JV baseball ends successful campaign on a sour note

PUNXSUTAWNEY — While the Punxsy varsity baseball squad advanced to Wednesday's District IX championship game at Brookville, the JV squad ended its season last Friday on a disappointing note with an 11-1 loss to Hollidaysburg in six innings in Punxsutawney.

Punxsy head coach Rodney Thompson said it was a "rough last game for us," as the Chucks produced just one hit on the day.

That hit came off the bat of Dylan Orcutt, driving in Punxsy's only run.

On the mound, Matt Burkett started the game, pitching five innings. Burkett allowed eight hits, three walks and fanned three.

Hunter Hickok came on in relief and pitched the final inning for the Chucks.

"There's not a lot to say about the game other than it was a disappointing way to end the season," Thompson said. "But coach (Jeremy) Hospodar and I told the guys that this season would not be determined by one bad game, because there were more good things this year than bad."

The JV Chucks ended the season with an impressive 13-4 record, with their only losses coming at the hands of Altoona, State College, Elk County Catholic and Hollildaysburg.

"The teams we lost to were solid teams that deserved to win that day, but we would gladly take the field against any of them again," Thompson said.

Despite the final game's result, Thompson had very good things to say about the solid work his squad put in throughout the season.

"I thoroughly enjoyed these guys," he said. "They are a great group and have a really bright future in front of them on and off the field. Our biggest advice to this team is to stick together, whether they are winning or losing. Sometimes, they are way too hard on themselves when they do something wrong, and that carries over to their next at-bat and to each other.

"Things will not always go your way in baseball and in life, but you have to learn from it and stay positive and make the next play. The things you control on the field are to always hustle, stay focused and try to learn something new every time you take the field for a game or at practice."

For his parting words, Thompson had a few people he would like to thank as the season concluded: "A big thank you to the grounds crew this year down at the park, to the athletic office, the kids and especially to the parents for all they do running around."

Some of the JV players may be dressed for Wednesday's varsity contest against St. Marys in Brookville — the District IX championship game.