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3 from PAC, 2 from Central League among Pa. roster for Big 26 Baseball Classic

The Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority (HHSE) announced Monday the final roster for Team Pennsylvania in the 2018 Big 26 Baseball Classic.

Incoming juniors and seniors from across the state were invited to try out for what will be the sixth edition of the event to be played at FNB Field, home of the Harrisburg Senators, in Harrisburg July 19-22. Pennsylvania will once again play host to Maryland.

Districts 1 and 3 are best represented on the 26-player squad that features 20 rising seniors and six rising juniors.

Out of District 1, three Pioneer Athletic Conference players made the team: Owen J. Roberts catcher Jordan Siket (2019), Spring-Ford pitcher Jake Skrocki (2019) and Upper Merion infielder Anthony Swenda (2020). Additionally, Penncrest infielder Matt Arbogast (2019) and Strath Haven catcher Brady Mutz (2019) will represent the Central League while Faith Christian pitcher Carter Heller (2019) was also selected.

A sizeable Berks County contingent includes: Wilson pitcher Brady Dallas (2019), Wilson outfielder Brady Gibble (2020), Daniel Boone pitcher Matt Henderson (2019), Twin Valley outfielder Dominick Kennedy (2019), Daniel Boone outfielder Chase Lacey (2019), Kutztown pitcher Trevor Leverington (2019), Exeter infielder Trey Paige (2019), Oley Valley catcher Zack Pellock (2019) and Oley Valley infielder Gravin Troutman (2019).

North Penn head coach Kevin Manero will serve as head coach along with assistants Brian Fili (Strath Haven) and Rick Harrison (Oley Valley). Dave Eckley serves as team coordinator.

The four-day event begins with a Buddy Challenger game on July 19 (5:15 p.m. with players assisting children and young adults ages 5-21 with physical and/or intellectual disabilities before a three-game series between Pa. and Md. July 20-22 (7:05 p.m. on July 20; 4:30 p.m. on July 21; 1:35 p.m. on July 22). Pennsylvania leads the series 3-2.

The Big 26 Baseball Classic is under HHSE oversight for the first time due to the untimely passing of Dave Trimbur, former Big 33 Foundation Executive Director and founder of the Big 26. The Big 26 event was not played in 2017 during the management change.

“It was important to the Dauphin County Commissioners that this event continue in our region, so we were honored to be able to pick up the mantle and work hard to put this event on a path for growth and increased visibility,” said HHSE Executive Director Gregg Cook. “We’re thankful for the commissioners’ support for this event and for sports & events tourism throughout the Hershey Harrisburg region.”

“This is an incredible opportunity for high school baseball players,” said Director of Baseball Operations Mike Gingerich. “There is value in the tryout process because college scouts are on hand to evaluate talent regardless of final roster decisions. There is value in being selected to the team for a second opportunity to be seen by scouts and in having a taste of minor league atmosphere with team housing at Penn State Harrisburg and the player experience at FNB Field.

“There is value in the Buddy Challenger Game experience. Our players over the years have consistently said that Challenger night is what they take with them as the most impactful experience of the event.”

The complete Pa. roster:
Matt Arbogast | Infield | Penncrest HS ’19
Carson Barge | Outfield | Upper Dauphin Area HS ‘19
Brady Dallas | Pitcher | Wilson HS ‘19
Nick Embleton | Dual Position – Pitcher & Infield | East Pennsboro HS ‘19
Brady Gibble | Outfield | Wilson HS ‘20
Carter Heller | Pitcher | Faith Christian Academy ‘19
Matt Henderson | Pitcher | Daniel Boone HS ‘19
Ryan Jacobs | Dual Position – Pitcher & Outfield | Susquehanna Township HS ‘19
Dominick Kennedy | Outfield | Twin Valley HS ‘19
Jonathan LaBarbera | Infield | Cedar Crest HS ‘20
Chase Lacey | Outfield | Daniel Boone HS ‘19
Trey Law | Infield | Cedar Cliff HS ‘19
Trevor Leverington | Pitcher | Kutztown Area HS ‘19
Tyler Long | Infield | Annville-Cleona ‘20
Jake Madden | Pitcher | East Pennsboro HS ‘20
Brady Mutz | Catcher | Strath Haven HS ‘19
Brevin Neveker | Outfield | New Oxford HS ‘20
Trey Paige | Infield | Exeter Township HS ‘19
Zack Pellock | Catcher | Oley Valley HS ‘19
Ryan Pepler | Infield | Central York HS ‘19
Braden Petty | Infield | Big Spring HS ‘19
Jordan Siket | Catcher | Owen J. Roberts HS ‘19
Jake Skrocki | Pitcher | Spring-Ford HS ‘19
Aaron Snyder | Dual Position – Pitcher & Outfield | Lampeter-Strasburg HS ‘19
Anthony Swenda | Infield | Upper Merion HS ‘20
Gavin Troutman | Infield | Oley Valley HS ‘19
Ticket information and the registration link for the Challenger Game can be found at www.big26.com.

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