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Baseball: Serra Catholic coach expecting big things next year

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles the Serra Catholic baseball team.

"Brian Dzurenda can't help but think about next baseball season.

Soon after his Serra Catholic baseball team suffered a first-round exit from the PIAA Class A postseason tournament, the longtime Eagles coach had no trouble pondering next year's possibilities.

"This is a very young team," he said. "This season was an entire building process, but it kept Serra baseball in position to succeed. We lose some key seniors, but this team can compete for a championship next year and I'm already looking forward to it."

Serra Catholic (17-7) wrapped up its most recent campaign with a 3-1 defeat to District 6 champion Juniata Valley on Monday afternoon at Mount Aloysius College in Cambria County. The Eagles were tied, 1-1, after five innings before the Hornets (17-5) scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning and then held on for the victory."

 

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Track: Serra Catholic thrower makes history

Written by Justin Criado on .

Serra Catholic senior Hanna Pitchford finished her high school career with a fifth-place finish in the shot put at the PIAA Class AA championships at Shippensburg University.

Her throw of 39 feet, 10.25 inches allowed her to be the first girl in school history to capture a state medal.

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Baseball: Serra Catholic grad excels as Seton Hill catcher

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Serra Catholic graduate Chris Miller, who is now a standout catcher at Seton Hill.

"The numbers were, in a word, numbing for Chris Miller.

A .146 batting average. Two extra-base hits in 41 at-bats. No triples, no home runs, no confidence.

"It was a struggle," Miller said, recalling his first season at Seton Hill University. "A big struggle."

It was also uncharted territory for this uber-talented athlete. Miller played on PIAA and WPIAL title-winning teams in baseball and basketball at Serra Catholic High School, where he was a star. Yet here he was on the college stage, enduring a trying redshirt freshman season."

 

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Baseball: South Feature Athlete - Serra Catholic's Zac Quattrone

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Zac Quattrone
High School: Serra Catholic
Grade: 12
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher

Background: Quattrone, a senior right-hander, is one of the top hurlers for a Serra team that has a wealth of excellent pitching. Quattrone, the No. 2 starter behind sophomore Cole McCombs, was outstanding in a 1-0 win against Springdale last Wednesday. Quattrone tossed a one-hitter and struck out 14. It was yet another terrific pitching effort for a Serra team that has given up only five runs in five games – all wins – against WPIAL teams. The Eagles are 6-2 overall and ranked No. 3 in Class A. The Eagles are scheduled to play their first Section 2 game today against Greensburg Central Catholic.

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Baseball: Youth movement last year should pay off for Serra

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles the Serra Catholic baseball team.

"While most varsity baseball teams will be playing with a simple hope of making the WPIAL playoffs, Serra Catholic has its sights set on something much bigger this season.

"We've been to the playoffs every year since I took over the program in 2000, so making the playoffs is something we fully expect," Eagles coach Brian Dzurenda said. "We want more than just making the playoffs. We're shooting for the stars."

A perennial small-school baseball power in Class A, Serra Catholic previously won back-to-back WPIAL titles in 2009 and 2010 and became the first team in PIAA history to play in three consecutive state championship games from 2009-11. The Eagles, however, have not qualified for the state playoffs since and are coming off an 11-6 campaign last year that ended in the first round of the WPIAL's postseason tournament.

"I already told the guys that winning a WPIAL championship is our goal and winning a state title is the dream," Dzurenda said. "Getting into the playoffs is too small of a goal for this team.""