College Corner: Hazleton Area’s Dante Biasi boosting Penn State to strong start

By Bill Arsenault - For Times Leader
Penn State’s Dante Biasi (38) during the Nittany Lions game with Xavier. The Nittany Lions split the Senior Day doubleheader with Xavier on May 11, 2018 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Mark Selders file photo | Penn State Athletics Penn State’s Dante Biasi (38) during the Nittany Lions game with Xavier. The Nittany Lions split the Senior Day doubleheader with Xavier on May 11, 2018 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. - Mark Selders file photo | Penn State Athletics

Redshirt sophomore Dante Biasi pitched the best game of his career for the Penn State baseball team last Friday.

The 6-foot, 205-pound left-hander pitched the Nittany Lions to a 5-2 victory over Central Florida in Orlando. He started and worked six innings, giving up two hits, two runs, one earned, with three walks and nine strikeouts.

“It was a great effort,” head coach Rob Cooper said. “He had one inning where he struggled a little with his command, but he threw three different pitches for strikes. He isn’t letting one bad pitch or when he gets behind on a batter bother him.”

It was the fourth start of the season for the Hazleton Area graduate. He has a 1-1 record with a 3.00 ERA. He has worked 21 innings and has given up 12 hits and eight runs, seven earned, with 11 walks and a team-high 26 strikeouts as the Lions are off to an impressive 10-3 start.

His loss came in a 14-0 score against powerhouse Duke on March 1 in Bradenton, Fla. He gave up five hits and five earned runs in 4.2 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts. The Lions were no-hit in the game.

“Duke is a great baseball team,” Cooper said. “They were one game away from the World Series last year.”

Biasi is following in the footsteps of his brother Sal, who was also a standout pitcher for the Lions before being selected in the MLB draft after his junior season.

“Dante competes like crazy just like his brother Sal did,” Cooper said. “It’s a great trait for the Biasi family. We got a great effort out of Dante who showed what a tough kid he is.”

Biasi, who redshirted his first season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, was 3-6 with a save and a 5.20 ERA in 14 games as the Nittany Lions went 15-34. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of Hazleton Area but elected to play in college. He will be eligible for the draft again in June.

Taylor Montana (Bloomsburg)

The 5-foot-11 junior forward was named to the PSAC East first team for her play with the women’s basketball team, the Huskies finishing 20-10 overall after an 85-57 loss to Indiana in the league semifinals last Saturday in Kutztown.

The Berwick grad averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds a game and had five double-doubles. She also had 43 assists, 21 steals and a team-high 25 blocks. Montana had a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-58 victory over Lock Haven on Jan. 2.

Hayley Bobos (Morgan State)

The junior opened the season with the softball team by hitting a grand slam in a 12-11 loss to Akron on Feb. 8 in Clinton, S.C. The Hanover Area grad is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with three doubles to go along with the homer and seven RBI.

In the field, Bobos, who shares catching duties, has made one error on 28 chances (.964).

Justin Vought (Maryland)

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore has started 11 games behind the plate for the Maryland baseball team. The Wyoming Valley West grad had a double, home run, a run scored and two RBI in the game.

Vought is hitting .222 (10-for-45) with two doubles, two home runs, eight runs scored and seven RBI. He has made three errors on 118 chances (.975) and he’s thrown out six would-be stealers.

Colin Pasone (Pitt-Johnstown)

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound sophomore is hitting .441 leading off for the baseball team. The Meyers grad has 15 hits in 34 at-bats with two doubles, two triples, six runs batted in and eight runs scored.

Pasone had a triple and two singles and had three runs batted in in a 9-3 victory over West Liberty last Saturday in Washington. Playing right field, he has handled 13 chances without an error.

Hailee Dumont (Utica)

The 5-foot-4 junior midfielder has started all three games for the women’s lacrosse team. The Crestwood grad had two goals in that game. She also had two goals in a 14-3 victory over Morrisville State on Feb. 23 and had a goal in a 10-9 triumph over New Paltz on March 1.

In the field, Dumont is second on the team in ground balls with 10 and leads in caused turnovers with eight.

Stephanie Mazurek (USciences)

The freshman opened the spring season with the women’s tennis team by posting a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles in a 7-2 loss to The College of New Jersey on Feb. 16. That lifted her fall-spring record to a team-high 11-4 competing at No. 3, 4 and 5. It was her fourth straight singles victory.

The Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences grad dropped her doubles match 8-4. Competing in No. 2 and 3, her fall-spring record is 9-9.

Kaya Swanek (Chestnut Hill)

The senior first baseman hit her first home run of the season and it was a grand slam to lead the softball team to a 17-1 victory over Penn State Schuylkill on March 4 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Holy Redeemer grad is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with a double to go along with the home run, which was the third of her career.

At first base, she has handled 18 chances without an error with 16 putouts and two assists.

Justin Darden (Shippensburg)

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound freshman is off to a great start with the baseball team, highlighted by a big performance in a doubleheader sweep of Le Moyne on Sunday in Lynchburg, Va. The Crestwood grad had four hits and five RBI and exited the weekend as the Raiders’ leading hitter through 10 games at .444.

Megan Trivelpiece (Drexel)

The sophomore is hitting .368 (9-for-17) with a double, a run scored and two runs batted in as the designated hitter for the softball team.

Trivelpiece hit .304 in 43 games and 36 starts both at third base and first base as a freshman with home run, five doubles and seven runs batted in.

Laura Bayzick (Wilkes)

The freshman midfielder was named MAC Freedom Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after a big performance for the women’s lacrosse team in a 19-9 non-league victory over Purchase on March 5 in Wilkes-Barre.

She scored four goals with 10 ground balls, six draw controls and four caused turnovers. On the season, the Hazleton Area grad has five goals, 17 ground balls, 17 caused turnovers and seven draw controls.

Penn State’s Dante Biasi (38) during the Nittany Lions game with Xavier. The Nittany Lions split the Senior Day doubleheader with Xavier on May 11, 2018 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/web1_Biasi_Dante-A-18-Xavier-MS-5448.jpgPenn State’s Dante Biasi (38) during the Nittany Lions game with Xavier. The Nittany Lions split the Senior Day doubleheader with Xavier on May 11, 2018 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Mark Selders file photo | Penn State Athletics

By Bill Arsenault

For Times Leader