Lewistown's Elliot Searer is having quite a freshman year with the Penn State baseball team. It hasn't taken long for the redshirt freshman to put his name into the record books.
Recently, Searer put together a 17-game hitting streak, which was tied with three other players for ninth all-time for the Nittany Lions. The streak is tied for sixth in a single season.
The streak started on March 27 against Hofstra (2 games) and continued against Kent State (2); Illinois (3), Bucknell, Northestern (3), Pittsburgh, Purdue (3), Duquesne and Mount Saint Marys. The streak included 10 games at home and seven road contests.
The streak was stopped on Friday against Ohio State in Columbus. The next day, Searer responded by getting five hits, which matched 12 other players for most hits in a game by a Penn State player. Searer is currently hitting .368, second on the team. He has scored 24 runs, has 42 hits with two doubles, one triple and 14 RBIs.
Indian Valley's Ben Yoder was named the Patriot League's player of the week for Bucknell University. Yoder, a senior, from Belleville scored the game-winning run against Navy on April 17 in the first game of the Bucknell's doubleheader. On April 18, he smashed a fourth inning home run for a 1-0 win in a Bucknell doubleheader sweep.
It was the second career player of the week award as he won once as a junior. For the week of April 12, Yoder hit .462 with one home run, two doubles, scored three times and knocked in six runs.
Five players from the Juniata Valley are on NCAA Division I teams and all five are having big years.
Searer has already put his name into the Penn State record book.
Three of the players are at Bucknell: Yoder (Indian Valley) leads the Bision in hitting with a .406 average. Andrew Brouse (Midd-West) is hitting .352 and Ben Allen (Juniata) is at .318 Allen leads the in hits with 62; Brouse leads in home runs with 14 and RBI's 46, while Yoder leads the team in hitting with a .406 average. All three are seniors.
The trio have combined for 128 runs, 171 hits, 24 home runs and 107 RBIs.
Another Division I player is Devon Pearson (Indian Valley), who is pitching for Delaware. The Blue Hen sophomore has appeared in 15 games and has a 2-0 record. Pearson has the second lowest ERA on the team at 4.00. Pearson has pitched in 36 innings and also has three saves.
At Bloomsburg University, a Division II school, Chris Tressler (Lewistown) is wrapping up his career with a solid senior campaign. He is hitting .306 with 38 hits, two triples, five doubles and two home runs. Tressler has knocked in 26 runs.
Nick Eversole (Indian Valley), a freshman catcher for Bloomsburg, has seen limited action. He has a .240 average with four RBIs, four doubles and six hits.
Kyle Heane, a junior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, picked up his first win of the season on April 20 with a complete game against Seton Hill. He allowed eight hits and struck out four. Heane (Indian Valley) has appeared in six games, starting two. He has pitched 19.2 innings, walked 11 and struck out 13.
At Juniata College, Johnny Martinez, a junior, is hitting .410. Martinez (Mount Union) has played in 30 games and has scored 26 runs and has 41 hits. Included in those hits are seven doubles and four home runs. He has knocked in 31 runs.
Another Mount Union product, Cole Walters, a freshman, has a .245 average on 12 hits with one double and three RBI. He has played in 20 games for Juniata.
In other campus news, Nick Beamenderfer (Lewistown), a freshman, has a .208 average in nine games for La Roche College in Pittsburgh. Beamenderfer has five hits and four of them came in conference play (Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference). Beamenderfer has knocked in three runs. Casey Zimmerman (Lewistown) also is a freshman at La Roche, but has not played due to an injury.
Scott Brown (Lewistown) has played in six games for Pitt-Johnstown. The sophomore catcher is one for three with a .333 average. At Elizabethtown College, Zach Mills (Juniata) has a 2-0 record and has appeared in five games. He has 6.75 ERA and has pitched eight innings, walking two and striking out four.
Four of the local players had their photos on the cover of their respective university's media guides: Tressler at Bloomsburg and Allen, Brouse and Yoder at Bucknell. However, hard copies of the media guides are not available - the guides are available only online.
On April 21, I got to see the pitcher that everybody has been talking about in central Pennsylvania. The Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A team of the Washington Nationals, played a morning game against the Reading Phillies. Stephen Strasburg, the Senators' rookie pitcher and the No. 1 draft choice from San Diego State, did not disappoint.
Strasburg went five innings and gave up just one hit and walked one. He struck out six and in the fifth inning he threw 16 pitches and averaged 91.2 mph. He threw an assorment of pitches from change-ups to fast balls. Overall he finished with 68 pitches in five innings.
Ray Wilde is a Sentinel correspondent.