College Corner tidbits

Altoona grad catches for East Tennessee St.

Altoona will be represented in the upcoming NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

Mason Hershey, a 2009 Altoona Area High School graduate, is the starting catcher for the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, who will be one of 64 teams competing in one of 16 four-team regionals that will cut the field to 16 teams.

East Tennessee State (36-22) will face host Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Friday in its first game. Vanderbilt is one of the top teams in the nation with a 51-9 mark. The other two teams in the double-elimination Nashville Regional are Illinois (34-18) and Georgia Tech (34-25), who square off at 2 p.m. Friday.

Two games will be played Saturday and two Sunday. If an additional game is needed, it will be held at 7 p.m. Monday.

East Tennessee State won the Atlantic Sun Conference with Hershey starting 52 of the 58 games. He is hitting .273 (45-for-165) with three home runs and 21 RBIs.

Hershey is a senior after beginning his college career at Potomac State, where he helped lead his team to the NCAA Junior College national semifinals in 2011. Hershey started 20 games for East Tennessee State in 2012 and hit .182 with one homer and six RBIs.

C-K’s Claar honored

Coming off the most successful season in the program’s history, the Mercyhurst North East softball team was rewarded by having two players named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All East Region Team.

Freshman Ronette Claar, a Claysburg-Kimmel High School graduate, and Alayna Carlson were both awarded all region.

Claar, of Queen, was named All East Region pitcher and led the Saints with a school-record 22 wins as she went 22-5. She shattered the single-season strikeout record with 275. The previous record was 132.

She had a 1.43 ERA this season for the Saints. At the plate, she led Mercyhurst with a .456 batting average and also had eight home runs, 22 doubles and 63 RBIs.

The East region is comprised of 14 different states. Both players will now be considered for NFCA All American status, which will be announced in June.