When Pennsylvania College of Technology student-athlete Justus K. Leimbach stood atop the pitcher’s mound at Clipper Magazine Stadium – home of the Lancaster Barnstormers professional baseball team – to “throw” the honorary first pitch June 19, he did not take the usual stance.
An All-American archer and business administration: marketing student at Penn College, Leimbach instead drew his S.A.F.E.-brand bow and fired a soft-foam-tip arrow toward home plate – where his spot-on aim was caught by the skilled glove of the Barnstormers’ Pete Andrelczyk.
The pitch was part of a community relations project for Lancaster Archery Supply, where Leimbach is completing an internship in the marketing department. The Westminster, Maryland, native plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Penn College in August.
Leimbach, an employee of Lancaster Archery Supply for the past three years, had worked in the company’s pro shop, where he sold bows and worked on customers’ equipment.
“I had a blast working there,” he said, noting its natural fit. “I have been in the sport of archery for 15 years, and that actually is the reason I came to Penn College.”
Leimbach is among 37 Penn College archers who have earned All-American status since the college formed an archery team in 1997. He is ranked second in the East in 2015 in men’s compound. This summer, he is combining his academic and athletic interests.
“Justus has been able to accomplish the rare feat of congruence between completing an internship and doing it in an industry that is near to his heart,” said Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management at Penn College. “He has been the utmost professional and is receiving great reviews from his employer.”
Leimbach’s unique first pitch – featured in Lancaster Archery Supply’s online video gallery and social media channels – has garnered more than 9,000 views on Facebook and YouTube, and to top it off, he repeated the act for Scout and Outdoors Night at the Barnstormers’ July 17 game. Again, it was a perfect strike, whizzing across home plate to Andrelczyk’s glove.
Leimbach is Lancaster Archery’s first marketing intern. “As we were discussing what interests I have in the marketing department, product videos and other opportunities kept arising,” he explained.
In addition to the “first pitch” video, he’s completed several product-demonstration videos that are part of the company’s popular online video gallery and has served as a model for still photos with various equipment.
In his day-to-day duties, he’s gaining invaluable exposure to his chosen field.
“To see how the inside of a (marketing) department works is something that you can’t teach in a classroom setting,” Leimbach said. “Seeing how every piece of this department goes together is an experience that will let you connect with what you are doing. Everyone thinks that you won’t ever need what you learn in classrooms, and I used to be that way myself, but I can now say that is a completely false statement. It is amazing to see that these companies use all of the same terms and processes that we learned in class.”