Director of Sports Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2008
THE OTHER SUMNER WRITES HIS OWN
SUCCESS STORY WITH RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCE
Beaver Falls, PA – When you hear the names Sumner and Geneva baseball used in the same sentence, most people would immediately think of the 20-year head coach, Alan Sumner, and his school best 473 career victories on the field and rightly so. However, in the last three years, it has been another Sumner that has burst onto the Geneva baseball scene and continues to write his own bit of baseball history.
Derek Sumner, the nephew of Geneva’s long-time head coach, started his collegiate career with the Golden Tornadoes in 2006 and has developed into the number one starting pitcher on the Geneva staff. In his first two years on the mound, Sumner won seven games and struck out 72 opposing batters. This spring, the right hander from Neshannock High School has picked up six victories and has more than doubled that strikeout total in just less than 70 innings of work.
On Monday, Sumner worked the final four innings of Geneva’s 10-9 victory over Point Park University to earn his sixth victory of the season. In those four innings of scoreless relief, Sumner struck out six batters to move his season total to a very impressive 78 punch outs. With strikeout number 75, Sumner broke the single season record for strikeouts in a season, a record that had stood since 1982. Doug Bleggi, who also holds the career record for strikeouts with 218, won ten games during the 1982 season in which he struck out 74 batters. Sumner sits 68 strikeouts away from the career mark with still some work left to do this spring in addition to his entire senior campaign in 2009.
“It has been a real treat to watch Derek develop as a collegiate pitcher,” said head coach Alan Sumner. “He has a tremendous arm and also has a great feel for what it means to be a pitcher at this level. You have to have more than just talent to be successful and Derek has been able to put everything together this season.”
Sumner and his Geneva teammates finished the 2008 regular season at 16-16 and will now await the start of the post-season with either the NCCAA Eastern Regional tournament or a direct trip to the nationals in Struthers, Oh in two weeks.
Alan Sumner has certainly left quite a legacy, not only on the baseball diamond, but in the entire Geneva athletic department with more victories than any Geneva coach in any sport. While Derek Sumner will never win close to 500 games in his career as a pitcher, he has certainly done his fair share to etch his name into the Geneva record books for many years to come.
Geneva College is one of only 15 CCCU schools in the nation that offers an ABET-accredited, four-year engineering program.