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NTL BASEBALL: TROY HAS TITLE WINNING SEASON IN 2024 (2024-06-12)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
Troy baseball continued their upward trajectory in 2024, winning their first league title in over a decade and reaching the district semifinals.

“I’m very proud of the boys, and their effort, and how they came together as a team,” said coach Lyle Wesneski. “They had to learn a new system, and new terminology, but once they started believing in what we were doing and in the process, we really took off from there.”


Troy had a tough early season schedule, going 2-1 against Athens (4-2 win), Wyalusing (11-7 win), and South Williamsport (8-2 loss). 


They followed that with a win over Williamson (19-2) and a tough loss to Canton (9-7).


After that they rolled off five straight wins, getting double-header victories over Wellsboro (12-2, 12-2), and Shamokin (18-5, 27-3), plus another close win over Athens (5-1).


A 10-3 loss to Wyalusing put them neck and neck with the Rams for the league title, but followed that up with a big 11-3 win over NPM.


Canton (9-8) would get the season sweep but the Trojans won their final six games to clinch the league title and the number two seed in the district playoffs.


They hit double figures in runs during five of their six games, sweeping Towanda (11-1, 19-6), beating NEB (16-1), NPM (13-4), Sayre (11-2), and CV (9-3).


They opened districts with a 10-2 mercy rule win over Southern Columbia, but then fell to South Williamsport in a 7-3 contest that was played over two days due to weather.


“When the playoffs rolled around we were playing our best ball,” Wesneski said. “We had a great first round win against Souther, and who knows, if the rain doesn’t come, against South.”


The Trojans hit .399 as a team with four starters batting over .400, and the other five hitting .312 or better.


Jackson Taylor led the way with a .491 average to go with 21 runs scored and 18-RBI while Brendan Gilliland hit .465 with 19-RBI and 32 runs scored.


Freshman Reed Palmer batted .419 with 12 doubles, 27-RBI, and 23 runs scored, as Joseph Frye hit .413 with 24-RBI and 21 runs scored.


Clayton Smith (.394) had 23 runs scored, and 18-RBI with Mason Smith (.392) driving in a team high 28 runs while scoring 29 to go with six doubles. 


Camryn Harwick (.377) had 29 runs scored to go with 14-RBI, Lincoln Chimics batted .373 with 28 runs scored, 16-RBI, and five doubles, and Camden Allen (.312) had 25-RBI with 18 runs scored.


Allen was strong on the mound, going 6-3 with a 2.20 ERA and a team high 63 strikeouts against 21 walks in 57 1/3-innings of action.


Harwick went 7-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 36 strikeouts against 22 walks in 29-innings of action. Palmer tossed 23 2/3-innings with a 2.07 ERA and 15 strikeouts.


They say good-bye to seniors Clayton Smith, Harwick, and Taylor but will return six of their nine starters as they look to defend their league title, and battle for a district championship.


“We have a large core of our starters back, and a bunch of JV kids that were busting their butt to step in, so we won’t be missing a beat,” Wesneski said. “We have a good group of junior high and freshmen, so I’m looking forward to them stepping into spot.”


The sky’s the limit for Troy next season but Wesneski knows, being in Class AAA and defending a league title, they’ll need to keep improving.


“We’ve got to keep working, we can’t be content,” he said. “This year, maybe we snuck up on a few teams, but next year we’re not sneaking up on anybody.”



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