2012Friday Night Live965x150



Former Peters Township players making college impacts

Written by Mike White on .

Introducing the version of "Remember Them?"

Two former Peters Township baseball stars from the class of 2008 are doing big things on the college level.

Jim Rider, a shortstop, recently set the Kent State record for career hits and is this week's Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week. Rider (pictured) now has 316 career hits. He was 5 for 5 in a game last week against Penn State.

Rider, a senior, is hitting .361 this season and is fourth in the country in doubles with 21. He already has set Kent State's school record for defensive assists.

Meanwhile, former Peters Township home-run king J.J. Jankowski is making a big name for himself in college as a pitcher. After starting his career at Miami, Ohio, in the MAC, Jankowski transferred to Catawba College, an NCAA Division II in Salisbury, N.C. Catawba is a top 20 Division II program and Jankowski leads all of NCAA Division II baseball teams in the country in strikeouts with 126 in 90 innings.

Jankowski (pictured) has been selected the South Atlantic Conference co-Pitcher of the Year. Jankowski is 9-2 with a 3.79 ERA for a team that is ranked 14th in the country in Division II.

I have no idea where Rider and Jankowski stand as far as draft status. But it will be interesting to see if they are drafted. The funny thing is Jankowski was drafted in the 34th round coming out of high school -- as a catcher. He was known for his home-run hitting at Peters Township.


*** Seneca Valley graduate Cory Mazzoni is off to a fast start with the New York Mets Class A team in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Mazzoni (pictured), a pitcher, was taken in the second round of the draft last year out of North Carolina State. He is 3-0 so far this season and pitched five shutout innings Saturday with four strikeouts. Mazzoni has 24 strikeouts in 17 innings and his ERA is 3.00.

*** Scott McGough, a Plum graduate, is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA for Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., a Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. McGough has pitched 10 innings and has nine strikeouts.

*** Terran Senay, a South Park graduate, has played in 36 games for North Carolina State and started 29. He is batting .248 with 19 RBUs.

*** Matt Berezo, a former shortstop at Pine-Richland, has started 20 games for Duke and is batting .281. He has five doubles and two triples.

Duke pitcher Dillon Haviland, a freshman from South Fayette, is 1-1 with a 7.88 ERA. He has pitched 16 innings in 10 appearances.

*** Mercyhurst is having a good season in the PSAC with a 35-13 record, and a number of former WPIAL players are having impacts. Blackhawk graduate Ben Rawding has been selected the PSAC West Pitcher of the Year, while Freeport graduate Ryan Siegel is the PSAC West Freshman of the Year.

Rawdins is 8-0 with a 2.79 ERA, and 74 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings.

Siegel is batting .389 with 33 RBIs in 44 games.

Also for Mercyhurst, former Elziabeth Forward star Dan Altavilla was a first-team all-PSAC West selection. Altavilla, a freshman, has a 5-0 record with a 1.07 ERA. He has made 14 appearances, all in relief, and has 35 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. Altavilla was the Post-Gazette Player of the Year last season.



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