Pitt recruit Bach hopes to lead Yough baseball to postseason

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 7:36 PM


Yough’s baseball team made a late run to end the 2018 season, and that carried over to a successful American Legion season in the summer.

That success gives Yough baseball coach Craig Spisak a reason to be optimistic for the 2019 season.

Yough returns one of the best pitchers in the WPIAL — senior Jarett Bach, a Pitt recruit.

The pitching staff will be headed by the 6-foot-4 left-hander who was clocked between 88-90 mph in a recent scrimmage against Norwin. He also had a double and single in the contest.

But Spisak and Bach know if Yough is to continue its rise and challenge for a section title, more players have to step up.

“I think we have more experience this year, and we’re maturing,” Bach said. “It has to be a group effort. We probably have six or seven pitchers who can get us some innings.”

Spisak said he can’t have enough pitchers and won’t overload Bach.

Other pitchers include senior Dom Koch, juniors Mike Bell, Steve Manon, Nate Wilkins, Joel Nemec and Ray Halahurich and sophomore Vincent Martin.

All those players will play other positions, as well. Bell also plays first and third base, Halahurich third and the outfield, Koch left field, Manon catcher and third base, Wilkins at shortstop and Martin in right field.

The center fielder is senior Noah Manns, the second baseman is junior Cody Ulander and junior Caden Kastronis will catch and play outfield.

Manns said the team’s experience will be the key.

“We have a bunch of juniors who played a lot last year,” Manns said.

Spisak said if the team plays defense and hits, there is no reason why the Cougars can’t challenge for a playoff spot with the likes of Knoch, Greensburg Salem, Mt. Pleasant and Derry.

“We have a lot more depth this season,” Spisak said. “We’ll have people pushing each other at every position. We have kids who aren’t concerned about their statistics; they’re more concerned about wins.”

Yough finished 6-8 in the section last season behind Knoch, Freeport, Greensburg Salem and Deer Lakes. Freeport and Deer Lakes dropped to Class 3A and were replaced by Mt. Pleasant in Section 1-4A.

“I think we’re going to surprise every team in the section,” Koch said. “We have more experience, a lot of three-year and two-year starters.

“There are a lot of battles for starting jobs. Nothing is guaranteed. We’ll have a lot more depth.”

Yough heads south to open the season at the Disney Complex in Orlando on Friday against Hatboro-Horsham.

Spisak said the team is playing larger schools, but he expects them to be up for the challenge. He said he’ll find out a lot about the team during the trip.

But if the pitching stays strong, Yough could be in the thick of the playoff race.

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

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