By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PUNTA GORDA — Gibby Bittner is ready to trade in the small town feel of Punta Gorda for city life in Pittsburgh.
The Charlotte High School senior signed his national letter of intent Wednesday to play baseball at Point Park University in Pennsylvania.
“He always got the job done,” Charlotte coach Lavell Cudjo said. “He always wanted to the ball. Gibby was always ready. That’s big. Sometimes you can feel when kids don’t want to be out there, and he always wanted to be out there. He’s going to be hard to replace.”
Point Park is an NAIA school located in the heart of Pittsburgh, a perk which swayed the right-handed pitcher to choose to become a Pioneer.
“It’s very urban,” Bittner said. “I like that it’s in the middle of the city. It’s about a block away from where the Pirates and Steelers play. So that’s pretty cool.”
He was the Tarpons’ No. 1 starter in 2016, and went 6-2 with a 1.50 earned run average and 40 strikeouts. It was Bittner’s first year as the team’s ace, a role Cudjo felt he thrived in.
“His leadership the whole senior was great,” Cudjo said. “Before the season starts we come up with a plan, and sometimes it doesn’t work out. But I knew I could count on him every time we needed him to throw.”