Baseball Looks to Rebuild

| Sunday, April 2, 2017, TRIB-LIVE

After posting a 12-8 record (8-2 in section) and securing a trip to the WPIAL playoffs last year, the Fox Chapel baseball team will be looking at a lot of new faces on the diamond.

Nine players from last year’s squad graduated.

“This year’s team has 12 players that will not have played a varsity game until this season,” FC coach Michael Frank said.

The Foxes have five senior starters and letterwinners returning in Jacob Hughes (2B), Josh Kiefer (C), Nick McRandal (SS/P), Jake Mucci (3B/P) and Ben Rosen (OF).

The rest of the roster includes senior Elias Panos (OF); juniors Alex Miles (SS/P), Greg Humbert (P) and Reed Bursic (OF); sophomores Mitchell Miles (OF), Matthew Jerpe (3B), TJ Johnston (3B/OF), Jacob Gruden (OF/P), James Patterson (1B/C), Jonathan Simon (P/OF/1B) and Noah Marks (1B/P); along with freshman Alex McRandal (C).

“We will have strong senior leadership and a promising group of young players that are eager to improve each day,” Frank said. “The younger players are starting to become accustomed to varsity level baseball with the help of our returning letterwinners from last season.

“We’ve once again loaded our schedule with challenging nonsection games to prepare ourselves for the grind of section play. We’re excited to see what these kids can do.”

The Foxes will be in a new section with the change to six classifications.

They will compete in Section 1-5A with Armstrong, Hampton, Kiski Area, Mars, North Hills and Obama Academy.

“It’ll be interesting to see some of the new teams in our section that we have never played before like Armstrong, Hampton, Mars and Obama Academy,” Frank said. “We will see familiar faces in North Hills and Kiski Area, and they are always quality teams.”