SPRY -- Jason Aspito feels like he has made some progress.
The rate is just a little slower than the former York Revolution slugger would like.
In his first year as head coach of the Penn State York baseball program a year ago, Aspito guided the team to a 7-12 season.
While he has made some upgrades in Year 2, the results just haven't shown up on the field. After being swept by Penn College in a double-header at home on Tuesday afternoon, Penn State York dropped to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
Defensive woes: Coming into Tuesday's games, the Lions were averaging more than seven runs a game. They combined for just three runs on Tuesday, losing 6-1 in Game 1 and 9-2 in Game 2.
Though PSY is allowing about 9.5 runs per game, Aspito said it isn't the pitching that's been the problem. It's fielding.
"The problem is (pitchers) have had to throw six outs for an inning instead of three," Aspito said. "You give any team extra outs, then the wheels start to fall off and hitting is contagious and bad things happen."
That was evident in Game 2 on Tuesday, when PSY dug itself an early hole by surrendering seven runs in the first two innings. There were quite a few fly balls that could have been caught, but instead sailed over the heads of PSY outfielders.
"We've hit the ball well enough to win all of our ball games," Aspito said. "We just haven't played catch in the outfield or the infield. There are routine plays we need to start making."
Upgrades: This year the number of players on the PSY roster has bumped up from 11 to 14. Ten of those come from high school programs that compete in the York-Adams League.
"We need to get it to where we have 25 to 28 guys and there's competition at practice. (Competition) only builds effort because now it threatens playing time," Aspito said.
The attitude of the players has also improved from last year, when some players were disciplined for missing a practice or a bus ride to an away game.
And the coaching staff has increased from two to four, with newcomers David Kloser and Michael Mayer joining the staff. Kloser is author of the 2004 book, "Stepping Up to the Plate: Inspiring Interviews with Major Leaguers." Mayer, who works as a police officer in Baltimore, spent some time playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates' Gulf Coast League team in 2007.
Slowly but surely, Aspito feels confident the program is headed in the right direction.
"We'd like to start to recruit the kids who know the game a little better," he said. "And we're trying. (The players are) trying to learn it and that's all I can ask for right now."
PSY will next return home on Wednesday, April 11 to face Penn State Scranton in a doubleheader.
-- Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or jwalk@york dispatch.com or follow on Twitter @JohnKWalk..