Wendle leads West Chester into first game of Division II College World Series

Joe Wendle
Joe Wendle
Posted: May 26, 2012

When West Chester University opens play Saturday in the Division II College Baseball World Series, senior second baseman Joe Wendle will be key to their hopes of winning the title.

West Chester (42-10) will play California State-Chico (40-17) at 1 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Center in Cary, N.C.

The Golden Rams reached Cary by winning the Atlantic Region with Sunday's 6-0 victory over Kutztown. Chico won the West with a 7-3 win over Dixie State (St. George, Utah), also on Sunday.

Wendle, from Avon Grove, has been an offensive force this season, leading the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in home runs (12), RBIs (57), and batting average (.400).

Here's more on Wendle:

| Three-time first-team all-PSAC East.

First-team all-Atlantic Region.

In the top 10 in 13 offensive categories in West Chester history.

Only five strikouts in 185 at-bats this season.

A school-record 18 career triples, including a single-season mark of eight this year.

"Ever since we went down there my freshman year, it has been a goal of ours to get back," said Wendle, referring to the Rams' World Series appearance in 2009. "Freshman year, as much as we wanted to go down there and win, getting there was a good enough goal. This year, with the way we are playing and depth of our pitching staff, guys have the mentality that we have a good shot at winning this thing."

Baseball America ranks Wendle in the top 10 among Division II prospects heading into this summer's amateur draft. But right now, the senior is keeping his focus on his final college games in Cary.

"Obviously, it would mean a lot to get that phone call," Wendle said. "It has been one of my personal goals, but it also speaks a lot for this program. . . . Right now, it's just West Chester baseball and focusing on the task at hand. When the season is over, I'll shift my focus to the draft."

West Chester coach Jad Prachniak knows he needs to keep his team from getting too excited about the stakes this week.

"We need to apply all the things that have helped us win games to this point," Prachniak said. "Don't try to do anything extra. Just play our game and stay focused."

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