Seven current University of Scranton baseball players will have the opportunity to play in the inaugural season of the newly formed Baseball U PA Collegiate Summer League that is slated to get underway on Tuesday, June 23.
The six-team league was organized by Baseball U PA owner Mike Guy along with area coaches such as Royals' head coach Mike Bartoletti, Misericordia head coach Pete Egbert and Keystone head coach Jamie Shevchik to give players a chance to play competitive baseball after the collegiate season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are a total of 140 players that will play in the league ranging from NCAA Division I to NCAA Division III institutions including several local players. Players must have NCAA eligibility in order to participate.
The teams are slated to play an 18-game season over six weeks in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area culminating with an all-star game and four team playoff at PNC Field, home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Games will be played on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturdays at 1 p.m. at fields throughout the area.
Six of the seven current Royals will play for Team Gray with junior outfielder Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal), freshman catcher George Jenkins (Allentown, Pa./Parkland), freshman right-handed pitcher Daniel Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata), junior outfielder Kevin Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central), sophomore infielder Tyler Kirsten (Wallenpaupack, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) and freshman right-handed pitcher Hunter Ralston (Duryea, Pa./Pittston Area), while sophomore utility player Kyler McAllister (Jefferson Township, Pa./Scranton Prep) will play for Team Black.
Bartoletti will serve as the head coach of the Orange team.
There are also three incoming freshmen for the Royals that will play in the league: infielder Jack Heineman (Team Steel), catcher TJ Pleban (Team Gray) and outfielder Corey Zientek (Team Gray). Pleban and Zientek were teammates at Hazleton Area High School, while Heineman hails from La Salle College High School.
For more information on the Baseball U PA Collegiate Summer League, stay tuned to the league's official Twitter account (@BUPACSL).