Penn Hills baseball’s Cole Yeager headed to Marietta College
Thursday, October 3, 2019 | 7:56 PM
Senior Cole Yeager had a baseball bat and ball in his hands at 2 years old, and the sport has played a critical role in his life up to this point. With his final season for Penn Hills approaching, Yeager has made a decision on where he will continue his athletic career.
Yeager announced his verbal commitment to attend Marietta College next fall via his Twitter account on Sept. 28.
During the recruitment process, Yeager fielded offers from Marietta, Heidelberg and Grove City. But after visiting Marietta on Aug. 30, Yeager decided he found the place he wanted to make his name for the next four years.
“The main thing I looked for in a campus was that it felt like it was home just in case something happened with baseball and I couldn’t play if I got hurt,” Yeager said.
“I would want to be at a place where I would want to stay for three or four years depending on if something happened. It felt like it was the best fit for me. Plus the coaches were really nice. They welcomed me as soon as I got to campus.”
During his junior season, Yeager finished with a .302 batting average, six RBIs and eight runs scored. On the mound, Yeager went 1-5 with a 6.34 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 15 walks in 32 innings pitched.
For his efforts, Yeager received Section 1-5A honorable mention honors.
Yeager’s performance flipped from his sophomore year when he finished with a better stat line on the mound with a 1-3 record, 2.59 ERA, 26 strikeouts and 13 walks in 27 innings. At the plate, Yeager finished with a .208 batting average, 11 runs scored and three RBIs.
In college, Yeager looks to continue to play shortstop and pitch for the Pioneers.
“I’m comfortable with doing both,” Yeager said. “If I’m forced to make a decision, it’s going to be a difficult decision. I feel like I can do well in both categories. I don’t think I will have any problem doing both in college.”
Marietta, which is part of the NCAA Division III Ohio Athletic Conference, finished with an 18-21 overall record last season, 8-10 in conference play.
While being recruited, Yeager loved the idea of getting some early playing time as a freshman with the Pioneers.
“They just told me I have a chance to start as a freshman,” Yeager said. “It’s a big thing for me because I would rather play right away. The only way to know if you’re good enough to play college baseball is play.
“It felt more comfortable for me instead of waiting a couple years and getting to know the feel of everything when I can just go right in and perform the way I can perform.”
Yeager, who plays with the All-American AAU team in Trafford, wanted to commit early so he could focus on his senior year in the classroom and on the baseball diamond.
“I don’t really have to think about it,” Yeager said. “It’s out of the way. I don’t have to think or stress about it when the season comes I can play the way I play.
“I knew there was going to be a fit for me somewhere to play college baseball. They gave me a chance and they trust me for the next four years and I trust them. I’m happy to be part of that family and that team and that program.”
Throughout his youth, Yeager played football, hockey and wrestling. Yeager loved baseball so much he decided to focus solely on the sport in middle school.
“I fell in love with the game at a young age,” he said. “I wanted to continue to do this as long as I can. Once I found out I could play in college, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I kept on working at it and working out and working on the field.”
Tags: Penn Hills
More Baseball• Former Penn-Trafford baseball star who died in Penn Township crash remembered
• Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin baseball loaded again
• Trib WPIAL boys basketball rankings: Week ending Jan. 25, 2020
• Longtime Neshannock baseball coach Mike Kirkwood resigns
• West Allegheny’s Austin Hendrick next WPIAL standout who could join MLB ranks