Joseph Roth is on the injured list.

The Ellwood City multi-sport star pulled a hamstring on a stolen-base attempt during a baseball game last week, an injury Roth said will keep him off the field for at least another two weeks.

But while Roth is on the IL for now, it won’t be long before he’s at OSU.

Roth announced March 22 that he will continue his swimming career at Ohio State, saying he chose the Buckeyes over Indiana and Cincinnati. He took official visits to all three schools.

“I talked it over with my coaches because they’ve been through the process,” said Roth, who will major in business. “They said, ‘This is the school.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, it is.’ I wanted to get the weight off my shoulders, so I went ahead and committed.”

Roth, a 6-foot-5 senior, will enter Ohio State as a walk-on who hopes to eventually land a scholarship. The Buckeyes placed second at the Big Ten Championships and 13th at the NCAA championships this past season.

Roth, who swam for Riverside since Ellwood City does not have a team, claimed a silver medal in the 100-yard backstroke and a bronze in the 50-yard freestyle at last month’s PIAA Class 2A championships. He won gold medals in the 100 backstroke his sophomore and junior seasons. At Ohio State, Roth said he hopes to participate in the 100 and 200 backstroke in addition to a sprint freestyle event and relays.

“I’m just ready to compete,” said Roth, whose brother, Alexander, swims at IUP.

Ohio State had been recruiting Roth for over a year. He made a trip to check out the school about a year ago, a visit that included him attending Ohio State’s spring football game.

Ellwood City’s Joseph Roth averaged 25.2 points and 14.6 rebounds per game his senior season. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Before the injury, Roth was his usual busy self. A PUP first-team pick in basketball, Roth scored 29 points in Ellwood City’s season-ending loss to Mohawk in the second round of the PIAA playoffs on March 13. He then competed in the PIAA swimming championships March 15-16 before making his debut in baseball on March 19. That’s three sports in seven days. And his commitment came just a few days after that.

At Ohio State, Roth will specialize in one sport for the first time in his career. Because of that, Roth said he is trying to soak in as much of his final baseball season as he can.

“I’m just trying to have a good time,” he said. “It’s not as serious as my other sports, but I still want to do the best I can and help the team win.”

Portal talk

Quite a few former WPIAL basketball players have entered the transfer portal in recent weeks. The headliner is Quaker Valley grad Adou Thiero, who played his first two seasons at Kentucky, averaging 7.2 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes a game this past season. Two days after hitting the portal, Thiero released a statement saying he is declaring for the NBA draft while keeping his options open, those options being staying at Kentucky or transferring. A team to keep an eye on in Thiero’s recruitment is Xavier, which was his other finalist before his commitment to Kentucky. Pitt is among the many other teams to reach out.

Also in the portal is former Mars star Robby Carmody, who began his career at Notre Dame before spending this past season at Mercer, where he averaged 7.6 points in 17 minutes per game.

A slew of women’s players have entered the portal, as well. They include Moon’s Emma Theodorsson (Bucknell), North Allegheny’s Jasmine Timmerson (Pitt), Mt. Lebanon’s Ashleigh Connor (Saint Louis), Carlynton’s Jada Lee (Mount St. Mary’s), Gateway’s Lexi Jackson (UNC Wilmington) and North Catholic’s Kylee Lewandowski (Richmond). Lewandowski’s younger sister, Dacia (Akron), was also in the portal, but on Monday announced her commitment to Youngstown State.

Theodorsson, in particular, should receive some significant interest. A 6-1 guard-forward, she averaged a team-best 13.2 points and 5.7 rebounds a game and was named second-team all-Patriot League as a sophomore this past season.

New RMU coach extends offers

New Robert Morris women’s basketball coach Chandler McCabe wasted little time in offering some of the WPIAL’s top underclassmen. A day after being introduced as coach on March 19, McCabe, who spent last season as an assistant at Central Florida, extended an offer to Peters Township junior Natalie Wetzel. Four more offers then came Saturday, as McCabe offered Oakland Catholic junior London Creach, Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Erica Gribble, Quaker Valley sophomore Mimi Thiero and South Fayette sophomore Juliette Leroux.

Basketball commitments

Avonworth’s Rebecca Goetz (Slippery Rock); Jeannette’s Venicia Vignoli (Carlow); McKeesport’s Brooke Evans (Saint Vincent); McKeesport’s Maddie Hertzler (Saint Vincent); Moon’s Aiden Reesman (Penn State Behrend); North Allegheny’s Joey Dopirak (Dickinson); South Allegheny’s Jeston Beatty (La Roche).

Football commitments

Avonworth’s Ben Barnes (Grove City); Clairton’s Mike Wright (Saint Vincent); South Park’s Kaden Kostelnik (Grove City); Thomas Jefferson’s Kam Eggerton (Case Western Reserve).

Track and field commitment

Mars’ Adam Rohrbaugh (Muskingum).

Water polo commitments

North Allegheny’s Carissa Jones (Gannon); North Allegheny’s Izzie Trunzo (Gannon).

Wrestling commitment

Connellsville’s Evan Petrovich (Pitt).

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at