Hot start has Conestoga out in front of Central League
Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)11 Apr 2016Peter DiGiovanni Columnist
There have been many fast starts this scholastic baseball season, but maybe none more impressive than that of the Conestoga Pioneers.
Conestoga is 5-0 and at the top of the Central League race, having withstood the turmoil caused by the football hazing incident and subsequent resignation of head coach John Vogan. Vogan was also head football coach and for the last 13 years has turned the Pioneer baseball program into one of the best in the state. Conestoga captured the 2010 PIAA Class AAAA title and went to the finals again in 2014 before losing a heartbreaker to La Salle.
Enter junior varsity coach Kevin Pechin, who has been with the program for more than 15 years, including in 2003, when varsity coach Darien Threadgill was relieved of his
duties halfway through the season. Pechin came in and directed Conestoga to the District 1 Class AAA title and into the PIAA playoffs.
This Conestoga group has shown its resilience on its way to a 5-0 mark, defeating Garnet Valley and Haverford along the way, two teams that figured to battle the Pioneers for the Central League crown. The Pioneers are led by Tim Miller, who is already 2-0 on the mound and hitting .545 at the plate. Miller is the leader of the team and along with a potent lineup, heads the best pitching staff in the Central League alongside senior Mark Anderson and junior Angus Mayock.
Conestoga is getting the pitching it expected, but the Pioneers are also scoring a ton of runs. In their first five wins, Conestoga has averaged a more than seven runs per game, and the lineup is producing top to bottom, with Miller, Tom Fogarty, Luke Czepiel, Alex Lee and Greyson Avots leading the charge.
So, although there has been change at the top, Pechin and longtime assistant Jim Reynolds have
kept the kids focused on just playing Conestoga baseball, which is winning baseball.