T-D HS Baseball

Bishop McCort baseball sees 3 sign with colleges

By: Cory Isenberg

Bishop McCort’s baseball team advanced to the PIAA playoffs the past three seasons, winning it all in 2011.
Three of the Crimson Crushers players reaped the benefits of the team’s achievements, announcing on Monday their plans to take their respective talents to the collegiate level.
Right-handed pitcher Justin Vardian will attend Penn State University, left-handed pitcher and outfielder Nathan Neiderhiser will head to Youngstown State and right-handed pitcher and infielder Bradley Coleman will play at Pitt-Johnstown. In the last three years, eight Crimson Crusher baseball players have moved on to play college ball.
“Something we talk about with our kids is the team-first approach,” Bishop McCort baseball coach Chris Pfeil said. “We often tell them that if the team is successful, it will lead to the individual accolades. All three of these players have been in some big games and have gotten some exposure that others might not get if their teams don’t succeed. The thing that’s great about all three of these guys is how unselfish they have been.”
Pfeil said each one of them brings a little something different to the plate.
“Brad is a spot pitcher and doesn’t have overwhelming velocity but he has command of all of his pitches,” Pfeil said. “Justin is the hardest thrower of the group and is touching 90 miles per hour and at the high school level he just blows the ball by people and has developed much more command of his off-speed stuff, too. Nathan is coming at you from the left side with an mid-’80s fastball and his changeup is as good as I’ve seen. And all three have been huge contributors for us offensively.”
Coleman led the team in hitting with a .430 batting average with four doubles, two triples, a home run, 13 runs scored and 28 RBI.
Neiderhiser has been a mainstay in the middle of the Crushers batting order compiling a .385 career batting average with 19 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 65 runs scored, 53 RBI and 30 stolen bases.
Vardian is a .310 career hitter with 28 runs scored, 25 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
n Vardian, the son of Joe and Teri Vardian, has a career record of 17-2 as a four-year starter on the mound. In 107 2/3 innings, he has a 3.19 ERA with 121 strikeouts.
“I selected Penn State over Pitt because there was such a family atmosphere at Penn State the way there is here at Bishop McCort,” Vardian said. “I was really drawn to that family feeling at Penn State.
“Being in the state playoffs and winning the district titles that we did have all played a part in this chance.”
Vardian said that all of the hard work, especially as a freshman and sophomore, has paid off.
“Towards the end of your high school career, if you haven’t done anything to prove yourself, by then it’s too late,” said Vardian, who plans to major in pre-law.
Vardian is also a member of Key Club. Art Club and SADD and is a member of the basketball team.
n Neiderhiser, the son of Bill and Michelle Neiderhiser, has been a starter for the Crushers since he was a freshman. He has posted a 7-2 career record on the mound with a 2.57 ERA and 88 strikeouts.
“Ending up at Youngstown, it was a process,” Neiderhiser said. “They saw me at a showcase in Ohio that I had gone to and right after that one of the assistant coaches invited me to the campus and I loved it there. I’m really excited to become a Penguin.”
Neiderhiser said he began playing ball when he was young and was encouraged by his father.
“I wasn’t really very good when I was young and my dad has pushed me and helped me in every way imaginable,” Neiderhiser said. “He has really been my inspiration and I wouldn’t be to this point if it wasn’t for him.”
He will major in computer information systems.
n Coleman, the son of Diane and the late Kevin Coleman, had a 6-2 record on the mound with a 3.76 ERA.
“UPJ is the No. 1 pick for my family and I know that I can continue to grow as an athlete and as a student there,” Coleman said. “What narrowed it down for me was the generous offer from Coach (Todd) Williams, who is a great guy. I really like the idea that he is close with his players and cares a lot about us and he’s a very good coach. And, it gives me an opportunity to be close to home - I’m from Ligonier.”
Coleman has played on the basketball team for four years and has been a member of the soccer and golf teams.
He is a member of Key Club and president of the Spanish Club.
He is undecided about a major.