Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors will make its fourth consecutive AAABA Tournament appearance.
The Johnstown-2 franchise advanced to the tournament title game two straight years in 2016 and 2017 – finishing as runner-up each time.
The Advisors know what to expect as the 75th annual AAABA Tournament begins on Monday. Paul Carpenter will play the 1 p.m. game at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
“Our main objective is we want to make it out of pool play. After that, anything can happen,” said Paul Carpenter GM-assistant coach Tayler Sheriff. “We’ve seen 1-2 teams go on (out of the pool) and win the championship. We’ve seen 2-1 teams go home.
“Objective 1 is to get out of your pool. We’re going to take it one game at a time.”
Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors won the Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League regular-season title and advanced to the playoff championship series before being upset by Martella’s Pharmacy in a five-game set.
Paul Carpenter and Martella’s have met in the league championship series four straight years.
Manager Dave Sheriff’s team has benefited from an experienced team that has the ability to produce big numbers on offense.
The pitching staff has some very effective arms, though it has been thinned by two players going on vacation this week, Sheriff said.
Paul Carpenter’s defense is solid.
League MVP Corey Fogle is among the top hitters. Fogle also has been a shutdown reliever on the mound and a steady third baseman.
Veteran center fielder Ben Maudie rejoined the team in midseason and gradually regained the form that made him one of the most feared hitters a year ago.
Both Fogle and Maudie play at California (Pa.) University.
“Those are two of our best players. You need your best players to be your best players this time of year in the postseason and tournament play,” Tayler Sheriff said. “I think those guys will. They’re both experienced guys.
“They’re 21-year-olds. They’ve been in the league. They’ve been in the tournament. They’ve been in the PSAC Tournament.
They know what it takes to win in an event like this.”
Outfielder Nick Diandreth of IUP won the league batting crown with a .425 average.
Outfielder Matt Privette of Clarion University has been a catalyst throughout the season.
Paul Carpenter has experience on the mound in right-hander Ben Vicini of Seton Hill and Ben Visnesky of Gannon University, though Visnesky only will be available on Monday, Tayler Sheriff said.
Tyler Dancu of Seton Hill and Windber’s Trevor Pfeil have provided strong starts. Pitcher Ben Mongelluzzo, Jason Beranek, Nate Davis and Aaron Blake have played big roles on the hill.
“We don’t have a pitching staff where we can set our rotation for the week,” Tayler Sheriff said. “We’re going to approach it one day at a time. We’re having a one-day, one-game approach.
“Our staff is good. We’re just a little thin there in terms of sheer numbers.
“We’re really happy with what we’ve got. One guy left us for vacation for the tournament. We’ve got one guy that is going to be there Monday and won’t be there the rest of the week.
“We’re happy with the guys that we’ve got.
“To use Mike Tomlin’s quote, ‘We need volunteers, not hostages.’ The guys we do have are good, they’re invested, they’re ready to go.
Paul Carpenter added pick-up players Jake Shope, an infielder from Ophthalmic Associates, Chasen Claus, a catcher from Ophthalmic Associates, and Nick Lagnese, a pitcher from Laurel Auto.
“We’re going to show up and give it our best,” Tayler Sheriff said.