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GA Pitcher's Face Off in NYCBL Championship

Penn State Greater Allegheny baseball pitchers Eric Schell and Evan James will play each other tonight in game one of the NYCBL Championships. James is finishing out the summer with the Oneonta Outlaws as Schell has been pitching for the Hornell Dodgers. read more

Jim Chester

 

Head Coach

The Penn State Greater Allegheny baseball program is under the direction of seventh-year Head Coach, Jim Chester. Chester took over the baseball program in July of 2007. Immediately after inheriting a team coming off a 0-9 season, Chester led the Nittany Lions to 175 wins, three PSUAC League Championships, and two PSUAC Tournament Championships, and five Small College World Series appearances over the past six years.

In the spring of 2009, Greater Allegheny shattered the school record for wins with 35. The Nittany Lions also secured its second consecutive bid to the USCAA National Championships. The program also saw its first win over an NCAA II institution on March 9, 2009 with a 6-0 victory over Ohio Valley University (WV) in Cocoa Beach, FL. They also got their first win over a NCAA Division III school on March 10, 2009 with a 12-7 defeat of Norwich University (VT).

In the spring of 2010, the Lions got off to a rocky 2-6 start. Greater Allegheny would win 20 of its next 22 contests to capture the PSUAC Regular Season Championship, while posting a perfect 16-0 conference record. The Lions also secured their third consecutive USCAA National Tournament appearance, finishing 5th in the 10-team tournament. Freshman Mike Visloski was also selected as the PSUAC Player of the Year, while Chester was selected as the Coach of the Year.

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Joe Ranalli

 

Assistant Coach

Joe Ranalli begins his ninth season as an assistant coach at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Coach Ranalli oversees the Lion's Strength and Conditioning program. He also handles the development of the program's outfielders. A Clairton High School graduate, Ranalli has served in many different capacities during his coaching career. In 1970, Ranalli began coaching in Southern Maryland at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C.. Ranalli also spent time as an assistant football coach, assistant & head baseball coach and athletic director from 1987-1989. After relocating back to the Mon-Valley, he spent time on South Park High School's football staff as assistant football coach as well as the head coach of the baseball program. Ranalli is on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Pandas of the Tri-State Collegiate League. A retired Sergeant of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C., Ranalli's passion for baseball adds a great asset to the PSUGA baseball coaching staff.

JT Thomas

 

Assistant Coach

Justin "JT" Thomas is a 2005 graduate of Ambridge Area High School, a 2010 graduate of Slippery Rock University and a 2013 graduate of the United States Sports Academy. In the summer of 2005, he was selected to play baseball in Puerto Rico as a part of the coast to coast athletics association. During the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006 Justin was enrolled at Austin Community College in Austin, TX. Justin was a member of the Slippery Rock University baseball team for three seasons (2008-2010) in which he led the team in appearances each season (all relief).

From 2006-2010 he was a volunteer coach with different summer teams in Ambridge along with lending time to his alma mater high school program. In 2011, he was named assistant coach at Ambridge Area High School, which is a position he held until the spring of 2012. In the summer of 2011, he was the pitching coach for the Tradewater Pirates in the Ohio Valley Collegiate League and pitching coach for the Butler BlueSox of the Prospect League in the summer of 2012. During this past summer 2013, JT was the head coach of the Surf Riders in the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Summer League. Justin received his Bachelor of Science from SRU in 2010 and his Masters in Sports Science and Sports Coaching from the United States Sports Academy.

Eric Kuczma

 

Assistant Coach

Coach Eric Kuczma comes to the Penn State Greater Allegheny staff with several years of successful coaching experience under his belt.

Kuczma served as the Assistant Head Coach at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School from 2009 through 2012. During his time there, the Vikings won two WPIAL Section IV Championships, made the WPIAL playoffs three consecutive seasons, earned their first ever AAAA playoff victories, and played in the WPIAL semifinal game in 2012. Kuczma worked with the team's infielders and was the staff's lead defensive instructor.

Prior to joining the Vikings staff, Kuczma spent the 2008 season at Woodland Hills High School as the team's top assistant, responsible for infield instruction.

Kuczma began his coaching career in 2003 at Brashear High School. From 2003-2007, he served several roles on Brashear's staff, starting as the Head J.V. Coach before joining the Varsity staff as the team's hitting coach and bench coach. In 2006, he became the team's top Assistant Coach. During his tenure on the staff, the Bulls made four City Championship game appearances. In 2004, Brashear won its first City Championship in a decade and participated in the PIAA playoffs.

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