First-year coach making strides

First Posted: 4/11/2012

For the first time as members of the competitive Commonwealth Conference, Arcadia University Baseball swept through a three-game series by knocking off host Lebanon Valley College March 31 in the series doubleheader with a pair of 4-3 wins.

“It’s only fitting after yesterday’s outcome that we come out with the same expectations today,” said first-year head coach and Arcadia alum, Ken Spangenberg, Class of 2008.

The Clarks Summit native added, “I attribute our success in the clutch this season to our pre-season work ethic and the dedication the guys gave to improving their individual skills in the off-season. And we worked hard at the onset of the pre-season, so in pressure situations, the guys have the confidence to come through.”

Following a finish in the series opener back in Philadelphia Friday afternoon, winning it in the bottom of the ninth (6-5) on a walk-off walk, the Knights grabbed the bull by the horns on Saturday’s opening tilt and never trailed. The opening game win matched the Knights’ highest number of victories since the 2009-10 season when team finished 9-29 overall. The victory also marks the team’s first conference win in Annville, (at Lebanon Valley College), and the first time the Knights have won a series in Commonwealth play since they joined the league for the 2009 season.

The Dutchmen erased the Knights’ 1-0 lead in the nightcap with a three-run sixth but Kyle Jackson ’12, Nick Petroski ’12 and Mike McElhatton ’12 each delivered run-scoring singles to put the Knights’ back on top where they held on for their tenth win of the season- their highest number of wins since the 2007-08 campaign (17-21 overall).

With the series sweep, Arcadia in Glenside maintains a stronghold on the conference’s third slot. The Knights have yet to face fourth-place Albright, fifth-place Widener and last place Messiah as they look to make the push for a spot in the league championship tournament come early May.

Arcadia University Baseball needed extra innings on Tuesday, April 3 at host Delaware Valley College but used two consecutive wild pitches dealt by the Aggies’ staff, to get a two-out, go-ahead run in the top of the 11th before turning a 4-6-3 double play on their hosts to win the non-conference game 6-5 and extend their win streak to four.

Spangenberg is returning to Glenside after serving as a two-year assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator at Edgewood College, Madison, Wi. From 2009 to 2011, Spangenberg led an offense that broke 16 school records and, after being selected to finish 6th at the start of preseason, the Eagles claimed their first Northern Athletics Conference Championship.

Prior to joining the Edgewood coaching staff Spangenberg served as an assistant coach at Keystone College, LaPlume, for the 2008-2009 season, where he worked with the infielders, hitters, and assisted with recruiting. The Giants captured the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Championship coming one game away from the Division III College World Series while sporting a final record of 40-6. The team was also ranked as high as fourth in the country that season.

Through his time spent at Keystone and Edgewood combined, Spangenberg recruited and coached four players drafted into the Major League Baseball system, including two who signed professional contracts.

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