Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Ryan McCarty will star again at Abington.
McCarty is one of the best players in the region. | Photo: Penn State Abington
David Miller wasn't sure of his next move when the La Salle baseball program closed for good following the 2021 season. He knew he wanted to remain in baseball, but he wasn't interested in accepting a coaching gig unless it was a perfect fit, even turning down a pair of Division 1 offers. 

"I interviewed with several programs as far south as Georgia, but to me, it was more about finding a position where I could see my players through to their next job," Miller said. "Coming off the emotions of last year, this next spot had to feel right for me." 

A Philly guy himself, Miller remembers his father playing for Penn State Abington when the school was known as Penn State Ogontz. He also knew some of the players from his coaching days at Penn Charter High School. 

"I originally was thinking I would take the year off and rejuvenate, but this spot opened up, and it seemed to check off all the boxes for me," Miller said. "I knew the team had some success, so I took the interview and met the new Athletic Director [Erin Foley] and she's awesome, so everything just fell right into place." 

Miller was named head coach at Penn State Abington in mid-January, assuming the role held by Josh Copskey, who now is the head coach at Immaculata. He's inheriting a team that posted an impressive 20-6 record last season and has reached the NEAC Championship in each of the past two years. 

The drop from Division 1 to Division 3 isn't a significant concern for Miller, but assuming the position in January has left him with a small window to get to know his roster. 

"I always was of the mindset that I'm a Division 1 coach, but having done that plus coaching high school and being an assistant coach, I just realized I love coaching, and it doesn't matter at what level. I see this roster here and I just want to jump right in." 

Pennsbury product Ryan McCarty returns to lead Abington at the plate. The senior infielder hit .436 last season while leading the club with 14 doubles and 33 RBI's. He also dominated on the mound, making four starts while posting a 1.69 ERA and a 1.117 WHIP. 

"He's our returning captain, he's ready to lead and ready to motivate," Miller said. "He a great name in the Division 3 world and in the local baseball community and I'm going to be relying on him heavily this season." 

Justin Fogel, another Pennsbury graduate, is also expected to play a significant role in the Abington lineup. The sophomore catcher hit .412 last season while posting a 1.069 OPS. He was the NEAC Rookie of the Year and earned NEAC First Team All-Conference honors. 

Jaden Himmelreich will be a pivotal arm for the Nittany Lions as a returning weekend starter. The senior right-hander posted a 3.65 ERA last season to go along with a 5-1 record. Senior right-hander Darrien Mogel also returns to the rotation, aiming to improve his 10-1 career record at Abington with a 4.39 ERA. 

One of the more intriguing newcomers on the Abington roster is infielder Chase Swain, a prized infielder from Woodstown High School in Salem, N.J. 

"He was a huge supporter of the save La Salle movement, and he was committed to play for me there, but when the program closed he committed to Rider," Miller said. "Once he saw me take this position though he left Rider to come here to be with me. He could be one of the best players in Division 3." 

The Nittany Lions open the 2022 season on Saturday on the road at Gulliford College. It's a challenging schedule with 16 straight games on the road to open the season, including a seven-game swing at the Rusmatt Baseball Invitational in Florida and a mid-week contest against top-ranked Salisbury on March 15. The club's first home game is on March 23 against York. 

"The schedule is tough, but I just really look forward to seeing what we can do with this team," Miller said. "The guys are hungry and that's what I like to see."

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