Penn Hills baseball sets simple goal: Playoffs

Sunday, March 12, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Rodney Stubbs made the goal for the Penn Hills baseball team a succinct one.

“I better get in the playoffs this year,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs, who stated the goal with a laugh, believes some of the upgrades the program was able to make will help the Indians out. Penn Hills, which finished 3-14 overall and 2-10 in section play last season, was able to get a new pitching machine in the offseason.

“The boys love it,” Stubbs said. “They are getting a good variety of pitching. We are hoping that will translate to on-field hitting.”

The Indians, who open the season March 20 with a home game against Burrell, will be trying to navigate through Section 1-5A. Penn Hills last made the WPIAL playoffs in 2010 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2014.

Penn Hills will be in a section with Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Penn-Trafford and Plum. The Indians will feature four seniors this season.

First baseman Kenny Boyle, who will also pitch, second baseman Shane Walker, shortstop James Lenny Duncan and third baseman Owen Williams will all be counted on to fill in key roles for the Indians.

Penn Hills had a hard time hitting last season. The Indians batted .199 as a team and lost their top three batters to graduation.

Connor Lehman will be behind the plate for Penn Hills.

Stubbs expects his pitching staff to be a deep one. Penn Hills has six or seven pitchers it will rely on throughout the season.

Edward Bowser and Boyle will be among the top of the rotation to start the season. The Indians will also lean on Williams and Chyno Spearman to throw some innings.

“They all have a fastball, curveball and some off-speed stuff to lean on,” Stubbs said. “We’ve been going there since October. We’ve been lifting weights and training all year.”

Stubbs is excited about what Penn Hills has to offer this season.

He believes the Indians will be able to challenge for the postseason in a section that has some tough competition. The WPIAL will be taking the top three teams in Class 5A to the playoffs this year.

“This team has bonded well,” Stubbs said. “I believe we will compete well this season. These guys work hard.”


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