Penn Hills’ Anthony Sciulli healthy, ready to anchor pitching staff

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Saturday, April 10, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Anthony Sciulli represents a blueprint for perseverance and overcoming obstacles.

The senior right-hander has developed into the unofficial ace of the Penn Hills pitching staff.

And that’s after going through years of injuries and diligent rehabbing.

“My biggest influences on my athletic career are my mom and also the injuries I have endured over my time in high school,” Sciulli said. “This is my first season that I’m healthy. I played these past three years with a torn-up knee. I didn’t get surgery on it until after each season. Battling an ACL tear and two meniscus tears from my freshman to my junior years has done nothing but fueled me to prove everyone wrong.”

The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Sciulli is a fourth-year letterman in baseball. He also earned two varsity letters in soccer as a center defensive midfielder.

Sciulli has stepped up this spring to provide a presence on the mound. He also plays second base.

“Anthony is on point so far this season and has been one of my great leaders on the team,” coach Rodney Stubbs said. “Anthony is one young man that you love having on the team. He’s a great student-athlete who leads by example.

“He knows his place in baseball and is that young man who is always ready to play.”

Added assistant head coach Dale Banks: “Anthony’s able to mix in his off-speed pitches very well with his fastball and has good placement at the plate.”

The Indians beat Hampton, 9-4, in their section opener April 6 . The Talbots returned the favor the next day, rolling to a 15-0 victory.

“Our first section game against Hampton was just a small glimpse of what’s yet to come,” Sciulli said. “Our strength this year comes from our lineup. Our batters can compete with any pitcher we face.

“Our other strength is our pitching staff. We have four solid pitchers that can come out and throw strikes and get the job done.”

Sciulli, who started playing baseball at age 4, utilizes a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball and knuckle-curve. He said he has been pleased with his all-around play this spring.

“My season has been right on track as I’m seeing the ball better and consistently making contact,” Sciulli said. “My fielding has shown improvement, as well. I’ve been making every play that is hit to me, and it’s only up from here.”

Sciulli plans to continue playing at Chatham. He will major in exercise science with the goal of obtaining a doctorate in physical therapy.

“What led me to Chatham was their great coaching staff led by D.J. Cannon,” Sciulli said. “They gave me high hopes of turning the baseball program around and continuing the growth of my skills. Another big thing was being accepted into (Chatham’s) Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, which is a prestigious honor and will help me accomplish what I want to do when my athletic career is over.”

Stubbs just wants Sciulli to stay healthy after putting so much time into preparing for this season.

“Our expectations are for him to grow and keep working hard for something we put so much hard work into in the offseason,” Stubbs said. “I think he will do fine at Chatham.”

Penn Hills has not had a winning baseball season since 2014 and has not qualified for the playoffs since 2010. Sciulli said the Indians have the potential to surprise people this year and make a postseason push.

“I see our team getting in the playoffs and making a deep run,” he said. “This is the year for us to accomplish this goal as I feel the group of guys we have has more heart and grit than anyone else.”

The pitching includes two other seniors, Josh Zambito and Josh Gerken, plus juniors Dominic Sullivan and Brandon Tierney. All are right-handers.

“Josh Zambito has high velocity and a good off-speed curveball,” he said. “Josh Gerken will not blow it by someone, but he’s smart on the mound knowing when throw certain pitches during an at-bat.”

Zambito also plays first base and catcher and is a University of Maine recruit. Gerken is a corner infielder, Sullivan plays center field and first base, and Tierney starts at shortstop.

Sullivan is a relief specialist for the Indians.

“Dominic simply throws strikes and does very well with getting us out of difficult innings in relief,” Banks said.

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