By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | May 11, 2018 | Photo courtesy Ed Weaver
Senior Johnny Rowland announced on Thursday, May 10 that he will continue his baseball career next year at Penn State-Beaver.
Rowland will be joining fellow classmate Cheyenne Sherman, who is attending PSU-Beaver and playing volleyball. Rowland's announcement also caps a great week for the senior, as he and teammates clinched the NTL Large School Division championship, their first since 2011-12, with a 7-6 victory over Athens on Wednesday. He also became the Hornets' 2nd all-time career wins leader with 18 with his sixth win of the season.
Rowland was also the winning pitcher in last year's District IV Class AA championship game against South Williamsport.
"It feels great. I've loved this sport since I was little and I'm glad I can keep playing," said Rowland.
Rowland plans on majoring in finance while at PSU-Beaver and is looking to play the outfield and continue pitching. While weighing his decision Rowland visited campus twice, met his eventual roommate for the upcoming school year and spent time with his new teammates and coaches.
Throughout his Wellsboro career, Rowland has hit 0.308 (69-for-224) with 7 doubles, 27 RBIs, and 29 walks and 29 strikeouts. In his 24 career starts he is 18-5 (0.782), has pitched 145 innings, faced 625 batters, allowed 126 hits 62 runs (53 earned), and has struck out 87 batters and issued only 41 walks.
"He (Johnny) has meant quite a bit to us," said head coach Philip Prough. "For the last two years he's been our leading pitcher, obviously with being 2nd all-time in the school, but at any level of baseball winning starts with pitching and for us that meant starting with Johnny. What he's been able to do on the field has been great for himself personally but also for our team. Maybe more importantly, and he probably doesn't realize it, is for the young players. His competitiveness as a pitcher has really come through, this year more than any other. Johnny doesn't throw the hardest but he throws the smartest and it's a real tribute to him because in the six games he's won so far year to date he's only allowed 3 walks. That's a pretty amazing stat and to have our younger kids see that it's okay to pitch to contact and let your defense play for you is pretty important for the younger guys coming up."
Prough also thinks Rowland will have no problems fitting in at PSU-Beaver.
"I suspect he'll fit in just fine. He's fast number one, and athletic and at the college level that's what they're looking for first and foremost. They can refine his skills, teach him more, but what they can't teach is athleticism and speed and Johnny has that. But more importantly, talking to his competitiveness, a coach can't just have that come out in a kid either. You either have it or you don't, and he has it. He'll fit in just fine and he'll adjust to the game when he gets there and I would be really surprised if he didn't have a lot of success."
WellsboroAthletics.com and WellsboroBaseball.com would like to congratulate Johnny on furthering his academic and athletic careers.