PSUAC: End of season awards announced
The Penn State Mont Alto baseball program swept the end of season awards as announced by the PSUAC on Thursday as they were headlined with Hayden Kissel (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area) being named PSUAC West Player of the Year and Zach Garlin (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) was recognized as both the PSUAC West Pitcher and Newcomer of the Year.
The Nittany Lions had a total of seven student-athletes named PSUAC All-Conference and head coach Shawn Kissel was named PSUAC Coach of the Year as voted on by his peers.
Hayden Kissel (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area) has been an immediate contributor to Mont Alto after transferring from Ashland University. Kissel is slashing .385, which includes 11 doubles and three homeruns. He has driven in a team-best 30 runs this season, which is third best in the USCAA. The junior is a sure thing in the field with a .986 fielding percentage and tossed six innings this year for a perfect 0.00 ERA. He was also named to the PSUAC First Team.
Despite being just a freshman, Zach Garlin (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) became an ace on the bump for the Nittany Lions with a perfect 6-0 record through the regular season. The lefty has worked 49.2 innings so far with an ERA of 3.99, while striking out 59 batters. He ranks second in the entire USCAA in punchouts entering postseason play as he also was named to the PSUAC West First Team.
Junior outfielder Chance McClure (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area) has started 26 games so far and has arguably been Mont Alto’s most consistent hitter along the way to leading them to a 22-3 regular season record. He was also named to the First Team as he is currently slashing .418, which is fifth best in the PSUAC and ranks tenth in the USCAA.
McClure has managed the most hits on the team (38) and is the most versatile defensively moving. He plays second base, shortstop, right field and has made three saves for the Nittany Lions. He has thrown 10.0 innings, while managing 13 strikeouts with a 0.90 ERA.
Fellow outfielder Brady Bigler (Saint Thomas, Pa. / James Buchanan) was recognized on the PSUAC West First Team after his outstanding contributions. Bigler has been Mont Alto’s starting center fielder all season long. He managed a .250 batting average, which includes three doubles, a triple and a homer. He’s flashed his speed in the field all season with 39 putouts and eight stolen bases entering the 2021 postseason.
Headlining the Mont Alto student-athletes recognized on the PSUAC Honorable Mention team was junior shortstop Jared Pine (Mercersburg, Pa./James Buchanan) who has been the table setter atop the Mont Alto lineup all season long. Pine is hitting a team-best .514, which is also third best within the USCAA. He’s managed 10 extra base hits including legging out an inside the park home run against Penn State Beaver. He’s a menace on the base paths totaling 21 stolen bases while also scoring 36 runs and 18 RBIs so far this season.
Matt Huston (McConnellsburg, Pa./McConnellsburg), who has been used by the Mont Alto coaching staff as the No. 1 starter, has worked 42.2 innings along the way to picking up 4 wins for Mont Alto, who captured the No. 1 seed in the PSUAC West.
Last but certainly not least, Mont Alto’s first baseman Jarrett Goodyear (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) was recognized on the PSUAC Honorable Mention Team. The freshman has been the Nittany Lions top power hitter with four home runs. That’s second best in the PSUAC. He’s also managed seven doubles and two triples, while hitting .299 and driving in 23 runs to date.
For the first-time in his career, Darian Mort (Fairfield, Pa. / Fairfield Area) was selected as the team’s John Fritz Sportsmanship Award winner. Named after former PSUAC Commissioner John Fritz, the sportsmanship award is given to one player from each team in the league who best displays the core values of the league and sportsmanship to teammates and opponents throughout the season.
Mont Alto now plays the remaining games of the PSUAC Tournament in a double elimination format at Showers Field in DuBois, Pa.
PSUMA is the No. 1 seed in the PSUAC West. With Saturday’s win they take on Penn State Brandywine on Sunday, May 9th at 2 p.m.