GLENVILLE - After leading Parkersburg South to its first state baseball tournament appearance in nearly three decades, senior twins Jordan and Jacob Braniff will look to lead the Pioneers from Glenville State College to the top of the newly-formed Mountain East Conference.
"I've just wanted to sign with Glenville since I was little," Jordan Braniff said. "It's close to home, so my parents can see me play. And I really didn't want to go far away to school."
The reason was more simple for Jacob Braniff.
"It's a twin thing," said the Patriots' mound leader. "We didn't plan it - it just all kind of worked out that way."
Making the decision easier for both, however, was the fact that Glenville State offers one of the top forestry programs in the Mountain State. Both Jordan and Jacob are looking at majoring in forestry with hopes of landing a job with the Department of Natural Resources upon graduation.
"That (forestry) had a lot to do with it," Jordan said. "That and the fact that I think I will get a chance to play early. Plus, they have some great facilities."
The starting catcher for the Patriots, Jordan Braniff batted .355 (39 of 110) this past season with two home runs and 37 runs batted in.
The Pioneers return three players at the position-sophomores Alex Mace, Tyler Wiseman and Sam Hanke-but none of them batted over .280.
Also looking to make an immediate impact will be Jacob Braniff, who posted an 8-0 pitching mark with the Patriots, striking out 41 batters while walking only 20 and allowing a mere 18 earned runs.
Glenville does not return a pitcher with an earned run average under 4.0.
"It never hurts to go to a team that can use you right now," Jacob said. "It makes you want to work all the more harder when you know you could be playing on opening day."
Glenville State, which just hired its new head coach in James Mullins, finished dead last in the now-defunct West Virginia Conference (WVIAC) with a 5-37 mark.
"Yea, they (GSC) had a tough season, but when you can go to a school that both offers the major you want and a chance to play right now, you have to give it a try," said Jordan. "We met with the coaching staff and the players on our visit and they all made us feel like we were at home."
The Braniff twins are coming off a successful season as well with American Legion Post 15.
Jacob Braniff finished with a 4-3 pitching mark while Jordan hit .427 with 21 RBIs. They are the sons of Sam and Kay Braniff.