really strong Mars team,” Hastings said.
The Foxes, who finished 10-9 overall and 7-5 in Section 1-5A, had impressive wins against WPIAL champion Shaler and No. 4 seed Gateway.
“We played hard all season long,” Hastings said.
Hastings will have to replace 11 seniors next season, including starters Matt Jerpe, TJ Johnston, Mitchell Miles, Jonathan Simon, James Patterson, Noah Marks and Jacob Gruden. Other seniors were Vinnie Ninehouser, Ryan Wagner, Kyle Wagner and Kenny Buettner.
“These guys will definitely be missed. They were the core that made us a playoff team the last two years,” Hastings said. “Jerpe led us in seven batting categories. Johnston was second on the team in hitting. Simon, Miles and Marks were our leaders in pitching statistics.”
Next season, Hastings will be looking to catcher Alex McRandal, a three-year starter who hit .301, and first baseman/designated hitter Gavin Donaldson, a .285 hitter. Other returning players are Branden Stipetich, Aiden Humes and Shane McManus.
Newcomers Dante DiMatteo, Ryan Creehan, Todd Resek, Luke Hudic, Clayton Humbert and Garrett Bradley cold see considerable playing time.
Hastings is optimistic the Foxes can make it three consecutive playoff appearances next year.
“We have some good players coming back,” he said. “We’re losing a lot of experience so we’ll have to put in a lot of hard work to get back.”
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