Amid high hopes, Spartans set to play ball this weekend

By Jordyn Woodling

IT IS that time again.

By Feb. 28, the York College baseball team will have played their first three games down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The first two will be against Manchester University on Saturday and Sunday and their last against Cabrini University on Monday. The last time the Spartans faced Manchester was back in 2018 where they came up with an 8-6 victory. 

After their 2022 season ended in a 2-1 series defeat against Lebanon Valley, the Spartans (24-19 a year ago) are looking for a comeback. “We are not comparing this year to last year in any way,” coach Mike Scappa said. “Our goal for this years group is to accelerate their growth and talent level as quickly as possible in order to be ready to win a championship at the end of the season.”

Ranked No. 2 in the coaches preseason poll, there is a lot to be excited for in the upcoming season. With several of their starting players returning, and two of their pitchers being seniors, this young team is gearing up for the season. 

“We as a coaching staff are most excited with the improvements that we have seen from our young players,” Scappa said. “Each year there are certain guys who take a step forward with their skills and maturity…they are now ready to contribute to a winning effort.”

The Sparatans are bringing several key components to their lineup this spring, including infielders Andrew Santarpia and Brendan Martin in addition to outfielder Robby Elzinga.

Elzinga led the team last year with a .369 average and earned all-regional accolades from the ABCA, while also being named to the first team All-MAC Commonwealth honors last spring. Joining him, Santarpia earned himself an All-MAC honorable mention while having himself a terrific freshmen season by hitting .333. 

Graduate student AJ Vincenzi looks to continue what he started last season. With a 3.65 earned-run average, he was a top 5 pitcher in the MAC, earning himself a second team all-conference honors. 

“Our biggest strength will be our pitching and defense … with seniors Zach Reed and AJ Vincenzi back in the starting rotation along with a strong crop of sophomores this should be a staff that we can lean on to lead us,” Scappa said. “Our outfield will be the most experienced position group on the field for us. We also have 3 experienced catchers who have all started games for us in the past.”

Their first home game is set for March 1 against Rutgers-Camden University.

Jordyn Woodling is a sophomore sport management major

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Baseball photo by David Sinclair.


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