Schwartzbauer Starts at 2nd Base for Hillcats

Dan Schwartzbauer

Duquesne alum Dan Schwartzbauer and the Lynchburg Hillcats, the top Class A team in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system, kicked off the 2006 season Thursday.

The Hillcats split the first two games with the host Frederick Keys (Orioles), winning the opener, 5-3, on Thursday and losing Friday's game by a 10-8 score.

Dan Schwartzbauer, who played with the Hickory Crawdads last season, has gone 0-for-7 in those two games and struck out in five of the at-bats. He reached base one time on a fielding error and scored.

On the field, the Glenshaw, Pa. native has had much better results. He recorded three assists and four putouts with no errors at second base.

Schwartzbauer was drafted after his senior year at Duquesne in June 2004 by the Buccos, the third Duke player to be drafted by the hometown team.

    Pitcher Joe Beimel was first in 1998. He's now playing with the Las Vegas 51s in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system. The 1998 Pirates' selection has pitched in five seasons in the majors, for the Buccos (3 years), Twins (3 games) and Devil Rays (7 games).

    B.J. Barns was selected by Pittsburgh in the 1999 draft. His furthest trip up the Pirates' minor league farm system was to the Class AA Altoona Curve in 2003. He was traded to Tampa Bay later that year and was released by the Devil Rays on March 26, 2004.

In his first pro action, Schwartzbauer was the Bradentown Pirates and Gulf Coast Rookie League leader in batting average, .366, going 45-123 in 35 games, while also pacing the short season team with 24 RBI and 13 walks.

In 2005, his first full professional season, Schwartzbauer played with the Hickory Crawdads (Class A) of the South Atlantic League. He started as a utility player but eventually became the regular at second base and batted .269 with five home runs. He was invited to the Pirates 2006 major league spring training camp but saw little action there.

As a senior with the Dukes in 2004, Schwartzbauer led DU with 41 runs scored, was second with a .329 batting average and had a .404 on-base percentage as Duquesne's leadoff hitter. He also led DU, and was second in the Atlantic 10 Conference, with a perfect 22 stolen bases on 22 attempts. He was eighth in the league with 26 double plays and 10th with 112 assists. Schwartzbauer finished his collegiate career with a .296 batting average, 166 runs scored, 79 stolen bases and 44 walks.

His younger brother, Brian Schwartzbauer, is a freshman on the 2006 Duquesne roster. A two-time All-Section choice as a middle infielder and pitcher out of Shaler H.S., he has seen action only on the mound. In 9 2/3 innings during six appearance, Schwartzbauer has given up 13 hits, 10 walks and 12 earned runs while striking out five.

So far in his collegiate career, Schawartzbauer has an 11.17 ERA. But things are looking up. In his last outing, during a 10-6 loss to Youngstown State, he pitched two scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and three strikeouts. That knocked almost three full runs off his 6-game early ERA.

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