Sports Digest by Bill Byham

Bill Byham (WOL File Photo)

Bill Byham (WOL File Photo)

THANKS CUTTERS – The Williamsport Crosscutter season is history. A bunch of young men came here in June and played mix and match with several other guys in the same uniforms to finish a schedule with a record of one over .500 at 38-37.They played in the Pickney Division of the Short A NYPEN League and it is of baseball interest that Batavia and Jamestown finished the regular season in a flat footed tie in wins and losses. Auburn and Williamsport played to identical records of 38-37. That has to add up to one of of the tightest races ever in the division. Add to that the fact that Batavia and Jamestown ended up as the two finalists or the overall league championship.

The Cutters played some very interesting baseball. They had that combination of some solid starting pitching and their offense, though centered in just a few players, plated enough runs to keep the club in games.

Dusty Walthan was in his first year as a manager, Eric Valent was a rookie hitting coach while Bill Bliss was in his second season as the Cutter’s pitching coach.

Troy Hanzawa and Cody Overbeck were key performers in position players. Both played in all 75 games with Hanzawa hitting .297 and Overbeck finishing the season at .272 while leading the NYPEN with a league high 57 runs batted in. D’Darby Myers played in 50 games while batting .266 as the team’s fastest runner. Two players, one who came early and left early and one who came late and stayed, played in 48 games and were fan favorites. Travis D’Armaud was a top rated All Star catcher and was batting .309 when called up. Steve Susdorf arrived from being an NCAA D-1 baseball champion and batted .305 as a Cutter.

Robert Roth was not projected as a league leading pitcher but emerged as one with his 7-2 record and 3.39 ERA in 10 starts before injuries cut his season short. Justin De Fratus finished the season at 6-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts followed by Tyler Cloyd who carried an ERA of 4.50 with his 5-4 record in 12 starts. The bullpen had two strong leaders in B.J. Rosenberg with a team high 10 saves in 21 games while his buddy, Michael Schwimmer, the 6-8 right hander, had 8 saves in a team high 22 relief appearances.

Just a few of the names and numbers from the Crosscutters who gave us baseball at “their” best for the 2008 season at historic Bowman Field.

DANEKER IS 2 FOR 2 – Want to catch up with Pat Daneker. The former Loyalsock Twp. resident and high school standout in basketball and baseball recently saw his Staten Island Yankee pitching staff play their part in winning the McNamara Division of the NYPEN League.

Daneker was finishing his second season of being a pitching coach in professional baseball and has now seen his charges win back to back division championships. In 2007 he was the pitching coach for the Calgary Vipers of the Northern League as they won their division. In both years his teams failed to win their way to the league championship. Calgary lost in the final game of the league playoffs in 2007 and Staten Island dropped two straight to Pickney Division champion Jamestown in closing out their season.

Father Reese Daneker tells this corner that, “Pat is very happy doing what he is doing. I happen to think he is very good at what he does and it is obvious his pitching staff respects him.”

The road from Loyalsock Township to Staten Island has been a definite test of forming the Pat Daneker persona.

From high school to the University of Virginia for 3.5 years before the Chicago White Sox signed him. His pro start was in the Short A Appalachian League. Then Long A at Hickory to High A at Winston Salem. His next season opened at Double A Birmingham. The big league White Sox brought him up to the major leagues that season where he pitched in several games resulting in a major league career of three no decisions and an ERA of 4.20. At the All Star break he was sent down to Triple A and then began a character testing time as he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and then to the Cubs (both at Triple A level).

The next step saw Pat pitching in the Independent Atlantic League for three different teams but stepped away from baseball long enough to marry his fiance and pick up his Virginia degree just before he became a professional pitching coach.

Two winning seasons later Pat Daneker awaits his next challenge.

A YEAR AGO – The Lycoming College football Warriors had lost 31-6 to Ithaca one week before a tough to take 17-14 loss to Ursinus.

In week three Lycoming played neighboring arch rival Susquehanna with a plan to turn the season around with a win. Taking the opening kickoff Lycoming marched easily for a game opening score and lead.

When the final horn sounded though it was just “more of the same” as the Crusaders hung around with a stubborn ground game plus an even more stubborn defense.

With just minutes to go Susquehanna moved toward the Lycoming goal. Almost yard by yard. Maybe even inch by inch. It was a collision of young men at the line of scrimmage which Susquehanna won.

The win was sealed by a field goal. A final score of 17-13 Susquehanna. The second week in a row a field goal had spelled the difference between a win or a loss.

This Saturday the 0-1 Warriors will face the 1-1 Crusaders in the Warrior home opener.

Mike Clark’s Warriors, losers to Ithaca by 17-16 score two weeks ago, are coming off a bye week while Susquehanna was edging Juniata 10-3 with an outstanding defensive effort.

Kickoff time is 1:30 P.M.

FOR THE RECORD – Penn College won their Wildcat Invitational golf outing last week 6-0. That takes PCT to a current mark of 150 and 0 in this sixth consecutive season of all winning play.

That’s 30

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  • annie byham  On March 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    hi grampy!good job on your articles! i miss you! can’t wait to see u again! bye!

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