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Bulletin: Menschner sees potential in PHCC squad

February 10, 2013
The Patrick Henry Community College baseball team, shown above, will begin its season at noon today against Rappahannock Community College at Hooker Field. Team members pictured above are: (front row, from left) Josh DeHart, David Boston, John Reep, Justin Kime, Kyle Wrenn, Chaz Tanner, Paul Ragaglia, Ryan Robertson, Alex Brown, Kyle Hunt, Rickie Clark, Jordan Eubank, Jonathan Sandridge, Wyatt Kinney and Derek McKoy; (second row, from left) Gabe Jones, Associate Head Coach Scott Cates, Dillon Hall, Edgar Lozano, Dylan Dombrowskas, Zane Pitzer, Tyler Creel, Bill Steven, Ryan Dickt, Taylor Barrett and Student Assistant Coach Josh Haley; (third row, from left) Assistant Coach Zach Morris, Nick Love, Jason Turner, Jordan Kelly, Michael Sluja, Corey Haynes, Austin Brown, Tyler Belcher, Jake Watkins, Dakota Balser and Head Coach Paul Menschner; (back row, from left) Mike Wharton, Jake Austin, Will Hylton, Ethan Daniels, Josh Turner, Jarrod Nichols, Wesley Orfield, Patrick Love and Roy Stanford.

The Patrick Henry Community College baseball team, shown above, will begin its season at noon today against Rappahannock Community College at Hooker Field. Team members pictured above are: (front row, from left) Josh DeHart, David Boston, John Reep, Justin Kime, Kyle Wrenn, Chaz Tanner, Paul Ragaglia, Ryan Robertson, Alex Brown, Kyle Hunt, Rickie Clark, Jordan Eubank, Jonathan Sandridge, Wyatt Kinney and Derek McKoy; (second row, from left) Gabe Jones, Associate Head Coach Scott Cates, Dillon Hall, Edgar Lozano, Dylan Dombrowskas, Zane Pitzer, Tyler Creel, Bill Steven, Ryan Dickt, Taylor Barrett and Student Assistant Coach Josh Haley; (third row, from left) Assistant Coach Zach Morris, Nick Love, Jason Turner, Jordan Kelly, Michael Sluja, Corey Haynes, Austin Brown, Tyler Belcher, Jake Watkins, Dakota Balser and Head Coach Paul Menschner; (back row, from left) Mike Wharton, Jake Austin, Will Hylton, Ethan Daniels, Josh Turner, Jarrod Nichols, Wesley Orfield, Patrick Love and Roy Stanford.

By DOUG POWELL – Bulletin Sports Writer | Sunday, February 10, 2013

As always, Patriots aiming for Region X title

Patrick Henry Community College begins it’s quest for the World Series — which takes place this year in Enid, Okla. — today in the Patriots season opener.

The Patriots will take the Hooker Field diamond at noon today against Rappahannock Community College to open the spring season.

Last season the Patriots finished 29-22 while going 16-15 in Region X. The region features teams such as Southeastern C.C.-Whiteville, Pasco-Hernando C.C. and the league champion from last season, Catawba Valley C.C.

Coach Paul Menschner enters his third season with the Patriots after leading last year’s No. 6 seed squad to an upset win in the postseason against No. 3 seed Patsfield Hernando in the Region X Tournament, but then faltering in the following games to come. He has high hopes for this year’s team.

“We feel really good about our team,” Menschner said. “We had a very good fall. We were 14-3 in the fall and 7-0 against Region X teams. We told our guys all that that means is that we have the potential to be really good this spring, we just need to carry it over. The guys have been working very hard.

“The program and the success that we’ve had throughout it’s history has really set the bar high, so our goal every year is to win Region X — no doubt about it. It’s just a matter of whether we can go out and play well enough to do it.”

The 2013 Patriots will feature names that fans of the team will surely recognize. Most notably is redshirt-sophomore Bill Steven who is the club’s designated hitter and led the team in RBIs (24) and home runs (5) in 2012.

“Some of the biggest (players) we have is we return Bill Steven who was first-team All-Region X designated hitter last year,” Menschner said, “Chaz Tanner, who will be at second base, and we also have Jason Turner who is on the mound. One other returner for us is John Reep at first base.”

PHCC will also introduce new faces to it’s team this Spring, some of which are transfers from Junior Colleges and others who are getting their first shot on the collegiate diamond.

“We had a couple of real big ones that transferred in who we are expecting to be really big for us,” Menschner said. “One is Zane Pitzer in the outfield and Ryan Dickt catching. Pitzer transferred from Wallace State, which is a Junior College in Alabama, and Dickt transferred from Randolph Macon.”

Patrick County High School pitcher Dillon Hall will take the mound for the Patriots this season after signing with the Patriots in February of 2012. Hall and other newcomers look to make an impact for Menschner.

“A couple of new guys — freshman that we expect to make a big impact — are Edgar Lozano who is from Hillsborough, N.C. and Justin Kime,” Menschner said. “Those will both be middle infield. And we’ve got a couple of Piedmont District guys, Will Hilton, who will be the catcher, is from Bassett, and Tyler Belcher and Dillon Hall, they’ll both be pitchers for us from Patrick County.”

The Patriots have youth and veterans on their roster this season to bolster the club, but every year there seems to be an out-of-nowhere guy or two that steps up and adds a boost to the club.

Last season it was freshman outfielder Dylan Harvey who was named first-team all-Region X. Steven also stepped up and became a reliable asset to the team on offense.

This year, Menschner has his eye on a couple of other players that seem to fit the bill.

“One surprise has been Jordan Kelly,” Menschner said. “He transferred to us from Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia Beach. He’s really looked good so far, and we’ve really had some freshman bullpen guys who have really stepped up, and I think will play a really big role for us too.

“We have a nice mix, one thing I like is we have 13 overall returners, we also have three guys that will have their third year due to medical redshirt.”

Kelly, a Yorktown native, is a 6-foot-1 first-baseman that is a strong hitter and made contact well at TNCC. He had a .312 batting average and .437 slugging percentage in the 2011 season at TNCC.

The spring season for the Patriots looks to have great potential, Menschner believes, but he knows there is work to be done.

“If our young guys step up the way I think they will,” Menschner said, “we’ll have a very successful season.”

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