Conor Rohrer is part of many key returnees for the Manheim Central Barons baseball squad that made a deep run all the way to the PIAA Semifinals last season. Entering his Senior season Rohrer has already made a commitment to pitch for IUP next season. Competing in a tough LL-League the starting pitcher gave his thoughts on the competition, the back and forth weather and what his Barons need to do in order to top last season.
Carl Frederick: What led to your commitment to IUP?
Connor Rohrer: I had played with the keystone bombers over the summer after my junior year which got me some college looks. IUP stuck out to me for several reasons. The opportunity for me to play there early was one big thing. I also really like the new coaches and their game plan. The scholarships both academic and athletic, were also very good. It just all around was a great fit for me.
CF: Having a deep run all the way to states last year must have been special, what is one moment that stands out the most?
Connor Rohrer: One moment that stuck out to me was my 16 strikeout game in the state quarterfinals. That game really made me realize what I have the potential to do. It also was a huge confidence booster.
CF: How are a few under the radar players with the Barons and the league overall?
CR: We have a bunch of new players coming up this year since we had so many seniors last year. I think two players that will really produce this year are our two sophomores, Watson and Book. But really, I have confidence that everyone is going to play their role and get the job done to lead us to winning games. I think the league is pretty strong and will definitely be tough to defend the league title. But I know we have the ability to win it all again this year considering our depth.
CF: Can you explain maybe the challenge that Spring athletes have especially in March and parts of April with the weather, how do you deal with it?
CR: The biggest thing with playing in March and April is dealing with the cold. It's tough to grip the ball, as well as stay loose. The wind also can be a pain. We really just need to make sure we stay loose and stretch and run if needed. Our coach does a very good job with having us practice things like fly balls in winds so that we are prepared.
CF: What will it take for your squad to make another deep playoff run this season?
CR: The biggest thing for us is for all of us to stay healthy, especially pitchers. Everyone knows their role and I know our players have the talent. So as long as we can execute, I know we will have a chance at another deep playoff run.
Connor and the Barons have their work cut out for them facing the likes of Manheim Township, Lampeter-Strasburg and Ephrata in a very competitive league. Look for Rohrer to lead the way and hopefully lead Manheim Central on another deep playoff run. They are already off to a great start winning their first three games by a margin of over 10 runs.