Govern sees improvement in Southmoreland baseball team

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Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 2:56 PM


Southmoreland baseball coach Al Govern calls himself old school.

He likes to preach fundamentals.

That’s why he’s excited for the 2020 season to resume so he can see how much his team has improved in one year under his training.

Because of the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf and the PIAA have put the spring season on pause. That’s means no games, no practice and no organized activities until at least April 1 and maybe even longer.

But after a 4-15 record in 2019, including a 1-11 mark in Section 3-3A, Govern is eager to see how much progress the team has made in his second season.

“They were excited that we won four games last year,” Govern said. “That’s unacceptable to me. But they hadn’t won before and didn’t know how to win.

“They’ve bought into what I coach — fundamentals and small ball. They’ve been phenomenal in practice and they want to succeed.”

Southmoreland graduated two seniors — Travis Sipple and Garrett Ansell. Sipple, who is playing hockey at Kent State, batted .314 and pitched 27 innings.

The majority of the players are back, led by five seniors — pitcher/outfielder Austin McBeth, first baseman/pitcher Ryan Marchewka, outfielder Tyler Constantine, third baseman/pitcher Kolby Loucks and outfielder Austin Cummins.

“Before we were shut down, I called for an impromptu get together on a Sunday because the weather was nice and the seniors messaged players that if they needed a ride they’d provide it,” Govern said. “That showed me a lot.”

Also returning are sophomore catcher Brok Potoka, junior infielder Ben Zimmerman, sophomore pitcher/outfielder Anthony Govern, sophomore outfielder Noah Morvosh, junior pitcher/infielder Mason Basinger and sophomore Vinny Ledbetter.

Potoka threw out 23 runners attempting to steal, McBeth had 23 putouts, Govern batted .300 and struck out 25 and Basinger pitched in 29 innings.

“We don’t do one aspect great, we do everything good,” coach Govern said. “It takes a team to win games. Our record didn’t indicate how many games we were in.

“We just made stupid mistakes that cost us. I started with the basics last year. I can see their improvement already.”

When Govern took the job, he did it with a focus of making the program good.

He’s starting to get cooperation from the recreational leagues in the Southmoreland school district, and he’s entered a Southmoreland-only team in some leagues. The current group of freshmen won a title by defeating a team from Montour.

“They picked from 254 Little League players,” Govern said. “I picked from 34. It was nice to see the team have success. We want to build on that success.”

That’s why Govern would like to see the season resume sometime this spring.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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