College Corner: Dante Biasi wraps up comeback season at Penn State

By Bill Arsenault - For Times Leader
Penn State southpaw Dante Biasi made 13 starts for the Nittany Lions in 2018 after redshirting a year ago while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. - Penn State Athletics

Redshirt freshman Dante Biasi was a weekend starter for the Penn State baseball team this season, which marked his return to game action after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016.

Biasi — a 6-foot, 200-pound left-hander from Hazle Township and a Hazleton Area grad — finished with a 3-6 record and a 5.20 ERA. He pitched in 14 games with 13 starts. In 62.1 innings, he gave up 51 hits and 40 runs, 36 earned, with 36 walks and 51 strikeouts.

“Dante is a great competitor,” Nittany Lions coach coach Rob Cooper said. “We are excited about the progress he made this season. For a guy that this time last year was still going through rehab for Tommy John surgery, having him compete and put together the year he did and get better and better as the year went on shows you he has a bright future and is going to be a mainstay for us.”

Biasi picked up his first collegiate victory in a 9-3 Big Ten triumph over Rutgers on March 25 in New Brunswick, N.J. He worked six innings, giving up eight hits, one run which was earned, with no walks and six strikeouts.

He also got a chance to start Penn State’s final game of the season against Iowa in a league game last Saturday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were battling for a playoff spot and came away with an 8-4 victory. Biasi pitched 5.1 innings and gave up six hits and eight runs, five earned, with two walks and six strikeouts.

Sal Biasi, Dante’s older brother and also a Penn State grad, is pitching with the Kansas City Royals’ South Atlantic League team, the Lexington Legends. He’s been in 10 games in relief and has a 1-1 record with two saves. Dante was drafted after his senior year at Hazelton Area by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round before opting to attend Penn State.

Hockenbury, Ashby to run

Syracuse sophomore Dominic Hockenbury and Villanova freshman Taryn Ashby are competing in the NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round starting Thursday in Tampa, Fla. Both athletes will face a tall task to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships June 6-8 in Eugene, Ore.

Hockenbury, a Lake-Lehman grad, is seeded 25th in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 29:36.64. Ashby, a Pittston Area grad, is seeded 39th in the javelin throw with a 148 foot, 7 inch effort. The top 16 in each event will advance to the Nationals.

Ganter rows with Hawks

Sophomore Patrick Ganter of Mountain Top, a Wyoming Seminary grad, sat in the sixth seat with the St. Joseph’s third Varsity 8 boat at the 80th Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta on May 12 on the Schuylkill River.

The boat finished third and the Hawks’ first and second Varsity 8 boats earned silver medals. All three boats will compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships June 1-3 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.

Trio helped the Huskies

The Bloomsburg baseball team finished 31-20 and earned its first NCAA Division II Tournament bid since 1995 and got help from three area players.

Freshman infielder Kyle O’Fier, a Pittston Area grad, hit .281 (45-for-160) with 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 33 RBI and 43 runs scored. Sophomore right-hander Ed Herbener, a MMI Prep grad, was 3-0 with a save in 15 games while junior right-hander Jeremy Zezza, a Wyoming Area grad, had a save in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

The Huskies lost their two NCAA games 5-0 to Mercyhurst and 6-4 to Charleston (W.Va).

Kromko did her job

Junior second baseman Traci Kromko started 50 games for the Lock Haven softball team, the Bald Eagles finishing 38-14 after going 2-2 in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional and seeing the season end with a 4-0 loss to West Chester on May 12 in Lock Haven.

The Tunkhannock grad hit .214 (27-for-112) with seven doubles, 10 runs scored and 18 RBI. She was solid in the field, making six errors on 127 chances (.953) with three double plays.

An honor for Barrett

Freshman infielder JD Barrett was named an honorable mention on the Colonial States Athletic Conference All-Conference team for his play with the 20-19 Cabrini baseball team.

The Dallas grad hit .312 (39-for-125) with a team-high 16 doubles, 18 RBI and 27 runs scored. He also led the Cavaliers with 25 walks batting second in the batting order. In the field, Barrett made nine errors on 105 chances (.920) with two double plays.

Shedlock ends her run

Freshman Vanessa Shedlock wrapped up the outdoor track season with the Slippery Rock women’s team by finishing seventh in the 400-meter run at the PSAC Championships May 3-5 in Slippery Rock. Her time was 57.94. She hit 57.21 in the prelims.

The Wyoming Area grad also helped the 4×400 relay finish second with a time of 3:51.05. Shedlock’s career best in the 400 came in the Behrend Open on April 21 in Erie when she finished first with a time of 57.17.

Boland the top player

Senior Michael Boland was named Landmark Conference Player of the Year on May 9 for his play with the Scranton men’s golf team. The Holy Redeemer grad captured the league tournament May 5-6 in Moosic with rounds of 78 and 78 for a 156 total to help the Royals finish second out of seven teams. He was also a Landmark first-team pick.

Boland averaged 81.21 for 14 rounds for the fall-spring season. His best round was a two-over-par 73 also shot in Moosic on April 22.

Stamer wraps up career

Senior Eric Stamer competed in his final race with the Ithaca men’s rowing team at the National Invitational Rowing Championships on May 11 on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.

The Tunkhannock grad was a member of the Varsity 8 boat which finished fourth in its heat with a time of 6:01.855. The boat earned a berth in the Petite Final, where it placed sixth with a time of 6:02.82.

McCloskey finds the net

Freshman attack/midfielder Justin McCloskey was a member of the Chatham men’s lacrosse team, which closed out its season with an 11-5 victory over Mount St. Joseph’s on April 28 in Cincinnati.

McCloskey, a Crestwood grad, had a goal in that game. He scored his other goal of the season in an 18-7 triumph over Muskingum on March 14 in Pittsburgh.

Penn State southpaw Dante Biasi made 13 starts for the Nittany Lions in 2018 after redshirting a year ago while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. State southpaw Dante Biasi made 13 starts for the Nittany Lions in 2018 after redshirting a year ago while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Penn State Athletics

By Bill Arsenault

For Times Leader