Colin McCreary and Tyler Ksiazek played big roles in helping Abington Heights reach the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 3A baseball title game in 2015.
The pair will attempt to bring similar success to Monmouth University, a Division 1 program in West Long Branch, N.J., after McCreary committed to continue his baseball career at the school.
Ksiazek joined the college program last year and posted a 3-2 record with a 5.57 earned run average over 13 appearances, including six starts. He also struck out 29 batters in 42 innings of work.
McCreary, who will complete his final football and baseball seasons at Abington Heights this fall and spring, respectively, is expected to contribute as an outfielder in college, however he’s also served as a pitcher for the Comets.
“It’s a great baseball program and a great place to get an excellent education,” McCreary said. “I’ve played with a lot the guys on the team, including Ksiazek, and Dallas graduate Jordan McCrum and North Pocono graduate JP Walsh on the Baseball U PA travel team. It will be a lot of fun playing with them again.”
A few conversations with his former teammates helped convince McCreary to commit with the Hawks.
“They had nothing but great things to say about the coaching staff, campus and facilities,” McCreary said.
The rising senior was relieved to wrap up his recruiting process before his final year of high school.
“It takes some stress off my mind and gives me some relief heading into my senior year,” McCreary said.
McCreary has been a member of the Baseball U PA for three years and credits the organization for helping him land a college scholarship.
“They do a great job preparing you for college and my travel coach, Michael Guy, did a great job of reaching out and talking with coaches,” he said.
The Clarks Summit resident also believes the coaching staff at Abington Heights, led by Bill Zalewski, has been a main factor in his development.
“He’s a great coach and the staff is very fair,” McCreary said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior, the strongest players will be on the field. They also do a great job of developing you as a person, both on and off the field.”
While he’s committed to play baseball, McCreary is leaving the option open to also play football at Monmouth.
As a junior, he kicked four field goals, including a 41-yarder, converted 16 of 17 extra point attempts, passed for a touchdown, had three touchdown receptions, and scored two defensive touchdowns.
“It’s still a possibility to play both sports,” McCreary said. “I’m hoping the football coaches will be interested in what I have to offer. If not, I’m very excited to be playing baseball.”
McCreary plans to study business in college.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.