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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Winter Warm-up – Slippery Rock

Slippery Rock Rockets
Coach (season, record): Nathan McCollough (2nd season, 8-12)
2012 overall record: 8-12
2012 region record (place): 4-6 (fourth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Sean White, Andrew Gieraltowski, Connor Hogue, Sam Furrh, Mike Stutz
Top returning players: Cody Stephenson, Mitch Robinson, Joe Barnhart, Levi Leonberg
Assistant coaches: Fred Pryor, Darren Schulz, Bob Stougher, Mark White
Outlook: Slippery Rock hovered around .500 under new head coach Nathan McCollough last season and will look to keep improving this spring. The Rockets will have some big holes to fill in Sean White, Andrew Gieraltowski, Connor Hogue, Sam Furrh and Mike Stutz. White Slippery Rock’s only all-region selection as a second-team pitcher. Cody Stephenson, Mitch Robinson, Joe Barnhart and Levi Leonberg are back for the Rockets to lead an inexperienced team. Jackson Kerchis and Josh Bower are new players to the varsity level that could contribute right away. Slippery Rock will need several freshmen and sophomores step up this year to help out the upperclassmen. The Rockets have a solid pitching staff and a strong lineup, but inexperience and a lack of chemistry could be tough to overcome.

1 Sharon W, 4-3
3 Saegertown L, 1-13 5 innings
5 at Lakeview W, 15-2 5 innings
6 at Harbor Creek L, 1-9
10 at Meadville* PPD
12 Conneaut* W, 6-2
13 at Union City 4
15 at Seneca 4
17 at Oil City* 4
22 Girard 4
24 Grove City* 4
26 Meadville* 4
1 at Conneaut* 4
2 Cochranton 4
6 Oil City* 4
8 at Shenango 4
10 Hickory 4
13 at Grove City* 4
17 Franklin 4
*Region 6 games

2012 overall record: 8-10
2012 region record (place): 6-4 (third)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Corry 8-2 in a District 10 Class AAA play-in game.

Note: A preview was not turned in by the head coach.

2 Mercer L, 5-16 5 innings
4 at Sharon L, 4-19 3 innings
6 Wilmington L, 0-15 3 innings
9 at Meadville* L, 4-19
11 Grove City* L, 3-15 5 innings
12 at Union City PPD
16 Corry* 4
18 Conneaut* 4
20 at Mercer 11 a.m.
23 at Hickory* 4
25 Meadville* 4
30 at Grove City* 4
2 Cochranton 4
7 at Corry* 4
9 at Conneaut* 4
10 at Commodore Perry 4
14 Hickory* 4
17 at Reynolds 4
*Region 6 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball, Winter Warm-up

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