Updated: Oct 2, 2020
The Shippensburg Stars season didn’t end the way they had hoped it would. Stars were nocked out of playoffs in the early rounds. Losing games to Littlestown (5-2) and Gettysburg (6-1). Stars finished the season with a record of 14 and 6. Even thought disappointed by the way the season ended Stars players and Coach Petty are looking forward to next season.
A recap of the 2020 season. In February the Shippensburg Stars and Hagerstown Braves were forced to switch from the West Shore Twilight Baseball League to the South Penn Baseball League when West Shore disbanded. Josh Petty took over the reins as head coach and we added a whole new group of ball players, as the Stars joined forces with the Newville twilight team.
Once again the season was put on hold as Corona Virus hit our country. It would take two and half months till there would be a glimmer of hope for the 2020 season to resume. Coach Petty started to attend league meetings in late May about the season. A schedule was created and the season would start on June 21.
Coach Petty built a team that would be a force to be reckoned with. Leading the team on and off the field was Todd Weldon, former professional pitcher in the New York Mets farms system and current head coach of the Scotland Knights. Todd lead the team on offense and always stepped up for his team on defense. Taking on any role Coach Petty asked of him. The team really looked up to him because of his experience playing the game at a higher level and his leadership.
The Stars were also blessed with adding Jayvien Sandridge, former pitcher in the Baltimore Oriole farm system, to the roster. Three college players from Shippensburg University (Braden Petty, Joe Barbera, and Nick Zanic), Jared Pine is attending Mont Alto, and Brad Weber who attends Union University. Players from the Scotland Knights and the surrounding communities make up the rest of the team. Creating a very dynamic team that jelled well together throughout the season.
The Stars started the season off with two wins against North Carroll Panther. Out scoring them 18-5 in two games. We would then suffer two tough one run losses to New Oxford (6-5) Twins and Hagerstown Braves (3-2). Losing to Hagerstown with a bases loaded hit by the pitch walk off to end the game. Some players and fans raise question about if the batter leaned into the pitch.
Stars would recover after those two loses to go and win their next 4 games. Beating Cashtown Pirates (6-5), Brushtown Bulldogs (3-0), and Hanover Raiders twice (2-1 and 9-7) before they would suffer their next lose to the Cashtown Pirates 6 to 0 on July 14th. But once again the Stars would bounce back. They are currently on a six game winning streak, beating New Oxford Twin (2-1), Biglerville BlackSox (10-0 and 8-5), Littlestown Dodgers (6-3 and 9-4), and Brushtown Bulldogs (5-0). The Stars are on a roll and hoping to finish their last three games in the win column.
The Stars face their biggest challenge of the year tonight (July 29) against the Hagerstown Braves. The Braves are currently leading the South Penn League with a record of 13 wins and 3 loses. Stars are trailing Hagerstown in second place by a 1/2 of a game. A win tonight will not guarantee first place for the Stars but it will bring them one game closer. The Stars finish the season on Thursday (July 30) against the Gettysburg Grays. By winning out the Stars will clinch first place and earn a first round bye in playoffs, which starts on August 3rd.
As we finish the regular season and look forward to playoffs here are some players to keep your eye on. Todd Weldon is currently leading the offense for the Stars with a .571 batting average, 2 homeruns, 1 triple, 6 doubles, 6 hits, and 9 RBIs. Ceasar Saavdar is right behind Todd with 11 hits, 7 RBIs, and a .579 batting average. Stars have a solid pitching staff. Starting pitchers include Todd Weldon, Jordie Henry, Jayvien Sandridge, Brad Weber, and Ethan Miller. All solid starts but they also back each other up in relief. Other solid relief pitchers for the Stars include AJ Farling, Corey Weldon, and Matthew Hallman. Even though we highlight a few players for the Stars, it needs to be noted that this season has been a complete team effort. They have a deep bench that can step in at any time to help their team win. Coach Petty and the Shippensburg Stars players are hoping the majority of the team will remain together for next season and are hoping to add a couple key players to next year teams. This team is fun to watch!
The Stars also have a great fan base. Every home game community members are coming out to support their hometown team. We thank you for your support for the Stars and also the Shippensburg Area Athletic Association!