LATROBE - The Saint Vincent baseball manager, Mick Janosko, wants passion from his players.
At third base, he has just that player in Lewistown's Nick Beamenderfer.
The senior is in his second year as a starter for the Bearcats. He worked his way into the lineup halfway through last season. As a freshman and sophomore, he played for LaRoche College, which is located just north of Pittsburgh, but then transfered after his sophomore year.
"He has a passion for the game," Janosko said. "I tell any player that if he has a passion for the game, I'll work with him. Nick is a very good infielder and he has good hands. He's a hard worker and he put his time in in the weight room this past year and it has paid off. We put him into the starting line-up half way through last season."
Saint Vincent is located southeast of the Steel City, so it wasn't as if Beamenderfer had to travel a great distance to make the change.
"It was an easy transfer," Beamenderfer said, smiling. "I liked it right away and I found a starting job when I came in."
As a youth growing up in Lewistown, he saw success at every level. He was a three-time All-Star in the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League from 2004-2006. During his stay in Babe Ruth, he was on two state championship teams, 2004 (13-year-olds) and 2005 (14-year-olds).
In high school, he was a member of the Lewistown team that won the 2007 District 6 Class AAA title, beating Indian Valley for the championship. And in American Legion play, he was on the team in 2009 that finished in the the Pennsylvania final four.
During his playing days in Mifflin County, Beamenderfer was a fixture at second base.
But, at Saint Vincent, he has grown into his spot at third base. He has gotten taller, slimmed down and now has that quick reaction time that is needed at third base.
Last year, Beamenderfer played in 30 games and batted .315. He came to bat 92 times (official), scored 11 runs, had 29 hits, five doubles and knocked in 14 runs. Saint Vincent finished with a 24-19 record. This year he is hitting .262 with 17 hits, four doubles and seven RBI.
"I have learned to be more patient with the bat," Beamendefer said, "You have to take the ball the opposite way here. Pitchers know how to hit their spots."
Beamenderfer noted that his biggest college thrill came late last spring when Division III Saint Vincent knocked off Washington and Jefferson in the President's Athletic Conference tournament. At the time W&J was the top seed and ranked 15th in the nation.
"There is no downtime during the season," Beamenderfer related, "When you are not playing, you are at practice and when that's over it's time to study."
Saint Vincent is 13-12 overall and 9-4 in the league and Beamenderfer is hoping that his team can make another run in the PAC playoffs wrapping up his college career on a winning note.