Former Trojans have success in PSAC
The Parkland baseball team is like a close family. The program has seen many of their former players go on to play at the next level in college. And in 2015, three former Trojans battled for the same league trophy at the NCAA Division II level.
Junior Nick Rabasco (East Stroudsburg University), sophomore Damin Muth (Bloomsburg University), and freshman Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg University) competed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Rabasco didn't originally choose to play in the PSAC. After graduating from Parkland in 2012, Rabasco committed to Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology, and played in 44 games, making 39 starts in 2013.
He decided to transfer to ESU for his sophomore season in 2014. He excelled from the get-go. Rabasco was named to the All-PSAC East First team at shortstop while starting 30 of 31 games for his new team. He adjusted well, hitting .350 (35-for-100) with a .420 on-base percentage and a .988 fielding percentage.
"I thought it would be tough to get acclimated, but everyone at ESU made it easy," Rabasco said. "The team accepted me even as a transfer and a new guy."
The spring of 2015 was a bit tough for Rabasco, as his average and on-base percentage dropped due to missing time because of injuries. But he is the epitome of a team player and couldn't have been happier his Warriors reached the conference championship game, a 13-4 loss to Millersville.
"My first year it came down to the last game of the season when we lost to Kutztown and missed the playoffs," said Rabasco. "This year was a lot of fun, it was really special coming together as a team and making it as far as we did."
The winning, team attitude was learned under Tony Galucy at Parkland, and Rabasco credits him for getting to where he is.
Muth was in his second year with Bloomsburg, trying to top a freshman year in which he was named the PSAC Freshman of the Year and to the PSAC East All-Second Team as a DH. Well he did his best impersonation, notching PSAC East first-team honors as a sophomore DH.
"I worked hard all year to play as well as I did as a freshman," Muth said. "It was harder this time around because teams have scouting reports on me and my strengths and weaknesses, so I had to fix what I needed to and just repeat what I did well."
He batted .358 (second on team) this season with a .550 slugging percentage (first on team) and 29 RBIs (first one team). He played in all 36 of the team's games, starting 34 of them.
Muth left for Bloomsburg with a winning mind, fresh off of winning Parkland's first of what has been three straight District 11 titles. That winning attitude, and the brains behind the program, helped him transition to being a productive collegiate player for the Huskies.
"The coaching staff at Parkland is unbelievable," said Muth. "They are always successful in what they do. They prepare us as players so well every year. Coach Galucy and coach Merkel helped me a lot through the recruiting process and helped get me ready for college.
"I also keep in touch with Gabe [Mosser] and Nick [Rabasco]," Muth said. "I played with both of them in high school, and it's great that they are both doing so well."
Mosser is new to the college game, but it didn't take him long to showcase his stuff.
The Shippensburg pitcher followed in the footsteps of his friend Muth in taking home the 2015 PSAC East Freshman of the year honors.
"All of the hard work paid off," Mosser said. "Coming from Parkland, I played in a lot of big games and won a lot of big games, so I knew how to compete at the highest level. I am honored to be named the conference's freshman of the year, and I'm going to keep working hard next year."
Mosser went 6-2 in 12 appearances, while throwing three complete games and striking out 54 batters. The freshman came to campus in the fall and began as a relief pitcher, but once the spring came around the coaching staff began throwing him regularly as a starter.
The Red Raiders missed the PSAC tournament, but Mosser feels his young team, which only lost two seniors, could make a run and get back to the conference playoffs in 2016.
Mosser is currently playing summer ball in the Cal Ripken League in Virginia.