On the Trail With Ted
Baseball 2015

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 Observations, notes, etc., on games I've seen during
the 2015 season . . . Plus some Tedbits.
my email . . . tedtee307@yahoo.com.
 


APRIL 30
TEDBIT
  Tim Cooney
, a lefty out of Malvern Prep ('09), will join quite the exclusive club this afternoon when he makes his MLB debut for the St. Louis Cardinals. He'll be pitching against the Phillies and only TWO other Public/Catholic/Inter-Ac products have gotten their start against their hometown team, according to debut info accessed from baseball-reference.com. Oddly, both guys graduated in 1974 -- lefty George Riley from Southern and righty Tom Filer from Ryan -- and they pitched against each other in the '74 City Title game (though Filer did so in relief and was not tagged with the loss). Southern won, 5-0, as Riley spun a four-hitter with 15 strikeouts. Those guys wound up making their MLB debuts three years apart. No position players have made their debuts vs. the Phillies. For whatever reason, many more Philly guys have first appeared in the majors with American League teams and for decades, of course, inter-league play did not exist. An interesting nugget: Late in the 1937 season, a righthander named Joe Kohlman made his MLB debut (in the AL) for the Washington Senators vs. the visiting Philadelphia Athletics. He went eight innings in a game that was suspended after 11 with the score at 7-7. He allowed nine hits, one walk and four runs (all earned) while striking out three. One problem: Not sure if he went to one of  "Our Schools." Though he's listed as being from Philly in many places, there's also an indication he might have been from Atlantic City. Anyway, check out this amazing fact:  While pitching that season for Salisbury in the Eastern League, Kohlman suffered a loss in his first outing and then racked up 25 consecutive wins! That dominance included two no-hitters.

Public/Catholic/Inter-Ac Products Who've Made MLB Debuts vs. the Phillies
Name School Team Date Result IP H R ER BB SO
George Riley Southern '74 Cubs 9/15/1979 *L, 8-1 2 3 1 1 0 0
Tom Filer Ryan '74 Cubs 6/8/1982 #L , 5-2 3 5 4 4 3 2
*-relief                    
#-starter                    

APRIL 29
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
O'Hara 8, Roman 5

  Many people swear I'm a jinx . . . And then there's Chris Salvey. Rumor has it O'Hara's sr. DH is starting a GoFundMe account to assure he'll have enough money to pay me to attend every O'Hara game for the rest of the season (smile). Back on April 13, he went 3-for-3 with a double, homer and two RBI in a 6-4, nine-inning loss to St. Joseph's Prep. Today, he went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in the fourth and a one-run double in the sixth for four total RBI. His grand total during Trail visits: 5-for-7, two doubles, two homers, six RBI. The homer, which cleared the fence in left-center a shade to the right of the 370-foot sign, ended the outing of soph RH Santino Nave. Like the homer vs. the Prep, the Bull-like Salvey (as in Greg Luzinski) buried it! The double involved a stroke of luck. Salvey did not put a wicked swing on a pitch from soph RH Aidan Welch. In fact, all he did was send a blooper down the rightfield line. The ball landed in fair territory, however, so Chris minded not in the least. He then rumbled home as sr. RF Nick Newman, who showed good, team-leading energy all game, fired an RBI single to left. Newman (grounder through the hole to left), sr. LF Colin McGuire (looper down the leftfield line) and soph 3B Brian Bromley (sac fly to right) notched RBI in the three-run first. Three guys shared pitching duties for the Lions. Due to some arm tenderness, jr. RH Kevin Sessa only made it through two innings. He yielded two runs. Next up was soph RH Isaiah Hammond, who pitched shutout ball over three frames and forced Roman to strand a guy at third in each of them. He allowed three hits, all singles. Sr. LH Bill Neill pitched the last two frames, yielding three runs, four hits and two walks. Even though O'Hara owned a comfortable tead to start each inning, Neill paid way too much attention to runners at first. Twice early in the sixth, he tried pickoffs with a four-run lead. Later, a mound visit appeared to get across the point that Bill needed to focus on hitters and forget about the runners. Oddly, Roman reaped only two hits from the first four batters in the order and six from the last three. Two RBI apiece went to sr. CF Jon Stoffere and sr. LF Derek Keough while jr. C Kevin Glynn went 3-for-3 with a walk and one RBI. Jr. SS Noah Clement and jr. 1B Vic Malizia halved four hits. All of Roman's 11 hits were singles. Roman's cleanup hitter was jr. RF Phil DiWilliams (also the QB). In the first inning he was robbed of a hit when McGuire made a sliding/kneeling catch of a low liner. Stoffere is the last of four brothers to play major sports for Roman. Beforehand, we saw Chris (QB), Matt and Nick. Their dad, Chris, was a pitcher for Roman in '81. Their uncles, John ('78, starting LF for championship team), Dan (QB-OF, '86) and Ted ('92, golf stalwart), also repped Roman in fine fashion. Meanwhile, Roman's scorekeeper is senior Jimmy Stinsman. Every school needs a Jimmy! He provides relentless support for all athletic teams and I'm told he's also a non-stop, first-honors student. VERY cool!

APRIL 28
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Episcopal 9, Germantown Academy 6

  Number 9 for Episcopal made Lotsis positive contributions. Sorry, couldn't help it (smile). And, just as in last week's SCH Academy-Penn Charter game that I covered, the winning team's most productive player in this Inter-Ac contest was a kid who goes by the initials AJ. SCH's headliner was AJ LaBella. EA's was jr. 2B Andrew "AJ" Lotsis. This AJ bats leadoff and in the home first he cracked an outta-here homer to right-center. His next two plate appearances produced walks and he scored a run in a six-run third. As Lotsis strode to the plate in the sixth, the Churchdudes were unsure how things were gonna play out because their lead had diminished from 7-0 to 7-6. But with one away and jr. RF Will Phillips (walk) on first, the lefty swinger fired an RBI double to left-center. He then moved to third on a groundout off the bat of frosh SS-RH Isaiah Payton and used a great read/mad dash to score the final run on a wild pitch. Sounds like the Player of the Game, right? Episcopal's six-run frame was fueled largely by sr. 3B-RH Ben Burman and Phillips. Each delivered two-run singles while jr. 1B Alex Burman (Ben's bro) and sr. CF Joe Chambers managed one-run singles. The Churchkids' pitching was done by soph RH Kyle Virbitsky (four innings), sr. RH Michael Nickolas (1 1/3), Ben Burman (2/3) and Payton (a 1-2-3 seventh; also showed a gun at SS). With the bases loaded and two away in the second, and with a full count on the batter, Virbitsky gigantically helped himself by picking a runner off second base. Payton made the tag. Another big defensive moment was recorded in the sixth by Lotsis, who made a leaping catch of a liner. GA's version of Lotsis was, fittingly, the second baseman. Soph Vince Capone got down a nice sac bunt to start, notched an RBI triple and RBI double (both balls were thumped) in his next two at-bats and made the Patriots' top defensive play, as well. With the infield up, sr. C Austin Morgan fired a one-hopper a shade to Capone's right. Vince perfectly pulled off the smother-it act and fired to jr. C Ryan Calhoun to get the out. Soph CF Jake Dianno had another defensive dandy, scrambling into left-center to run down Ben Burman's drive and stretch out for the catch. Right after Lotsis' leaping catch, Calhoun ripped a two-run double to left. Jr. LF Dan Zamarin had an infield single for an RBI in the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch. Early in the game, I heard a Patriot say to a teammate, "I can only get hits when my helmet doesn't fit me." The helmet was lookin' snug. "Looks like I'll have an oh-fer today." He did. Now coaching with Episcopal is assistant Dan Williams, a 2004 grad and third team All-City infielder as a senior. His partners are coach Mike Hickey (Malvern's former boss) and Tom Grandieri (former Malvern star). Guiding the Pats on an interim basis for this full season is Joe O'Hara, who won a record six Public League titles at George Washington. His primary sidekick is Calvin Jones, who formerly coached hoops at Washington and guided GA to the Inter-Ac baseball crown in 1996. Calvin starred in the three major sports at Edison ('70) and played briefly in the minors. Great to see all of you, guys! (Ditto for base ump John McBride.) Dianno (Mark, McDevitt) and GA jr. RH Emmett Harkins (also Emmett, La Salle) are the sons of former Catholic League notables. Batting leadoff today for GA was sr. DH John Aiello, a star shortstop and Wake Forest commit who's coming off Tommy John surgery and, thus, can't play in the field. John long has enjoyed a high national profile and a half-dozen MLB scouts, at least, were on hand today. They didn't get to see much. Batting only lefthanded, the switch-hitter fanned in his first at-bat, then walked, got plunked and walked again without seeing too many strikes. He was one of the two guys to score on Calhoun's sixth inning double.

APRIL 27
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
Conwell-Egan 7, McDevitt 6

  With the score at 6-0 after 4 1/2 innings, the C-E guys were talking about posting a four-spot in the home fifth and sending everyone home a shade early. And then . . . There we were in the visiting seventh and McDevitt was thisclose to tying the score. The Lancers tallied three unearned runs in the sixth vs. sr. LH Joey DeVos, cutting the deficit to 7-3 and terminating Joey's outing (seven hits allowed, no walks, four strikeouts). Jr. RH Joe DeLong started the seventh, but could not zone in and was replaced after issuing no-out walks to jr. 1B Alex Wilson, sr. 2B Jake Cantwell and sr. CF Zach Coates. Soph RH Pat Brennan took to the hill and soph SS Dan Ehrlich sent a sac fly to right. An infield bobble reloaded the bases and sr. LF Brendan Hanagan followed with a grounder wide of first that turned into a scratch single. Then all heck broke loose. A wild throw allowed another run to score and sr. RH-3B Dan Janosen, who'd reached on the bobble, came whipping around third with designs on scoring as well. But as neared the plate, Janosen decided to leap, instead of slide. After frosh C Will Zimmerman made the tag, Janosen was ejected by the plate ump for failing to follow the proper protocol. (That sequence left McDevitt with only nine players.) Next up was jr. DH Joel Moore. The righthanded hitter sliced one down the rightfield line and -- oh baby! -- it landed a smidgeon into foul territory. C-E soph 1B Shane Souchuck said later that the ball was foul by only "a couple inches." Brennan took a deep breath and ended it with a called strike three . . . Now, let's work in some humor before we return to game nuggets. Before the game, C-E was warming up to country music. As the McDevitt kids reached their bench after walking in from the bus, sr. 3B-RH Jimmy Templeton said, "Country music? That's supposed to get you pumped up? It makes you feel like you should get on a tractor and take a ride around the field." Ha, ha, ha. He was a pip later, also. At a time when McDevitt had ducks on the pond, Templeton blurted out, "Ducks in the chicken coop!" Followed by, "Dragon flies in the swamp!" A teammate asked him, "Bro, WHAT are you sayin'?" Indeed. Ha, ha . . . OK, back to details. C-E, as coached by Mike Gossner, who doubles as an associate scout for the Orioles, is incredibly young. DeVos is one of only three seniors. Aside from Joey, the Eagles started three apiece of juniors, sophs and freshmen. Frosh SS Brian Nicolas, soph 3B Jeff Manto (his dad, Jeff, played in the majors out of nearby Bristol High) and jr. RF Jarrett Patman recorded two hits apiece while Souchuck (single) and jr. DH Billy Meyer (double) got things started with hits for RBI in the first. Nicolas and Patman also had doubles. Though he did have a late error, Manto made several nice plays. On one, he momentarily lost the handle on a grounder to his right, then regrouped and gunned to first for the out. For McDevitt, Janosen and Hanagan (headed to Delaware Valley College to kick/punt and perhaps play baseball) notched two hits apiece while Templeton sliced an RBI single to right in the three-run sixth. Coates (a k a "Zachie Robinson") had a strong day in center. He always got good jumps on flies/liners and made a diving stab of a sinker into right-center. Janosen made a nice sprawling stop of a comebacker. Ed Kerrigan, now in his 52nd season, worked the bases. After a player hit a foul ball up and over the restraining fence on the first base side, Ed crowed, "That's out on Lehigh Avenue!" A C-E sub wondered aloud, "Lehigh Avenue?" Gossner walked over to the kid and told him, "That's from the old Connie Mack Stadium." (Lehigh was parallel to the line from the plate to the rightfield corner.) Ed has been using that line for decades and for me it never gets old. In fact, I love it! Anyone of a certain age still wishes the Phillies played at Connie Mack Stadium. And that Richie (later Dick) Allen was still clearing the roof with homers out onto Somerset Street.

APRIL 27
TEDBIT
 
On WIP yesterday morning, a caller mentioned to Sonny Hill that Overbrook High would soon be holding an alumni event to honor certain athletes. One name mentioned was Jeff Leonard, who enjoyed a long, productive career in the major leagues, and hearing his name set the mind into its commonplace, can't-be-helped spin. As in, over the last 39 years, how many other Pub/Cath/Int guys have made their debut and then proceeded to become everyday position starters (or close to it) in the majors? The answer: Not many. I decided to use 300 at-bats in a season as the cutoff. Only five guys have reached that number. And four managed just one season of logging that many ABs. Meanwhile, Frankford product Bobby Higginson ('87) was a 10-year starter for the Tigers, enjoying stints at all three outfield positions. Leonard played for five teams from 1977 through '90, hitting .266 with 144 homers and 723 RBI. "Higgy" played for only Detroit in an 11-year career, batting .272/187/809.

"Our Guys" With at Least 300 At-Bats in a Major League Season, 1977-2014
(Made Debut DURING That Time Frame)
Name School Year(s) Team Pos. G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Bob Zupcic Egan 1992 Red Sox OF 124 392 108 .276 3 43
*Bobby Higginson Frankford 1995-04 Tigers OF 154 597 179 .300 30 102
Ruben Amaro Jr. Penn Charter 1992 Phillies OF 126 374 82 .219 7 34
Joe McEwing Egan 1999 Cardinals 2B 152 513 141 .275 9 44
Ben Davis Malvern 2001 Padres C 138 448 107 .239 11 57
*-stats for best season are listed
  Other "Our Guys" position players, 1977-2014: Mike Costanzo, Carroll; Phil Gosselin, Malvern; Jesse
Levis
, Northeast; John Marzano, Central; Gene Schall, La Salle; Christian "Ya Ya" Walker, Kennedy-Kenrick. 

APRIL 25
TEDBIT
 
No-hitters are kinda rare, right? So, multiple no-hitters are almost NEVER posted on the same day, right? . . . Um, not really. Yesterday, Swenson's Johneric Vincente and String Theory's Joe Cammisa recorded no-hitters and that was the 14th time in this century that at least two no-nos have been recorded by Pub/Cath/Int pitchers on the same day. Three times, THREE no-nos have been posted.

Multiple No-Hiters on the Same Day, 2000-15
YEAR DATE LEAGUE PITCHER SCHOOL OPPONENT SCORE INN. K BB
2015 4/24 Public Joe Cammisa String Theory Dobbins 11-0 5 8 -
  4/24 Public Johneric Vincente Swenson Fels 13-0 5 5 1
2013  4/17 Public Emmanuel Young Franklin Bok 10-0 5 11 1
  4/17 Public *Justin Carlson Lincoln Roxborough 11-0 5 5 0
  3/27 Catholic Tom Mullin SJ Prep Roman 10-0 5 7 2
  3/27 Catholic Matt Kress Lansdale McDevitt 11-0 6 8 1
2011  5/2 Public Hector Cerda Frankford Washington 4-0 7 9 5
  5/2 Public Travis Zink Phila. Acad. Bodine 1-0 7 8  -
  4/6 Catholic Nick Gulla Lansdale McDevitt 10-0 5 7 0
  4/6 Public Ryan Gonzalez Furness Dobbins 14-1 5 13  -
2009 4/29 Catholic Ryan Mimnaugh Lansdale West Cath. 11-0 5 8  -
  4/29 Public Brian Gibbons Dobbins Univ. City 11-0 5 11  -
2008  4/21 Public Jose DeLeon Olney Bok 14-1 5 11 3
  4/21 Catholic Kyle Mullen SJ Prep North Cath. 9-3 7 6 4
2005  4/25 Catholic Rob Fisher Ryan Wood 8-0 7 8 3
  4/25 Catholic Bill Edger SJ Prep West Cath. 16-0 7 10 6
2004 4/29 Public Keon Richardson Dobbins Gratz 10-0 5 7  -
  4/29 Catholic Brian Rorick Carroll Kenn.-Ken. 10-0 7 8  -
2003 5/22 Public #Andrew Lihotz Northeast Kensington 10-0 5 7 -
  5/22 Public #Mario Malatino GAMP Mastbaum 5-1 7 12 3
  5/22 Public #Joe Farina Frankford Dobbins 17-0 5 13 -
  4/24 Public Joe Farina Frankford Bartram 13-0 5 11  -
  4/24 Public Jose Colon Mastbaum Fels 10-0 5 9 0
  4/24 Public Tyler Bowker Southern Penn 13-0 5 14  -
2001 4/2 Public Carlos Munoz Kensington King 10-0 5 12  -
  4/2 Public Ron Kenney Bok Overbrook 6-1 7 16 1
  4/2 Public Charlie Ritterson Washington Lincoln 11-1 5  -  -
2000  5/11 Public Terrance Brunson Dobbins West Phila. 14-2 5 12  -
  5/11 Public Jim Slavin Kensington Penn 11-0 5 13  -
  5/1 Public Eric Rossiter Franklin LC Univ. City 11-0 5 14  -
  5/1 Public Terrance Brunson Dobbins Audenried 14-4 5  -  -
*-perfect game
#-round-of-16 playoff

APRIL 24
TEDBIT
 
(With the April 18 Tedbit in mind . . . ) Not quite 11, but close. Neumann-Goretti's pitchers slapped together a streak of 10 consecutive hitless innings. It ended yesterday in the third inning of a game at Carroll. The middle six featured a mercy-rule no-hitter by jr. RH Ethan "E" Pritchett. Thanks to N-G assistant Joe Messina for his help with the details below.

Streak of 10 Hitless Innings By N-G's Pitchers
Name Date Innings Opponent
Jared Healey April 15 #Two McDevitt
Ethan Pritchett April 22 *Six O'Hara
Gino Tripodi April 23 Two Carroll
#-Relieved Joe LaFiora (five innings)
*-Game limited to six innings by mercy rule

APRIL 23
INTER-AC LEAGUE
SCH Academy 11, Penn Charter 6
  Man, it was c-c-c-c-c-old. I was shivering for the last four-odd innings and heard more than a few people say while heading for the parking lot, "I can't take this anymore." The not-comfy temp was bad enough. The wind was also quite strong and the sun appeared, only slightly, for maybe 10 seconds at most. Beforehand, I heard separate groups of players discussing how the weather is almost always brutal when SCH meets PC. NOW you tell me (ha ha). Often in cold weather, pitching dominates. Not today, baby! The visiting Blue Devils posted a four-spot in the first and we were off to the races (around the bases). The teams bagged 11 hits apiece and nine went for extra bases. Oddly, PC won that contest, 7-2. SCH's most productive hitter was jr. 3B AJ LaBella, the No. 3 hitter. He went 3-for-4 with a double (ground rule) and sac fly (to the backtracking shortstop) for four RBI, but his best bolt was a liner that turned into an out (as jr. SS Frank Driscoll made a nifty lunge/dive to his right). Soph DH Dan Shubert, the No. 6 hitter, added three RBI with a one-run single in the first and a two-run single in the fifth. Jr. CF Nick “Juice” Rowland and sr. C Michael  Melady also had two hits apiece while soph RF John Cucinotta laced an RBI double and soph SS Christopher “Bubby” Alleyne scored three runs without getting a hit (two walks, one HBP). Aside from four in the first, SCH scored two in the second, four in the fifth and one in the sixth. PC's hitting headliners were frosh LF-LH Mike Siani, jr. C Kenny Bergmann and sr. 1B Dillon Malandro. When Siani came to bat in the third, I was standing at the edge of the restraining fence on the first base side, trying to take a quick pic. Two SCH subs were nearby and I happened to say about Siani, "This is the kid that got a D-1 scholarship (to the University of Virginia) before he ever played in a varsity game." The guys knew about it and one added, not in a mean way, just in an amazed way, "I don't know why." Next pitch? Ping!!!! Siani fired a two-run homer over the fence a few feet inside the dead rightfield corner. Of course, I couldn’t help but blurt out with a smile, “I guess that’s why.” The kid closest to me was shaking his head as if to say, “How in the world did THAT just happen?” UPDATE: That SCH kid was sr. Sean McCann. Siani also had an RBI double while going 2-for-4 with three RBI. He also pitched the last two innings, allowing one hit and a run while uncorking impressive fastballs. Bergmann went 2-for-4 with a double, triple and one RBI. Malandro -- his dad, Ed, was a terrific football-baseball player for PC (class of '83) -- went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI. He was also issued an intentional walk. SCH’s starter was jr. RH Gunnar Hayes. He experienced no problems through two, then was hit around in the third and fourth. Frosh RH Aidan Frye allowed two hits and a run over the final three frames. Meanwhile, PC’s other extra base hits were doubles by soph 2B Dominic Toso and sr. DH Pete Kashatus. The benches at PC are very close to the cage and when the kids are motivated, that proximity can create a lively ballgame. That definitely happened today. The SCH crew, in particular, showed great energy. Each time the Blue Devils headed out onto the field, two subs (sometimes more) stood beyond the end of that restraining fence and yelled assorted comments to the starters. “You’d better sprint out there!” “Who’s getting out there the fastest?” “C’mon, you gotta hustle to your position!” Sometimes, the subs added playful semi-pushes. Also, at times, guys could be spotted doing pushups. A LOT of pushups, even. Sorry, but I neglected to find out the details. (Feel free to email me, someone/anyone.) UPDATE: Received an email from the aforementioned Sean McCann. "The players that were doing those push-ups and yelling at players were myself, senior catcher Robbie Phillips, senior pitcher Josh Beckerman, and senior pitcher Pat McCann (no relation). We do this at every one of our games and keep the energy up in our dugout. We call ourselves "The Bench Mob" . . . Thanks for this response, Sean! PC’s coach is David Miller, one of the top athletes in the ol’ Chestnut Hill Academy’s history and a former minor leaguer. His emotions had to be swirling. In time, PC could have two very successful lefties in Siani and soph Brendan Cellucci. Their builds and velocities were very similar. Late in the game, a black squirrel made an appearance on the gigantic tree up the hill behind third base. Not sure I’d ever seen one of those. Two PC guys standing nearby said, “No one ever believes us when we say there are black squirrels running around PC.” Guess what? There ARE! (smile) . . . Major props to The Wife. At first, the pics refused to download/upload (whatever the correct word is) onto my ancient laptop. She was able to download/upload them onto her only semi-ancient laptop and then later, somehow, she matched the feat back on my computer. Thanks, kiddo!! Imagine how many curse words you would have heard for the second time in three nights (the Malvern-Haverford School pics are lost forever -- ugh). Even she couldn't perform that miracle. 

APRIL 23
TEDBIT
 
The Catholic League has finally joined the club. This season, Neumann-Goretti has become the seventh city-leagues school in this century to find itself on the good and bad ends of no-hitters. The Saints suffered a no-no vs. Wood on April 14 and bagged their own yesterday as junior righthander Ethan Pritchett muffled O'Hara. Below is a breakdown. Amazingly, three of the no-hitters in 2003 occurred in Pub round-of-16 playoffs.

Pub/Cath/Int Schools on Both Ends of No-Hitters in the Same Season in This Century
Year School Date Winner Pitcher Loser Score Inn. Ks BBs
2015 Neumann-Goretti 4/22 Neum.-Gor. Ethan Pritchett O'Hara 10-0 6 8 3
    4/14 Wood Joey Lancellotti Neum.-Gor. 6-0 7 14 2
2012 Randolph 5/23 Randolph Justo Rodriguez Gratz 20-0 5 15 0
    5/8 Bartram Donavan Crawford Randolph 10-0 5 15 1
2011 Furness 4/14 Saul Bill Lehr Furness 10-0 5 5 0
    4/6 Furness Ryan Gonzalez Dobbins 14-1 5 13 -
2006 Penn 5/3 Penn Guiceppy Cruz Del-Val 3-2 7 21 7
    4/27 Lamberton Sheldon Henry Penn 10-1 7 8 1
2003 Kensington 5/22 *Northeast Andrew Lihotz Kensington 10-0 5 7 -
    4/22 Kensington Josh Williams Univ. City 10-0 5 8 -
  " Mastbaum 5/22 *GAMP Mario Malatino Mastbaum 5-1 7 12 3
    4/25 Mastbaum Johnny Marrero Franklin LC 10-0 5 13 -
  " Dobbins 5/22 *Frankford Joe Farina Dobbins 17-0 5 13 -
    5/2 Dobbins Jamil Phillips Eng. & Sci. 5-0 5 7 0
*-round-of-16 playoff

APRIL 22
TEDBIT
 
When yesterday's Inter-Ac game between visiting Malvern and Haverford School concluded with a one-run margin and the former on top, we should not have been surprised. Over the last 11 seasons, the Friars have become quite successful at winning one-run I-A outings. Their record is 13-5 and four wins (in six chances) have been claimed in extra innings. How'd this one-run dominance begin? Glad you asked. Early in league play in 2005, the Friars edged Germantown Academy, 6-5, as reliever Tom Grandieri (now an assistant at Episcopal; don't hold it against him -- smile) scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the home 14th. There were 27 hits in the game and one was a homer by Malvern's Tim McEndy  

Malvern's One-Run Games in Inter-Ac Play, 2005-15 (13-5 Record)
Year Winner Loser Score Innings
2015 Malvern Haverford School 7-6 7
  Malvern Episcopal 7-6 7
2014   Haverford School   Malvern 3-2 7
  Malvern Germantown Academy 6-5 7
2012 Malvern Chestnut Hill 7-6 7
  Malvern Germantown Academy 4-3 7
2011 Malvern Haverford School 5-4 7
  Malvern Episcopal 2-1 7
    Germantown Academy   Malvern 3-2 11
    Haverford School   Malvern 1-0 8
2009 Malvern Episcopal 5-4 9
2007 Malvern Haverford School 5-4 9
2006   Penn Charter   Malvern 4-3 7
  Malvern Haverford School 5-4 7
2005 Malvern Chestnut Hill 8-7 9
    Germantown Academy   Malvern 3-2 7
  Malvern Haverford School 7-6 7
  Malvern Germantown Academy 6-5 14

APRIL 21
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Malvern 7, Haverford School 6
 
There's a reason certain statements become cliches. 'Cause they're absolutely true! In baseball, folks like to say, "They all look the same in the boxscore." As in hits. Home runs are the best hit, of course, and they also look the same . . . even when they're not. In the home third, a pair of lefty swingers for Haverford School thumped homers to right-center. A two-run shot by jr. 1B Frank Cresta came first and this one was a true blast as the ball cleared the fence at the left edge of right-center and appeared to land on the outbound side of Lancaster Avenue. Soph RF Bryan Hyland strolled to the plate two batters later and his solo homer, also hit hard but not quite a match for Cresta's, cleared the fence at the right edge of right-center. Coupled with an RBI single by Cresta in the first inning, those shots provided the Fords a 4-0 lead. Malvern later posted two HRs of its own. Both by jr. RF-CF Chance DiFebbo. A three-run job in a five-run fifth and a two-run swat in the seventh. Honestly, both dingers had the look of regular flyballs. But HS' field is not exactly roomy and DiFebbo was able to gleefully break out home run trots. The first homer left the yard not far from the foul pole in left. The second carried to center. Two homers on regular flyballs. What are the Chances? (smile) We're thinking DiFebbo minded not at ALL that his homers were not as impressive as the Fords'. They featured enough oomph to get the job done, right? Plus, they helped the Friars claim a win after falling into a 4-0 hole. DiFebbo also played basketball this past winter and as a guard sub made some nifty contributions in games I attended. Dude has the knack! The first run in Malvern's four-run fifth when jr. 3B Jake Mullan laced an RBI single to center. The Friars made it 5-4 in the sixth as leadoff batter Chris Butera, a sr. RH (four innings) and RF, crunched a double down the left field line into the corner. Mullan started the seventh with a scratch infield single (could have been scored an error) and DiFebbo made it 7-4 with his second swat. The entertainment was hardly over. Soph RH Shane Muntz, a semi-stocky fastballer, issued a leadoff walk to Cresta and sr. SS David Rodgers misplayed a popup. A wild pitch moved up the runners and sr. pinch-runner Devin Wilkins (manager of the hoops squad) scored on a groundout off Hyland's bat. Sr. LF Ryan Fuscaldo then grounded out on a very close play at first (a safe call would not have surprised), but the Fords drew within one as sr. DH-RH Nick Greco fired a hard single to center. The No. 9 hitter, frosh CF Justin Meyer, then drew a walk and pitching coach E.J. Moyer, formerly a star lefty for the Fords, took a brisk walk to the mound and made a change. Next was frosh RH Billy Corcoran, just up from the JV and making his first Inter-Ac appearance. (He did pitch in a non-league game over the weekend.) Soph 3B Tommy Toal lofted a popup. You can guess where it went, right? You got it. In the direction of Rodgers, the shortstop. This time David stayed with it and made the catch to give the Friars their win. Though 13 runs were scored, the game required just two hours and mostly moved along in brisk fashion. Especially early. The Fords' starter, jr. RH Michael Warnick, had few problems through the first four innings, though Malvern did hit some balls hard against him. David Hogarth, the Fords' soph SS, went 2-for-4 and made some impressive plays in the field. Hyland ended the visiting seventh by making an impressive, last-second catch against the fence. Wilmer Reid, a long-time, great-guy scout, and DN/Inky reporter Aaron "Ace" Carter (just to watch; he has mostly covered lacrosse this spring) were among the witnesses. Now coaching at first base for the Fords is Tom McNeely. He played for now-closed St. James (class of 1985; in football in '83 he set the city leagues record for passing yards in one game with 329, in baseball in '85 he earned first team All-City honors as an infielder) and his full name is Thomas More McNeely. Why's that? His dad attended St. Thomas More High (class of '48, I believe Tom said) and loved the place so much he named his son after it. Cool! STM, at 47th and Wyalusing, one block off of Girard, closed in 1975. St. James, located in Chester, closed in '93. Not easy for dad/son. Good luck with the Fords, Tom. HS ain't closin' any time soon (smile). Two best lines of the day: After Cresta cracked his homer, a bench guy bellowed, "Bartender, pour me a shot of Jack!" Mullan, meanwhile, had a thick clump of hair sticking out the back of his cap. A Ford student rooter yelled down to him, "No. 11, you have way too much hair for this sport! Why are you not playing lacrosse!?" Ha, ha, ha. (There will NOT be any pics. All kinds of issues trying to download them due to file sizes, etc., then somehow they were erased from the memory card. VERY sorry, guys. Frustrated beyond belief.)

APRIL 18
TEDBIT
 
Over the previous eight days, pitchers for Boys' Latin and Wood slapped together matching streaks of 11 consecutive hitless innings. BL's is still alive, so we'll see what happens when the Warriors get back to action Wednesday vs. Bodine. Wood's ended on April 15 when Ryan soph Cory Hunter, recently promoted from the JV, led off the bottom of the first with his first varsity hit.
  UPDATE: In its next Pub game, Boys' Latin played Roxborough on April 22. In the first inning, Randy Krok ripped a single to left off Asa James. Rain forced the game to be suspended in the fourth inning with BL ahead, 7-2. 

Matching Streaks of 11 Consecutive Hitless Innings
BOYS' LATIN (Halted at 11 Innings; See Above)
Name Date Innings Opponent
Asa James April 10 @Two Bracetti
Asa James April 15 *Five Franklin
Manny Fernandez April 17 *Four Fels
WOOD
Name Date Innings Opponent
Kody Cracknell April 13 #Four McDevitt
Joey Lancellotti April 14 *Seven Neum.-Gor.
*-Length of Game      
#-Yielded hit in first inning of five-inning game
@-Yielded hit in fifth inning of seven-inning game

APRIL 15
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
Wood 5, Ryan 1

  Who invented technology? Is it OK for me to hate him? (At least for the moment.) Broke out a new camera today and the dang thing broke my spirit. Bought it this morning and was able to charge the battery card for only a while. Plus, I was unable to find a similar card for backup purposes. Bottom line: the camera shut down at the start of the sixth inning. My apologies to guys who did something photo worthy thereafter. I'll get the hang of this . . . Maybe. Smile. Or should that be a frown? Anyway, the Vikings entered this tilt, held at Ryan, having twirled 11 consecutive hitless innings in CL play. As many of you probably know, jr. RH Joey Lancellotti yesterday fired a no-hitter (with 14 strikeouts) against Neumann-Goretti. The Vikings' previous CL opponent was McDevitt and soph RH Kody Cracknell posted a one-hitter in that one. According to Wood's scorekeeper, Vince "Stat Wizard" Ferrara, that safety was notched in the first inning (and the game went just five). Would the domination continue today? Nope. In the bottom of the first, soph RF-LF Cory Hunter, a lefty swinger recently promoted from the JV, lashed a single to right for his first varsity hit. Would that be the start of something good? Nope. Ryan failed to score against sr. RH Justin Rubin (4 2/3 innings) and managed one marker against soph RH Sean Hughes (rest of the way). Rubin, who's bound for Richmond on a football scholarship, yielded four hits compared with two for Hughes. They combined for a rare feat in the fifth. Rubin recorded a pickoff at first base for out No. 2 and Hughes matched that feat for out No. 3 (after Rubin allowed a single and was replaced). Wonder how often something like that has happened. Not very, it says here. Ryan scored a run in the sixth as Hughes was reached for two singles (by sr. CF Joe Iannacone and sr. 1B Shane Smith) and two walks (to sr. DH Josh Lopez and soph C Matt Romano). Just when observers were thinking, "This could get interesting," Hughes shut down the inning with a strikeout and a grounder that turned into a doubleplay -- sr. 3B Austin Hill to jr. 2B Matt Cummiskey to jr. 1B Sean Kelly (nice scoop). The seventh was uneventful. Hunter and Smith, whose brother, Justin, a soph, played 3B, had two hits apiece. Ryan's starter was jr. RH Shane McGrody, who went five innings. Wood was quiet through three, then posted four in the fourth and one in the fifth. Sr. C Nick Lafferty, a righthanded hitter, sent RBI singles to right in each inning, and those were the only RBI via hits. Hill lofted a sac fly to center. The most interesting play ended the fourth. With two away and runners on first and third, jr. RF Bob Heck began bolting for second. McGrody stepped off and threw wildly to third. However, the ball bounced off the restraining fence right back to J. Smith and jr. LF Corey Dower was gunned down at the plate. Soph Mick Pristas, Wood's sub leftfielder, had a nice bounceback moment. After allowing a baserunner to move up due to a bobble in the sixth, Pristas opened the seventh with a diving catch of a short popup. Impressive all day was how Lafferty did his best to stop semi-wild pitches even with no one on base. Aside from the no-hitter, the big news out of Wood this week is that jr. RH Anthony Russo, also the QB, has dumped baseball to concentrate on football. Many legends on the property! The Hughes family had a two-pack. Sean's dad, Ken, played baseball and QB for Ryan (as did his older brother, Ed; both also played college FB as QBs) and the guys' father, Ed, pitched for a half-decade in the Phillies' farm system after starring at Judge. Click here for a link to a story that shows what a special man Mr. Hughes is. Others: Ryan FB coach Frank "5" McArdle and his uncle, Ed; former CL umpiring stalwart Frank Sylvester, who has long been umpiring games in the Atlantic Coast Conference; basketball ref Don Cummiskey, Matt's dad; game umps Nick Chichilitti (plate) and Joe Lieberman (bases) and the coaches who always make visits to games involving Wood and Ryan enjoyable: Jim DiGuiseppe Jr. and Sr., Brian Klumpp and Steve Carr (Wood); Gerry Eck and Walt De Treux (Ryan). Great to see everybody! . . . One last nugget: Four Wood starters were wearing stirrups. Gotta love the respect for back in the day. They were sr. CF Anthony Zupito (two runs scored), Lancellotti (the DH), Dower and Rubin. 

APRIL 14
TEDBIT
 
Some Tedbits are smaller than others. This one is infinitesimal. As near as I can figure, only three members of Catholic League basketball rotations are also playing baseball this spring. The Prep's Jack Henkels was the most productive hoopster. He averaged 9.4 points in CL play and totaled 232 points for the season. Lansdale's Ryan Quigley also stars in football. (Couldn't find anyone in the Inter-Ac to add to this list.)  

CL Hoops Rotation Members
Who Are Also Playing Baseball
Name School Bask Base
Jack Henkels SJ Prep Guard Outfield
Ryan Quigley Lansdale Guard Outfield
Zach Coates McDevitt Guard Outfield

APRIL 13
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
SJ Prep 6, O'Hara 4 (9 inn.)

  Me: I hate when this happens. You: When what happens? Me again: When a close game is decided by a miscue. Hey, errors (and other foulups) are part of the game. But my strong guess is that winning teams feel better when they seize wins thanks to clutch hits. We'll start with the visiting ninth. Sr. C Jack Frantz reached base on a scratch infield single, was bunted to second by sr. LF James Gleason and came around when a routine grounder turned into a throwing error. One out later, sr. RF Dan Schuhl sliced a low liner into left field and jr. 2B John Coppola checked in with run No. 6 (by neatly evading a lunge tag by jr. C Sean Donahue). O'Hara went the 1-2-3 route in the bottom half and sr. RH Andrew Magiera, who worked three scoreless innings in relief, owned the W. Magiera allowed two hits and two walks. He performed his best trick in the eighth, inducing a popup back to himself with two away and the bases loaded. The Hawks' starter was jr. RH Billy "Wrestling" Matz and his only problem was the presence of sr. DH Chris Salvey in O'Hara's lineup. Salvey, whose build stirs memories of ex-Phillies slugger Greg "Bull" Luzinski, crushed a double to left-center in what became a two-run fourth and powered a two-run homer to left in the sixth. The wind was blowing rather hard to left throughout the game, but for some reason it mostly appeared to push balls down instead of help them. Salvey's shot had major teeth. Right through it! The ball cleared the fence in the area to the right of the scoreboard and left of the 370-foot sign. Crush job! Salvey also singled in the eighth, finishing the day 3-for-3 (hit by a pitch in the first) and two RBI. When Salvey laced his double, the O'Hara folks all said to themselves, "Fiiiiiinally!" The Lions had been held hitless for at least nine consecutive innings in Catholic League play -- the first three in this one and all six in a loss to La Salle last Thursday. Two days before that, the Lions fell to Conwell-Egan, 6-5. Coach John Grossi was unsure whether his squad had gone hitless in one or more innings to end that one. Those scoresheets were in his office, he said. (If we get an update, we'll post it.) UPDATE: John reported that O'Hara had two hits in the seventh inning vs. C-E. Thus, the streak was nine innings.) The Prep managed one hit against sr. LH Bill Neill through three innings. Staff ace Chris Fusaro, a sr. LH, then took over and impressed early with some perfectly placed changeups. But in the sixth, with one away, sr. 1B Colin Cunningham, a lefty swinger, sent a groundball through the left side for a single and sr. SS Tyler Clark, a righty, stroked a single to right. A popup provided out No. 2, but jr. 3B Keith Flaherty milked a walk and Frantz delivered a medium-velocity single to left. Two runs scored in regular fashion and a third came in as a throw trying to cut down Flaherty at third went awry. Gleason then hammered an RBI triple to deep left-center. Sr. RH Angel Rivera came on to get out No. 3, then fared well through the seventh and eighth. Salvey was the only Lion with multiple hits. Cunningham, Clark, Frantz and Gleason bagged two apiece for the Prep. The game required 2 hours, 34 minutes. Prep soph Colin Scanlon, a bench guy today, had the two best lines. When Neill bounced a pitch, Scanlon noted, "He's ruining ant hills!" When a subsequent pitch was up there, he called out, "Yeah, that's high! Leave it in the attic!" Meanwhile, right before the game began, Prep sr. DH Dino Cattai told his teammates, "I feel a 10-spot today, boys! How 'bout you?!" Smart kid, that Dino Cattai. The game DID produce 10 runs (though I have a feeling he meant the Prep would score 10 -- smile). Strangest sight of the day: John Reifsnyder, who starred and assisted at La Salle, is now helping Prep coach Joe Falcone. There was also one other "violation" -- O'Hara's starting SS was soph Pete Klein, who's the son of a guy who starred for . . . Bonner! In a 1987 semifinal, his dad, also named Pete, went 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBI as the Friars used an eight-run visiting seventh to erase a 14-11 deficit and top St. James, 19-14. (Note to youngheads: St. James, located in Chester, closed in 1993.)

APRIL 10
TEDBIT
 
Yesterday, junior righthander Shane McGrody pitched a two-hitter as Ryan beat Carroll, 1-0, in a Catholic League game. The list below shows all 1-0 results in CL regular season games in this century. Interesting nuggets: Conwell-Egan's Brian Herman posted two in 2006 and TWO games took place on the same day (April 5) in 2005. Both went extra innings. Those were the games started by Ryan Geiss and Brian Rorick.

1-0 Games in the Catholic League Regular Season, 2000-15
Year Winner Loser Starter for Winner @Hits
Allowed
@Innings
Pitched
2015 Ryan  Carroll Shane McGrody 2 7
2014 La Salle Judge Dominic Cuoci 3 8
2010 North Catholic O'Hara Ryan Etsell 3 7
2009 Kennedy-Kenrick Carroll Jimmy Volpe 1 7
  Bonner O'Hara Ryan Haley 2 7
2006 Conwell-Egan La Salle Brian Herman 3 7
  Conwell-Egan Judge Brian Herman 1 7
2005 Dougherty North Catholic Kevin McGovern 3 7
  Conwell-Egan La Salle Ryan Geiss 0 *7
  Carroll SJ Prep Brian Rorick 1 #5
2004 Ryan  Conwell-Egan Mike Szelagowski 6 7
  Dougherty Wood Mike McCann 2 7
  Judge Dougherty Shane Erb 1 8
2003 Roman SJ Prep Matt Daley 3 7
  SJ Prep Kennedy-Kenrick Joe McElwee 5 7
  O'Hara Roman Kevin Paul 4 +5
  Carroll Conwell-Egan Brandon Gribbin 3 7
2002 McDevitt Judge Bob Mitros 6 7
2001 North Catholic McDevitt Dan Szychulski 5 7
@-by starter
*-game went 9 innings; Matt Burns pitched the 8th and 9th
#-game went 8 innings; Brian Puliti pitched 2 2/3 and Dan Ritter pitched 1/3 to get the win
+-game went 7 innings; Josh Rickards finished up (2 hits over two innings)

APRIL 9
TEDBIT
 
The guys below are my "favorite" baseball players in the Catholic League. Reason? Though they have also starred in football, they have not limited themselves to one sport. Often these days, perhaps because of demanding coaches, once guys become accomplished in one sport they stop playing others. Not cool. Have as much sports fun as possible in high school, guys. Meanwhile, check out the list that shows the NFL players who played in the Public, Catholic and Inter-Ac Leagues. Many played two sports and QB Matt Ryan, a product of Penn Charter, was a mainstay in three. Meanwhile, if you want to go way back, hoops all-timer Wilt Chamberlain (Overbrook) was also a track star. He routinely won the high jump and shot put events. Can you imagine? How many guys, ever, have won THOSE two events, which require top-notch athleticism AND brute strength? . . . Note: La Salle's Jimmy Herron (Duke) and Neumann-Goretti's Matt McKeown (Delaware) will be playing D-1 baseball in college, so congrats to them for having stuck with football.    

Cath Football All-Stars Who Also Play Baseball
School Name Pos. Year A-C Football Honors
Bonner-Prendie Christian DiGalbo 1B Sr. 1st DL/2nd OL
  Collin DiGalbo P Sr. 1st QB/2nd P
Carroll Max Frederick P Sr. 1st K
Lansdale Ryan Quigley OF Jr. 1st RB/DB
La Salle Jimmy Herron OF Sr. 1st WR/DB
McDevitt Brendan Hanagan P-INF Sr. 1st K/P
Neumann-Goretti Matt McKeown OF Sr. 1st DL 
Ryan Matt Romano C-INF-P So. 1st P
Wood Justin Rubin P Sr. 1st LB
  Anthony Russo P Jr. 2nd QB

APRIL 1
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
Carroll 5, Bonner-Prendie 2

  So, how will Max Frederick get his sports kick in college? Like a lengthy field goal attempt, that's still up in the air. Frederick served Carroll's football team as quite the competent kicker over the past three seasons, and there's no doubt he could perform those duties at the next level. Ah, but he's also a pitcher and today he slapped together a decent outing as the Patriots carved out a road triumph. The sr. RH went six innings and should have departed with an ERA of 0.00. But with two away and runners on second and third in the fifth, sr. 1B Christian DiGalbo lofted a way-up-there popup. All kinds of guys could have caught it. Alas, no one did. The ball plopped onto the soggy turf a shade behind second base -- also a shade toward the right side -- as sr. LF Nick Lazer (walk) and sr. 2B Dan Goggin (single; both moved up on a wild pitch) scrambled home. While checking with Max after the game to ask whether he's committed to a college (he's not) or a specific sport (he's not), I kiddingly told him he should have run over there and caught the ball himself. He quipped back, "I was thinking about it." Frederick allowed four hits and three walks while recording two strikeouts. He's still lanky (listed at 6-4, 165, during football season), so lots of filling out could take place. And who knows? It would not be impossible to kick AND pitch in college, right? Sr. RH JJ Cicala, the starting third baseman and cleanup hitter, worked an uneventful seventh. Carroll scored one run in the second and two apiece in the fourth/fifth. Sr. C Mike McCarthy, a righthanded hitter, deftly shortened his stroke and sent an RBI single to right in the second. Soph DH-1B Rich Melito and sr. 2B Brian Schnell pulled RBI singles down the leftfield line in the fourth. Sr. SS JT Evangelist did likewise for the first run in the fifth. The second marker came courtesy of an all-timer. Jr. 1B-3B Nick Zambella cracked a drive to deep left. Lazer semi-circled going backward, the ball zipped over his head and . . . plop! It stuck in the soggy turf. Or maybe even muddy turf. (Left field was definitely the worst area.) Lazer did not pick up the ball at first. He just looked down in amazement (and perhaps was hoping a ground-rule double would be called). The play continued and Zambella wound up with an RBI triple. Base ump Joe Cassidy, the men's basketball coach at South Jersey's Rowan University, said he'd NEVER seen that happen in MANY years on the umpiring trail. B-P's pitcher at the time was reliever Anthony Martinelli, a jr. RH. He also provided quite unusual viewing. When runners were on first, Martinelli was looking back over his RIGHT shoulder to check on them. "Cass" said he'd seen that a few times. Maybe I had, too. Couldn't remember it, though. B-P's starter was sr. RH Nick Bralczyk. He had all-or-nothing innings. Carroll went down 1-2-3 in the first and third, but otherwise put 10 runners on base against Bralczyk. RH Eli Chase, a hard-throwing soph, worked the sixth and seventh. The best defensive play occurred in the third when sr. RF Jake Miller (looping double down the rightfield line) tried to score on Goggin's two-out single to right. Sr. RF Matt Guyger came up throwing and McCarthy made an impressive snag/sweep to record the out. The B-P folks were upset McCarthy wasn't called for blocking the plate without having possession of the ball. Did appear to be borderline. Oddly, the game's first strikeout was not recorded until the second out of the visiting fourth. In fact, there were only four Ks all game. In Monday's Neumann-Goretti/La Salle game, there were 10 alone on called third strikes. None today. Dude had a tight zone. The most prominent visitor, by far, was former MLBer Mike Costanzo, a 2002 Carroll grad. Mike recently opened an insurance agency in his native Springfield (Delco) and he'd love to hear from you if you're ready to spend money to protect your house/car/whatever (smile). Mike's office number is 484-843-1199. Also, he'll play this season for the Camden Riversharks. Also prominent in the Class of 2002 was O'Hara shortstop Mike Essery (both guys twice earned first team All-City honors) and he was among the witnesses, as well. This Mike is related, via marriage, to Carroll assistant Joe Lake. Great to see you, guys! One more witness of note: former Roman basketball star R.C. Kehoe, now the coach at Holy Family. Ditto, R.C.!

MARCH 30
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
Neumann-Goretti 7, La Salle 4

  This was a double-edged opener. As in, neither team was able to play a non-league game before this one due to the crappy weather so far this spring. The base ump was Gene Otto, who assigns umps for all home games involving Catholic League and Inter-Ac League teams. Prior to today, only seven games had been played and five had taken place on turf surfaces at Haverford School (three) and Ramp Playground (two, used by Judge). "The other two were at O'Hara," Gene said. "Only two games so far on regular fields. You believe that?" Yes, it was semi-bitter today, mostly because of a wind that often raged in from dead right, but the field itself looked great and a medium time was had by all (smile). N-G and La Salle are two of the CL's top-dog programs, so it was kind of a shame that they had to meet in a no-preparation opener. There was still some quality viewing, however. For N-G, jr. RH Ethan "E" Pritchett and sr. RH Bay To (Fairleigh Dickinson) came within three outs of posting a combo one-hitter. Sr. SS Justin Curtin (Gwynedd-Mercy), sr. 2B Vinny Vaccone (Mercer County CC, in New Jersey) and sr. DH-RF Gino Tripodi (also G-M) bagged two RBI apiece and sr. LF Matt McKeown (Delaware, transfer from South Jersey's Paul VI) posted a pair of absolutely-ripped doubles. For La Salle, sr. CF Jimmy Herron (Duke) drew a walk in his first at-bat and then hit three balls hard while netting two singles and one RBI, sr. 3B Ian "Eight Feet Beyond the Arc" McIntosh crunched a two-run double to left-center in the seventh and jr. RH Joe Peluso faced just 10 batters while pitching three innings of no-hits, no-walks, no-runs relief. This was game No. 1 for Kyle Werman, La Salle's new coach, and he'll always remember this: His team's first run scored on a hit-by-pitch in the butt (absorbed by jr. LF Langston Livingston). That came in the visiting first after walks to sr. SS AJ "Spell This Fast Once" Grezeszak and Herron and an HBP to McIntosh. Herron's RBI came in the second after soph C Jack Pogyor drew a walk and sr. CR Connor Williams stole two bases. The guys who scored on McIntosh's two-run double in the seventh were Grezeszak (walk) and Herron (single). I was a little surprised To was still out there pitching because he'd slightly turned an ankle while grounding out to end the sixth. If you follow CL baseball, perhaps you're wondering why Pritchett and To did the pitching. Reason: Star sr. lefty Pat Doudican (College of Charleston) is nursing a slightly tender elbow. He hopes to be back soon. With some D-1 assistants on hand to evaluate, Pritchett settled down after the early control problems. He fanned six in four innings. Rumor had it he hit 83 to 86 mph on the radar guns in the first inning. Because his body is nowhere close to being filled out, there's MUCH to like about this young man's potential. To, a star RF and leadoff man, struck out two in his stint. N-G touched sr. RH James Dougherty for three apiece in the first and third and one in the second. Vaccone's two-run shot over the head of sr. 1B Brian Buckley highlighted the first. The big hit in the third was a perfectly placed popup down the right field line (also worth two runs) by Tripodi. Curtin collected his RBI in the second by inside-outing an 0-2 pitch to right. Good piece of hitting. Sr. C Tommy Nardini (also G-M) went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. The game's big oddity: each team looked at five strike threes. The plate ump called a lot of borderline high strikes, but there was no questioning his consistency. He did so from the outset. Per coach Kevin Schneider, N-G's field soon will get dugouts and the black shirts are also due to arrive shortly (hopefully). Dianne Herron (La Salle) and Lisa Doudican (N-G) handled photos-by-team-moms duties. Both reported being q-q-q-uite c-c-c-old (smile). Other dignitaries: Jon Cross (former Penn Charter coach, now creating waves with the AAU Bandits), Al Baur (former Southern star and minor leaguer; his son, Albert, starred for N-G and now is drawing pro interest at Newberry in South Carolina) and Sean Saverio (ex-La Salle star now assisting Werman). Joe Messina, then a seventh grader (his dad, Joe, is a Saints assistant), last summer pitched a pair of 1-2-3 innings in an all-star game that was nationally televised. Very cool! If Werman is a little down about losing his first game, he shouldn't be. Ex-boss Joe Parisi dropped his debut vs. Judge, but went on to claim 453 wins. Best line of the day: After looking at the quite crumpled jersey being worn by Tripodi, N-G's field guy said to him, "It looks like you took that out of your wallet." Ha, ha, ha.

MARCH 30
TEDBIT

  Let's try this again . . . and again . . . and again. For the sixth time in 19 seasons, the Catholic League is trying a different format for its baseball regular season. The breakdown is below. By contrast, football (first to Red-Blue, then to AAAA-AAA-AA) and basketball (Red-Blue, then to all one league) have changed just twice apiece.

Regular Season Formats for Catholic League Baseball, 1997-2015
Years Alignment Regular Season Schedule
1997-2004 North-South two games vs. each division member, plus four crossovers
2005-2006 North-South two games vs. each division member 
2007 North-South three games vs. each division member
2008-2012 Red-Blue two games vs. each division member 
2013-2014 Red-Blue three games vs. each division member in Red; two in Blue
2015 No divisions one game vs. each member