Long-time rivals and former teammates have met up near the beaches of Virginia and on two campuses in eastern Pennsylvania for a series of games this season that have put former Greater Pittston baseball players back on the same fields at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II level.
Kyle O’Fier, a Pittston Area graduate, and Jeremy Zezza, from Wyoming Area, have become teammates at Bloomsburg University. They have played for the Huskies in games against Kutztown University and Wyoming Area graduate Evan Musto on each team’s home field as well as in Newport News, Va.
O’Fier and Zezza have made contributions to Bloomsburg’s control of the season series.
Musto has not played in a game against the Huskies yet, but his playing time is on the increase. He appeared in three of the last five games after getting in just three of the first 24.
The latest time the two PSAC Eastern Division rivals got together was April 11 in Kutztown when O’Fier went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored and Zezza pitched 1 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run in Bloomsburg’s 14-7 win to begin the doubleheader. The win was the fifth straight by Bloomsburg over Kutztown this season, but the Golden Bears came back to get their first win of the season series, 6-4, in the nightcap.
Zezza gave up a hit, an unearned run, a wild pitch and a hit batter while holding the lead.
O’Fier, a freshman second baseman, is having a big first season of college baseball.
By going 14-for-42 (.333) with 16 runs scored and 17 batted in over the last 13 games, O’Fier has raised his season batting average 34 points to .284. He has four homers during that time to share the team lead with five on the season.
O’Fier has six doubles, 31 runs and 25 RBI for the season while playing in 30 of 32 games. He is 6-for-21 (.286) with seven runs scored in the six games against Kutztown.
Like Musto, Zezza has become more active recently. The junior relief pitcher has appeared in three games in 10 days, including Friday’s doubleheader at Lock Haven, after not pitching for four weeks.
Zezza has a 4.50 earned run average in six games on the season. He has allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five in six innings.
For his three-year career, Zezza has 28 strikeouts in 33 innings. He was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in five games as a freshman before improving to 2-0 with a save and 7.04 ERA in 14 games last season. He does not have a decision yet this season.
Bloomsburg is 13-5 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and 23-9 overall after losing twice to Lock Haven Friday.
Kutztown is 8-10 in the PSAC and 14-15 overall.
Musto has made the most of his limited playing time.
The sophomore infielder/catcher came off the bench to double in the team’s only run Wednesday in a 6-1 loss to Adelphi University.
Musto is 4-for-7 with three doubles, three RBI and a run scored in six games. He played four games, making two starts, a year ago when he was a Division II Athletic Directors’ Association Academic Achievement Award winner.
While being used mostly as a hitter, Musto has handled all three of his defensive chances this season in a pair of games at first base.
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