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Fox Chapel baseball hopes to bounce back in 2015 | TribLIVE.com
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Fox Chapel baseball hopes to bounce back in 2015

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, June 11, 2014 9:00 p.m
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Jan Pakler | The Herald
Fox Chapel varsity catcher Josh Kieffer throws ball back during an early season scrimmage.
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Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Third baseman Daniel Vargo helps to make a double play during a recent home game at the Fox Chapel High School.
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Fox Chapel high school baseball varsity coach Mike Frank talks to umpire before their first scrimmage. Jan Pakler 031414
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Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Fox Chapel senior Chad Bartlett pitches close home game against Seneca Valley. Final score was 5-4- Seneca.

The Fox Chapel varsity baseball team wasn’t able to make a return appearance to the playoffs this season but coach Michael Frank is optimistic about the future.

“We have a strong core of returning players for next year’s team,” Frank said. “Our expectations were very high coming into this season and we didn’t fulfill those. We are looking to bounce back next year. With the majority of our lineup returning, we feel like we can compete for a section title.”

The Foxes ended up with an 8-10 record overall and were 3-7 in Section 1-AAAA.

On offense, Josh Anderson hit at a .373 clip and led the team with 22 hits. Zach Burkhart ended up with a .322 average and led the team with a homer and 12 runs batted in.

“Pitching was our strength this season,” Frank said. “Our pitchers kept us in a lot of games. Our staff had an ERA of 2.73.”

Jacob Pilarski led the team with a 1.75 ERA and 3-2 record. He had 41 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched. Chad Bartlett was 3-3 with a 2.53 ERA.

Anderson and Burkhart were selected first-team all-section and Pilarski was chosen to the second team. All three will return next season.

“As far as number of seniors on the team, it was a small group in number of players but they had a considerable amount of varsity experience,” Frank said. “Bartlett was a four-year starter and Connor Duquette (right field) started for three years. Anthony Veltri (designated hitter/first base) started for the last two years and we’ll also lose RJ Walkowski, a good outfielder.”

The Foxes will move to Section 3-AAAA next year and Frank says the team is ready for new challenges.

“The section we’re leaving has to be the toughest one in the WPIAL,” Frank said.

Fox Chapel will have Kiski Area, Central Catholic, Penn Hills, Shaler and Woodland Hills as section opponents.

“The teams in our new section are quality opponents, and I know they will all prove to be tough games,” Frank said.

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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