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NTL BASEBALL: TOWANDA SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN 2024 CAMPAIGN (2024-05-31)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
It was a growing year for Towanda baseball as they showed a marked improvement from the past few seasons but still came up just short of their goals of making districts.

“We improved throughout the year,” said coach Karl Raffin. “We return quite a few starters next season. We are excited to see what next year will bring.”


The junior heavy team finished 7-13 on the season, starting (2-3) and finishing (3-1) well, but hit a bit of a mid-season malaise which has infected them the past few years, going just 2-13 in between.


They opened with a competitive 3-2 loss to Wyalusing, this year’s Class AA district champs, then beat a playoff bound NPM 11-5. After losing to District II powerhouse Elk Lake they split a double-header with Notre Dame (6-1) and Edison (10-3).


Then came the struggles, as they lost their next four, though two (NEB 8-7, Athens 6-3) were winnable games.


They got a jolt with a 5-0 win over South Williamsport on the road but followed that up with two straight loss.


A 6-0 win over Wellsboro kept them in the playoff race, but they lost the next three - one to Athens, two to Troy - which dashed their playoff hopes.


However, two straight wins over CV (5-2) and Sayre (3-1) ended those team’s playoff dreams, and they finished off the winning streak with a 12-0 victory against Williamson.


They ended the season with a 6-1 loss to Wellsboro on the second of a back to back.


Gianni Assante Di Cupillo led the team at the plate, hitting .400 on the season with a team high 17-RBI and 15 runs scored to go with four doubles. Jack Wheaton batted. 345 with a team high eight doubles.


Rylee Sluyter also hit .300 with 9-RBI and four doubles. 


Jack Tavani led the team in innings at 33 1/3, along with with strikeouts, with 23, against 10 walks. He finished with a 3.15 ERA.


Senior Teagan Irish came on strong on the mound late in the season, sporting a team low 2.33 ERA in 21 innings of work. He finished with 16 strikeouts.


Wheaton was the other big innings eater, with 25 innings, to go with 22 strikeouts and a 3.92 ERA.


Going forward the Knights return seven of nine starters, and five of six pitchers who saw action. 


As other teams across the league look to rebuild 2025 is looking to be the year Towanda breaks through.



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