Penn-Trafford grad looking for big season on mound, at plate for Washington & Jefferson
Sunday, March 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM
Tyler Horvat is beginning his final season for the Washington & Jefferson baseball team.
But it probably won’t be his final year of collegiate baseball.
The Presidents team captain plans to enter the transfer portal and play on the Division I or Division II level.
Horvat is the ace of the Presidents pitching staff and lead-off hitter and center fielder when he’s not on the hill.
Washington & Jefferson is 4-1 so far this season and Horvat has already left his mark. He’s 1-1 on the mound and is batting .315 with a team-high nine runs scored, two doubles and a triple.
In his first game, he allowed one run and one hit over five innings against Muskingum. He struck out eight. His next game didn’t go as well as highly ranked SUNY Oswego roughed him up over four innings.
Horvat said it was a valuable learning experience.
“He’s a legit two-way guy for us,” W&J coach Jeff Mountain said. “He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve been around. He’s a good man. He’s a top pitcher and a great lead-off hitter and he’s a tone setter.
“He’s taken his game to another level since he’s got here. And he did through the will to succeed and determination.”
Horvat, a 2019 Penn-Trafford grad, is a two-time NCAA Division III first-team All-American as a pitcher in 2022 and utility player in 2021.
And for the second consecutive season, he’s a D3baseball.com Preseason All-American.
In four seasons, Horvat is 19-2 with a 2.11 ERA. Last year, he hit .445 with 38 runs scored, 65 hits, 12 doubles, five triples and 30 RBIs. He had 34 RBIs in 2021.
Horvat said he has to look at all of his offers and decide which best fits him. But now, his focus is to lead W&J to a title and an NCAA playoff berth.
“My focus now is on this team and these guys and I owe everything to them right now,” Horvat said. “When I was getting recruited out of high school, I wanted the opportunity to play both ways in college. Coach Mountain gave me that opportunity, and I’m trying to do my best both ways and it’s worked out.”
Horvat said his job as a lead-off batter is to simply get on base because of the lineup behind him.
If he gets the opportunity to play at a higher level, his main focus will be pursuing an MBA.
His most memorable college moment was his walk-off hit to defeat Westminster last year.
“I want to lead this team to the World Series,” Horvat said. “We are the preseason favorite. We know that we’re going to get everyone’s best shot and we have to go out perform the best we can.”
W&J made it to the regional finals in 2022, losing to Rowan. Horvat wants this team to go further.
“We have a little more depth this season,” Horvat said. “Last year’s team was really good too. We have some young guys here working hard and we’ll see who steps up.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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