Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Brandon Bowser Named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team

NEW ORLEANS University of New Orleans junior outfielder Brandon Bowser earned recognition Thursday by being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI second team in a vote of sports information representatives from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Bowser, a native of Roaring Spring, Pa., holds a 3.76 in mechanical engineering at UNO and made the President’s List in his first two semesters at UNO last season. Bowser, as well as the rest of his Privateer baseball teammates, spent the fall at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.

On the field, Bowser is hitting. 322 with two home runs and 31 runs batted in 46 games played (44 starts), to go along with a team-best 15 doubles, a triple and 25 stolen bases. Last season, Bowser was the Louisiana Newcomer of the Year as well as earning second team All-Sun Belt honors. The centerfielder for the Privateers was a preseason all-league pick this season.

Here is a list of the first and second team winners:

FIRST TEAM: pitchers Edward Degerman, Rice; Brooks Dunn, Mississippi State; catcher Zach Dillon, Baylor; infielders Ryan Rohlinger, Oklahoma; Marc Maddox, Southern Miss; Jason Long, New Mexico State; Mark Hamilton, Tulane; Ian Hollick, New Mexico; outfielders Drew Stubbs, Texas; Aaron Ivey, Oklahoma, Jacob Stover, UALR; Utility/DH Chris Carlson, New Mexico.

SECOND TEAM: pitchers Craig Crow, Rice; Trey Holloway and Charley Boyce, Arkansas; catcher Brian Walker, Arkansas; infielders Brian Friday, and Joe Savery, Rice; Trey Sutton, Southern Miss; outfielders Bowser, UNO; Drew Holder, Dallas Baptist; Tyler Henley, Rice; Michael McKennon, Texas-San Antonio; Utility/DH Jeff Mandel, Baylor.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Panther Coach Defeats Mentor

By Matt Adamiak

BEDFORD - Northern Bedford High School baseball coach Scott Burda is a
1994 graduate of Portage High School, and played baseball there for
current Mustangs coach Larry McCabe.

On Monday evening, Burda's squad got the best of his mentor's team,
defeating the Mustangs, 7-4, in the first round of the PIAA Class A
playoffs at Bedford High School.

Portage finished its season at 15-9. The Black Panthers improved to
17-6, and will meet Christopher Dock Thursday.

''I have mixed emotions,'' Burda said. ''I know some of the players on
their team (Portage), and I hate to see them lose. But I bleed black,

"My hat goes off to Scotty, because he's a total class-act,'' McCabe
said. ''I love the way he coaches. I'm so proud of him."

With a 1-0 lead, the Black Panthers scored four runs, while sending nine
batters to the plate, in the bottom of the second inning. Dylan
Snowberger's two-run single plated Ethan Boy and Ian Feathers
highlighted the scoring.

In the top of the third inning with one out, the lightning and rain
came, and the game was delayed for 58 minutes. When the game resumed,

Panthers pitcher Kellen Stiffler returned and threw 3 2/3 scoreless
innings, until he was finally scored on when Eric Dividock scored Ray
George on a sacrifice fly. Stiffler carried a no-hitter into the top of
the sixth when George finally broke it up with a single.

''He (Stiffler) was able to locate his fastball tonight, and his
curveball came along in the middle innings,'' Burda said.
''He still looked really good after the first delay. I couldn't ask for
anything more from Kellen tonight.''

In the bottom half of the sixth, No. 9 hitter - Justin Claar - hit a
two-out solo home run over the left centerfield screen to give the Black
Panthers a 7-1 lead. Immediately after the homer, the lightning and rain
forced a 40-minute delay. When the rain and lightning let up, the
Mustangs came to the plate in the seventh, and every player turned their
cap inside out. They were able to get to Stiffler a bit, scoring three
runs, thanks to RBIs from Dividock and Martella. But it was too little,
too late.

''They wanted to put on our rally caps, and I thought we made a
statement in the seventh inning,'' McCabe said. ''We showed that the
game wasn't over yet.''

Stiffler allowed just six hits and four runs, while striking out five
and walking just two. Oberman, Snowberger and Claar each had a pair of
hits for the Black Panthers.

PORTAGE (4): Dividock 2b 301, Murphy cf 400, Bilchak 3b 211, McCabe c
311, Spaid 1b 300, Martella dh 311, Maul p 000, Bandzuh p 000, Kiell rf
301, George lf 311, Petryshak ss 200. Totals - 26 4 6.

NORTHERN BEDFORD (7): Oberman ss 412, Bowser cf 300, Weber lf 210,
Wagner 1b 301, Stiffler p 000, Boyd dh 210, I. Feathers 3b 210,
Snowberger c 302, D. Feathers cr 010, Hart rf 310, Claar 2b 312. Totals
- 25 7 7.

Score by Innings

Portage 000 001 3 - 4 6 4

Northern Bedford 140 011 X - 7 7 1

E - Petryshak 2, Maul, Bilchak, Oberman. 2B - Martella. HR - Claar. Sac
bunt - I. Feathers. SF - Dividock. HBP - Weber. DP - Portage 1, Northern
Bedford 1. WP - Stiffler. LP - Maul. SO - Maul 4, Stiffler 5. BB - Maul
1, Stiffler 2.

Records: Portage (15-9); Northern Bedford (17-6).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Panthers 'Love' Their Pitching

By Philip Cmor

FISHERTOWN From catcher Dylan Snowberger’s description, Northern Bedford pitcher John Love almost morphed into a cartoon character as the screamer off the bat of Matt Stahl scorched directly at him.

“His eyes got really big,’’ Snowberger said through his laughter.

Eyes wide open, Love knocked the ball down, gathered himself, picked it up, jogged toward first and then flipped the it to Steve Wagner for the final out in what was eye-opening pitching performance of his own.

Love held previously-unbeaten Meyersdale’s powerful offense scoreless for the first six innings on a pair of hits as his Black Panthers captured the District 5 Class A baseball championship, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon at Chestnut Ridge High School.

Dan Oberman homered, scored Northern’s third run and drove in the fourth to help the Panthers raise their record to 16-6. NBC will play District 6 runnerup Portage Monday at Bedford High School in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. The Panthers built a 4-0 lead before Drew Wiltrout’s two run homer brought Meyersdale within two.

With the tying run on first, though, Love struck out Jeff Miller and fielded Stahl’s hard hit to end it. A physically-imposing junior right-hander, Love finished with a four-hitter.

“I was nervous. I wouldn’t admit it, but I was definitely nervous coming into the game,’’ Love said. “I was just throwing strikes with my fastball, really. They were hitting it, and my defense was making plays. My curveball was working, but I basically stayed with fastballs.’’

Meyersdale entered the game 23-0, averaging more than 10 runs and never having scored fewer than five before yesterday. But Love only needed 65 pitches to get through the first six innings, although he allowed three walks in that span.

Red Raider coach John Wiltrout hadn’t been expecting to face Love. He thought NBC coach Scott Burda would throw Wagner, another big righty.

“Our scouting report said Wagner, Love and (Kellen) Stiffler were all very similar,’’ Wiltrout said. “Pitching was irrelevant in our scouting report, although it didn’t turn out to be irrelevant today.’’

Stiffler had two-hit Conemaugh Township in the semifinals Thursday
in fact, NBC pitching allowed just three hits between the first inning of that game and the seventh inning of the championship.

“John and Kellen (Stiffler) have probably been our two most consistent pitchers all season, so it wasn’t that much of a decision to go with Johnny. The last few weeks, he’s probably been throwing the best out of everybody, and Kellen threw (Thursday),’’ Panther coach Scott Burda said.

Before the seventh, Love’s biggest trouble came in the fourth, when Bobby Hartman singled to lead off and got to third on a groundout and a wild pitch. Love, though, fanned Adam Horning and got Drew Wiltrout to fly out to emerge unscathed.

Love also benefitted from a lot of solid defense. The Panthers didn’t commit an error, and second baseman Justin Claar and left fielder Luke Weber both made a pair of nice catches on well-hit balls.

“The pitching’s been there all year, but the defense is really coming around,’’ Snowberger said.

“We just wanted to get outs,’’ Oberman said. “The big thing was to get outs. We had a cushion, and we used it.’’

Oberman played a big part in getting the Panthers that cushion. With his team holding a 1-0 lead after Claar singled in Zach Hart, Northern’s diminutive shortstop stepped to the plate and drove an 0-1 Stahl offering over the fence in right-center.

“I never hit a home run before. I think the wind got ahold of it. I never hit one in little league, either,’’ Oberman said. “I was just trying to hit it, to make contact.’’

NBC added important insurance runs in the sixth and seventh to send the Panthers to their first district title since 2000, when they also beat Meyersdale 4-2 in the final. It’s Northern’s fifth championship in the last 20 years.

“It’s a great feeling,’’ Burda said. “This has been a long time coming for Northern Bedford. We’ve always been a good baseball program, and it feels good to restore the team to that stature.’’

“I thought we might get this far, and I was hoping I would be the one to take it all the way,’’ Love said. “It’s all for the seniors. I just wanted to give back to them.’’

Game notes: Stahl pitched a six-hitter. He struck out nine, five of those coming on the first time through the order. ... Burda is a 1994 Portage grad and played for current Mustang coach Larry McCabe. ... This will be a rematch of a game from Portage’s tournament. The Mustangs defeated the Panthers on May 7.

NORTHERN BEDFORD (4): Oberman ss 322, Bowser cf 300, Weber lf 300, Wagner 1b 201, Love p 000, Boyd dh 301, I. Feathers 3b 300, Snowberger c 100, D. Feathers cr 000, Hart rf 210, Claar 2b 211, Brown ph 101. Totals

MEYERSDALE (2): R. Donaldson rf 300, Miller cf 200, Stahl p 401, Hetz 3b 300, Hartman dh 301, Haulk lf 000, Hersch 1b 300, A. Horning c 200, Walker cr 010, Wiltrout ss 211, M. Donaldson 2b 301. Totals


Northern Bedford 002 001 1
4 6 0

Meyersdale 000 000 2
2 4 2

Stahl, Hersch. DPMeyersdale 1. LOBNorthern Bedford 4, Meyersdale 7. 2BBoyd. HROberman, Wiltrout. RBIClaar, Oberman 2, Wagner, Wiltrout 2. SACBowser. CSHart, D. Feathers.


Northern Bedford: Love (W)
7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO.

Meyersdale: Stahl (L)
7 IP, 6 H, 4 R 4 ER, 6 BB, 9 SO.

Love 3.

Records: Northern Bedford (16-6); Meyersdale (23-1).

Umpires: Leon Cardiff (plate), Doug Williams (first), Ross Shinow (second), John Nakich (third).