Blue Devil baseball team hopes to stay on top

Despite losing some key seniors, B-A 9 still returns talent


Emily Wagner

Nevin Wood winds up before throwing a pitch

Christina Kowalski, Sports/Social Media Editor

Last year the Bellwood-Antis Baseball team finished out its season 20-6 after losing in the District 6-AA championship and then moving on to the first round of the PIAA playoffs, where they lost to Neshannock 1-0.

The Blue Devils, which had a handful of seniors last year, will be forced to fill gaps all around the diamond. The Blue Devils lost pitcher Chad Luensman along with catcher and power hitter Trenton Creppage, both of whom are playing in college this year. Luensman is continuing his baseball career at Nebraska while Creppage is starting for Alleghany College of Maryland.

“I feel like we have big gaps to fill in crucial positions, but the young guys are working really hard,” said pitcher Cory Parson. “We have just as good of a chance to make districts this year as we did last year.”

They will be returning the following infielders: first baseman Joe Padula, second baseman Noah Burns, shortstop Nevin Wood, and third baseman Jack Showalter. Junior Jordan McKracken will also be returning to center field this year.

With the loss of Luensman, the pitching staff will have a new look. Last year Luensman led the team with 127 strikeouts and 5 shut outs. This year B-A will be rotating Cory Parson, Nevin Wood, Blake Johnston, and Sawyer Kline on the mound.

The Blue Devils will have a chance to be back-to-back ICC North champions and could have a run in the District 6 playoffs with the amount of talent they have returning this year.

In 2015 the Blue Devils only allowed 69 runs to be scored against them, averaging 2.7 runs given up per game. B-A had eight shut-outs and is looking to improve on that number this year.

“Our defense will be our strong point,” said head coach Steve Conlon.  “We have a lot of returning starters this year.”

On the offensive side of the ball, B-A always had their bats swinging in 2015, scoring 195 runs and averaging 7.5 runs per game. Though the Blue Devils lost a few of their power hitters, they should still have the power to outscore their opponents.

“We may struggle with hitting this year.  We lost a few power hitters, and hitting will be a challenge,” added Coach Conlon.  “The guys are working hard and getting better everyday.”

The Blue Devil’s first game will be March 29 at 4:30 when they host West Branch.