Penn-Trafford baseball has new coach, same expectations

Monday, March 20, 2023 | 8:24 AM

Lou Cortazzo may be the new baseball coach at Penn-Trafford, but the goals haven’t changed.

The Warriors, who reached the WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinals in 2022, look to climb the ladder toward a possible title.

Cortazzo was named interim coach last month, taking over after Dan Miller was let go. Miller spent eight seasons at Penn-Trafford, where he compiled an 88-52-1 record. The Warriors were WPIAL Class 6A runners-up in 2019 and had made the playoffs the past six seasons.

Penn-Trafford athletic director Kerry Hetric did not give a reason for the coaching change.

“I’m excited to keep the program rolling,” Cortazzo said. “We return 10 starters, and I’m eager to see the program continue to grow.

“My immediate goal for the team is to win the section title. If we do that, then it will be to win a WPIAL title and eventually a PIAA title.”

Penn-Trafford defeated Hampton, 5-4, in the first round of the playoffs last year, but dropped a 6-5 decision to Peters Township in the quarterfinals.

Cortazzo said things have gone well since he took over.

He said the players are buying into what the coaches are asking for.

“They are working hard,” Cortazzo said. “I have no complaints about how they’ve been working.”

Penn-Trafford was scheduled to scrimmage North Allegheny on March 16 and Cortazzo was eager to see how some of the team’s young arms performed.

The Warriors welcomed back senior catcher Jakob Haynes, who missed the 2022 season while recovering from an injury. He’s committed to play college ball at Seton Hill.

But Cortazzo did get disappointing news when he learned that senior shortstop Jake Otto will miss the season while recovering from a football injury.

“He was not cleared by his doctor to play,” Cortazzo said. “We have two players — Brody Hoffman and Braden Stone — battling for that spot.”

Others back are junior center fielder Jason Sabol, senior first baseball Brady Lane, senior designated hitter Chuck Fontana, senior pitcher Nolan Marasti, senior pitcher Dylan Grabowski, junior catcher Ian Temple, junior outfielder Tyler Freas, senior infielder Peyton Bigler, junior pitcher Brandon Roher and junior outfielder Carmen Metcalfe.

The Warriors find themselves in a tough section along with Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Penn Hills and Plum.

Penn-Trafford was scheduled to open the season against Class 6A rivals at home, facing Norwin on March 17 and Hempfield on March 20.

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


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