Westmoreland notebook: Franklin Regional’s Bryce Harper opens recruitment

Saturday, May 11, 2019 | 7:30 PM

Like the deep-pocketed major leaguer with the same name, Franklin Regional baseball standout Bryce Harper is switching teams.

No, he’s not transferring, but the junior catcher is changing his college decision.

Harper decommitted from Virginia Tech, a program to which he committed as a freshman and is back on the market.

“It wasn’t a right fit for either side,” said Harper, who will help lead the No. 2-ranked Panthers into the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs this week. “I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to go that far away from home to play. My recruitment is open again.”

Word that Harper shifted gears spread quickly, apparently, as goes the hyper-drive-fast world of recruiting.

Harper, who makes an impressive throw to second base, said he has talked with Penn State, Pitt and West Virginia.

“This summer will be big for me to play in front of schools and go to their showcases again,” he said.

Not today

Three of the area’s top pitchers put together dominating efforts of late, with each tossing a no-hitter last week.

Yough standout senior Jarett Bach, a Pitt recruit, struck out 15 and held Derry hitless in a 5-1 win that secured a share of the Section 1-4A title for the Cougars.

Mt. Pleasant senior softball pitcher Carolyn Alincic, meantime, struck out 16 to blank Highlands, 5-0, in a no-hitter.

And Franklin Regional senior Andrew Muraco cruised through Woodland Hills’ lineup for a 3-0 win. He fanned 14.

Bach’s numbers

How good has Bach been this season for Yough?

Consider: Heading into the WPIAL playoffs, he is 6-0 with a 0.51 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched.

He has allowed just 16 hits.

Taking year off

Franklin Regional senior baseball player Jake Williams is headed to Yale to continue his academic and athletic careers — just not right away. Williams is taking a “gap year” before he enrolls at the Ivy League school.

It is the same thing former teammate Alex Frye is doing this year before joining Yale.

Williams plans to work with his online nonprofit business, mySportResume.com, which provides a portfolio for aspiring college student-athletes. He also will train, like a redshirt season.

Recruiting buzz

Hempfield softball player Laura Fox will play at Pitt-Johnstown. The senior center fielder is a former all-state player who has played on three WPIAL and PIAA title-winning teams.

Norwin junior quarterback Jack Salopek picked up an offer from Penn.

• Colgate is the latest school to offer Ligonier Valley junior lineman Michael Petrof.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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