STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Class B baseball showcases the best up-and-coming talent here in the Valley and in some cases develops lasting friendships.
That’s been the case for three local players, Travis Harvey and Dylan Gurski from Boardman, along with recent Niles graduate Nick Guarnieri. All three started playing together when they were 14 years old with the Astro’s.
“When we were 14, we qualified for the World Series,” said Guarnieri. “It was in Tennessee that year, so just spending the week down in Tennessee with them it was a blast.”
All three players are continuing their careers at Thiel College with the Tomcats. Travis and Dylan are both pitchers and were standout players for the Spartans, while Nick was an All Conference catcher at Niles.
“I think all three of us are pretty good at hitting so we’ll help them there,” said Gurski. “Nick’s catching, Travis playing infield, I’m in the outfield so it’s kind of like we’re covering most of the field so it will be fun.”
“I think over the last couple years, [Thiel baseball] is rebuilding themselves,” said Harvey. “I think us three are going to go there and we’re going to have a great time and we’re going to really help the program out.”
“It’s just exciting, I used to catch them back when we were fourteen and now we’re going to play college and I’m going to get to catch them there, so I’m just excited,” said Guarnieri.
In the meantime, this trio will continue to hone their skills at Cene Park this summer, the place where it all began.
“I feel like this summer, I’m just trying to get better and help the team out,” said Harvey. “I’m also going to try to get better to help Thiel out when I get there.”
“It helps a lot because after high school ball most kids don’t do anything,” said Gurski. “When you’re down here playing it helps you get back into it and stay healthy and just keep playing.
“It’s just really good competition,” said Guarnieri. “Just playing guys from all over Northeast Ohio and Western PA, it’s great. “