There have been many impressive starts from some area baseball teams so far this season.
West Chester Rustin, led by the torrid hitting of Charlie Concannon, has rocketed out to a 9-1 record and a four game lead over Unionville in the Ches-Mont American Division.
In the National, Downingtown West and West Chester East are tied for the league lead at 8-2 and both have had some flashes of being able to do quite well in district playoff play.
But, the most impressive and maybe surprising team this season is Central League leading Conestoga. A year removed from a berth in the PIAA Class AAAA finals, the Pioneers, who lost 18 seniors from their roster of last season, are 8-1 overall and 8-0 in league play.
The only returnees for coach John Vogan’s squad are Brendon Little (committed to North Carolina), junior Tim Miller and Ryne Ogren (committed to Elon), who is hitting over .600 with four doubles, two triples and a home run to go along with 11 RBI’s.
In his 11 years with Conestoga, Vogan has raised the bar at with the program as his teams continually excel on the field. Vogan says this years group knows the expectations of Conestoga baseball and responded well.
“The kids all play for each other and the three guys who we had coming back have shown the younger guys what it is like to practice hard and work hard,’ Vogan said. “These kids just love to play baseball. They are baseball players and they work at what they do very hard. Brendon, Tim and Ryne have picked up their games from last season and are great leaders.
“The most surprising thing is that all of the young guys have stepped up and are doing it on the varsity level for the first time. Mark Anderson pitched a great game the other day shutting out Marple-Newtown, a team we have not beaten in four years. We are getting good efforts from the entire roster and they all play for each other and pull for each other. It is a fun thing to be around. And they know the expectations here and the past success and they have embraced that.’
Conestoga has a big week coming up as they host second-place Penncrest today and visit an improved Radnor squad on Thursday. The names and faces change but Pioneers baseball continues to excel under Vogan.
Unionville has two very hot hitters in Eric Takoushian Drew Jarmuz. The pair, which bat No. 2 and No. 3 in the order, are both hitting over .440. If the Indians make the plays in the field, they will be a tough out in the district playoffs, which are not that far away.
West Chester East started the season at 8-0 but lost two games last week to put them in a first place tie with Downingtown West. The pair have not met this season and will play each other twice next week to likely decide the Ches-Mont National title.
Strange stat of the week: In West Chester Rustin’s 9-1 win over Bishop Shanahan Friday, Eagles pitchers walked 14 batters.
Tough feat in a seven inning game.
DAILY LOCAL NEWS
Baseball Top 10
1. Malvern Prep (11-4): Nice league win over Episcopal for the Friars.
2. Conestoga (8-1): Pioneers look tough in Central League.
3. W.C. Rustin (9-1): Golden Knights keep cruising along.
4. Downingtown West (8-2): Whippets are tied for first place in National.
5. W.C. East (8-2): Vikings lost two in a row.
6. Devon Prep (7-0): Tide will battle Holy Ghost Prep in Bicentennial.
7. Downingtown East (6-5): Cougars have lost some tough ones.
8. Avon Grove (6-5): Red Devils are coming on.
9. Unionville (5-5): Indains can hit the baseball.
10. Coatesville (5-6): Red Raiders have won three in a row.