Led by a host of local hardballers, PSU-DuBois wins second World Series
DUBOIS — They’re livin’ the dream.
The Penn State-DuBois baseball team made another impressive run through the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series championship tournament, posting a 12-7 victory over Bryant & Stratton Albany (N.Y.) at Showers Field in DuBois in the championship game on May 16. It was the second title in as many seasons for Penn State-DuBois.
There was a plethora of Clinton and Centre County players on the 31-man roster, including Adam Armstrong (Bellefonte), Clayton Butler (Central Mountain), Toner Corl (Central Mountain), Brandon Gettig (Bald Eagle Area), Kyle Gill (Bald Eagle Area), Bryce Hanley (Central Mountain), Trevor Hanna (Central Mountain), L.J. Johnson (Penns Valley) and Colton Treaster (Penns Valley).
“We love those District 6 kids and we really target finding kids like them,” said Penn State-DuBois head coach Tom Calliari. “We get a ton of talent and it stems from the culture. It’s like putting together an all-star team. They love the game and they’re very proud of where they’re from.”
In the championship game, junior right-hander Brandon Orsich (Clearfield) pitched 6 1/3 innings in relief to earn the victory. Orsich finished the year with a 10-0 record.
But the road to the title was not an easy one. Penn State-DuBois began the tournament as the No. 3 seed. It defeated Southern Maine Community College. In its next game, Penn State-DuBois took care of Bryant & Stratton, 4-0. It then defeated Apprentice, 6-3, to advance to the championship game. Bryant & Stratton had battled its way back through the loser’s bracket to get another shot at Penn State-DuBois and it won that game to force a second and deciding game in the double-elimination tournament.
And that’s when it all came together for the defending champs. Calliari pushed all the right buttons in guiding Penn State-DuBois to the repeat. However, he didn’t want to take the credit.
“I don’t swing a bat and I don’t field ground balls,” he said with a laugh. “They do all the work and they deserve all the credit in the world.”
Corl was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He finished the tourney 7-for-14 (.500 batting average) at the plate with eight RBIs, including a grand slam and a record seven RBIs in one game. He also had a complete-game shutout. Corl pitches and plays shortstop.
According to Corl, one of the keys was playing at historic Showers Field — which is just a hop, skip and jump away from the Penn State-DuBois campus.
“It was great to play in front of a home crowd,” Corl said. “And on the biggest stage I’ve ever played on, I’m glad I could help my team win.”
His grand slam was critical, as it broke the championship game wide open in the fifth inning, 8-3. Corl is just a sophomore.
For Hanley, the win capped an amazing senior season. The Central Mountain High School grad said that the tourney run is something he will remember forever.
“The win felt amazing. As a senior, it’s always great to go out on top,” Hanley said. “Not many guys can say they ended their college career with a win.”
Butler, another Central Mountain grad, is another senior who went out on top.
“Winning the National Championship was amazing. Not only did our team get a chance to win it once, but twice … that in itself is absolutely amazing,” Butler said.
Gettig, a graduate of BEA, said that the championship run was extra special because it was the last time he’d get to play with his teammates.
“Being a senior, you can’t ask for a better way to end your career after working so hard with all your teammates and making memories that will last forever,” Gettig said.
He was thrilled to see his squad go back-to-back.
“The teams in the tournament are always so good, so to be able to end up with two National Championships in back-to-back years is just an indescribable blessing,” Gettig said.
While there were a host of seniors on the team, there were also players like Trevor Hanna. The Central Mountain grad helped capture a National Championship in just his first season at Penn State-DuBois.
“It was pretty amazing. We’re all really good friends on and off the field,” Hanna said. “The chemistry and the brotherhood we’ve created is just awesome. We really play for each other.”
Gill, a catcher and BEA graduate, said that the championship win was extremely satisfying.
“It felt so amazing to see everything pay off, the long practices and multiple workouts a day. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to be part of this program,” Gill said. “The team is absolutely incredible and the sky is the limit.”
Johnson, a 6-foot lefty pitcher, said that the team chemistry is some of the best he’s ever been around.
“It’s just a great group of guys. We are all on the same page and we get along really well,” Johnson said. “That makes it easier to win. Winning the National Championship will never get old. That’s just who we are and what we do.”
For Treaster, a Penns Valley grad, winning the national title was especially sweet. He said that he never enjoyed that kind of success during his scholastic career.
“It was great. Coming from Penns Valley, I think we won five games my entire senior year, so this was one of the biggest moments of my life,” said Treaster, a catcher on Calliari’s squad.
According to Treaster, Penn State-DuBois has enjoyed great success the past two seasons because the players are truly a team.
“A lot of the teams we played against were focused on individual stuff. I’ve played on a lot of teams, but we really work together well. It’s awesome to repeat. We put a lot of work in to accomplish that,” he said.
Penn State-DuBois, which featured 11 players from District 6 schools, finished with a 32-15 record.
“Repeating is not easy, but we have the right kids,” Calliari said. “We have the right leaders — those guys from Central Mountain, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Bald Eagle Area — they make it easy for me.”