On the Trail With Ted
Baseball 2017

Return to TedSilary.com Home Page

 Observations, notes, etc., on games I've seen during
and after the 2017 season . . . Plus some Tedbits.
my email . . . tedtee307@yahoo.com.

Former website writer John Shiffert is about to open a running store in Flourtown, Montgomery County. Please check out a press release he wrote in preparation. Best of luck, John!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: John Shiffert - wissvalleyrun@gmail.com -- 215-948-3316 - @WissValRun

250 Years of Running Experience Coming to Flourtown

Flourtown, PA, Aug. 11, 2017 -- With the opening of Wissahickon Valley Running LLC (WVR), 250 years of running experience and expertise will soon be available to , Erdenheim, Flourtown, Oreland, Ft. Washington, Lafayette Hill, Plymouth Meeting, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and everyone who runs and walks on Forbidden Drive in the scenic Wissahickon Valley.

No, one of General Lafayette’s Native American scouts has not come back to inform local runners and walkers on the ins and outs of long distance. Rather, specialty running store Wissahickon Valley Running, in addition to serving the loyal denizens of Forbidden Drive and providing discounts to a wide variety of customers, will feature the expertise of a number of well-known local runners who are members of the store’s Advisory Board. Including former national class runners, masters champions, race directors, podiatrists and coaches, the Advisory Board will serve WVR owner and former Middle Atlantic Road Runners Club Executive Director John Shiffert (who has 39 years running experience himself) and the local running population in talking running and walking.

Located at 1518 Bethlehem Pk., Flourtown, PA (next door to the fire station), Wissahickon Valley Running will have a trial run on August 18 and open its doors for good on August 23. A Grand Opening Celebration will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16.

WVR will feature discounts for local running clubs, high school and college teams, Bruno’s (the Official Restaurant of WVR) customers, seniors, military, first responders, classic race shirts, current race numbers, fast times, slow times, loyal customers, and more.

“Everyone loves a good deal,” says Shiffert. “Our primary target audience is anyone who runs on Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Valley. Geographically, Flourtown is well-centered in regards to all the local municipalities, Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy, and Harper’s Meadow.

“We can also help walkers, nurses, retail clerks, waiters and others who spend a lot of time on their feet find a good, comfortable shoe. And, we can direct you to other running resources, such as podiatrists, PTs, orthopedists and coaches, and we will provide free meeting space for running clubs, clinics and seminars by members of our Advisory Board.”

That’s another value of the Advisory Board, which includes: Dr. Ira Meyers, podiatrist and former Philadelphia Marathon champion; Tony DeSabato, the former race director of the Philadelphia Distance Run; Pat Barrett, the former course record holder for the Broad Street Run, the fourth place finisher in first official Boston Marathon womens’ field, a sixth place finisher in the AAU National 10K road championships, a 16th place finisher L’Eggs Mini-Marathon 10K, and a long time running coach; Bill McClellan, the “Mayor of Forbidden Drive,” one of the area’s most successful age group runners at 82 and a former age group winner in the Chicago Marathon; Bob Fortunato, a participant in all 39 Philadelphia Distance Runs and a dozen Boston Marathons and the head track and field and cross country coach at Roman Catholic High School; and Springfield Township High School coaches Chris Mazurek and Niara Woods.

“Considering that Forbidden Drive is unquestionably the best place to run in the Philadelphia region, if not the entire country, it’s been too long since a running store was dedicated to serving this population,” says Shiffert. “As a former employee of the Phidippdes Running Center that was located at Springfield Avenue and Germantown Avenue many years ago, I felt there was an opportunity to serve a loyal local running community, and we intend to do just that.”


Being able to put together a list of Catholic League baseball coaches over the last 40 seasons led to this one: CL baseball/basketball/football coaches with lengthy stints within the last 40 school years. Of course, some of these men began their careers before the 1977-78 school year. One thing that forever provides amazement: Baseball coaches who stick with it "forever." I'm thinking that sport has to provide twice as many frustrations as the others when you factor in weather issues and the fact that some games can take a l-o-n-g time to finish and cause you to get home way after dinner. Anyway, the list below includes 31 coaches -- 12 basketball, 10 baseball and nine football. Not all coaches guided teams straight through. Special mention to John Mooney. He guided St. James' baseball team for 39 seasons (1955-1993) and stepped away only because the school closed. He was also the Bulldogs' basketball coach for four seasons (1961-64) and the long-time athletic director. In St. James' last year, he was a vice principal, business manager and maintenance director. He also taught one period of English, spent another period supervising the lunchroom and published newsletters (alumni/principal).

Catholic League Coaches With Lengthy Stints, 1977-78 Through 2016-17
Yrs. Name School Sport 1st Year
33 Pat Manzi McDevitt foot 1982
31 Bud Gardler O'Hara bask 1978
31 Rich Papirio Ryan/Egan base 1978
29 Joe McDermott Judge base 1978
28 Joe Parisi La Salle base 1986
27 Mark Heimerdinger Dougherty bask 1983
26 Bill Fox Judge bask 1978
23 Joe Sette McDevitt/Wood bask 1981
22 Whitey Sullivan Judge foot 1977
22 Bill Dugan O'Hara base 1978
22 Dennis Seddon Roman bask 1987
21 Joe Colistra La Salle foot 1985
20 Speedy Morris Roman/SJ Prep bask 1978
20 Bob Vent Bonner base 1985
19 Glen Galeone Ryan foot 1990
19 Carl Arrigale Neum.-Goretti bask 1999
18 George Stratts Dougherty/O'Hara foot 1977
18 Frank Allison Carroll/O'Hara base 1988
18 Brian Fluck West foot 1999
17 Bill Ludlow West bask 1994
17 Jim DiGuiseppe Sr. Wood base 1995
16 Tom Stewart St. James bask 1978
16 John Mooney St. James base 1978
16 Bob DiFlorio Neumann bask 1986
16 Mike "Stump" Coyne Bonner foot 1988
15 Ed "Bubby" DiCamillo West/Neumann foot 1984
15 Marty Jackson La Salle bask 1987
15 Joe O'Brien Roman base 1987
15 Jim McCaffrey Dougherty base 1988
15 Dan Bielli Carroll/K-K foot 1995
15 Bernie Rogers Ryan bask 2001

After a one-year break, we can inform you that a school has earned a berth on this special list. Annnnnd . . . it's a first-time honoree! Thanks to three football players and one guy apiece in basketball and baseball, Archbishop Wood produced first team All-City honorees in the three major sports during the 2016-17 school year. The list below now covers 40 school years. Congrats to these special Vikings. 

Schools With All-City First Teamers in the Three Major Sports
In the Same School Year, 1977-78 to Present
Year School Football Basketball Baseball
1979-80 Northeast Karl Siegle, K Willie Oliphant, G Scott Vogel, P
    Steve Poole, DE    
1980-81 Frankford Eric Leak, OL Anthony Chennault, G Bruce Konick, P
    Bob Brett, DE    
1981-82 Frankford Brian Ramsey, DE Rico Washington, C Rich McKay, P
    George Heineman, DB    
  Bonner Dan Brodeur, OL Walt Fuller, G Dan Hirst, INF
    Jim Chupein, K    
    Tom Abram, LB    
1985-86 Bonner Pete Ruggieri, DL Ivan "Pick" Brown, G Mike Weber, INF
    Joe Gallagher, LB    
1987-88 Bonner Art Serano, DL Brian Daly, F Jon Schaffer, OF
    Dan Summers, DL    
1990-91 Roman Marvin Harrison, MP Bernard Jones, F Harry Carr, OF
1991-92 Dougherty Manny Gonzalez, DL Cuttino "Cat" Mobley, G Chris Dugan, INF
1992-93 Olney Kenyatta Carter, Rec. Jason Lawson, C Larry Abney, OF
  Roman Joel Rivers, DL Marc Jackson, C Bill Black, INF
1993-94 Penn Charter Mike Samuel, QB Steve Goodrich, C Mike Sposato, OF
    Brandon Shepherdson, RB   Mike Samuel, P
1994-95 Carroll Andrew Garchinsky, DL Rafal Bigus, C Frank DiMaggio, INF
    Greg See, LB    
1996-97 Carroll Sean Scott, DB Martin Ingelsby, G Jay Aquilante, INF
        Mike Fuchs, C
1997-98 Judge Joe Mahoney, OL Jim Reeves, F Kris Dufner, INF
    Jim Casey, RB    
1998-99 Northeast Dante Poole, RB Randy Dukes, G Pat Brady, INF
2000-01 Roman Joe McCourt, MP Tamal Forchion, F-C Joe McCourt, OF
    Scott Paxson, DL    
2001-02 Episcopal Joe Person, OL Terrence Mack, F Adam Murray, INF
2002-03 Penn Charter Matt Ryan, QB Sean Singletary, G Taylor Baum, 1B
    Tony McDevitt, LB    
2003-04 SJ Prep Mike Buscaglia, OL Chris Clark, G Mark Noonan, INF
    Matt Parkhurst, DL    
    Brian Tracz, LB    
    Dan Jones, DB    
    Greg Ambrogi, DB    
2003-04 Malvern Andrew Mackrides, K Brian Grandieri, G Will Romanowicz, P
    Dan Onorato, LB    
2004-05 Central Cornelius Bunch, DL Scott Rodgers, G-F Andrew Reynolds, INF
  Gtn. Academy Phil Azarik, K Ryan Ayers, G-F Tyler Stampone, INF
    Tyler Stampone, DB    
2007-08 Ryan Nick Ferdinand, Rec. Andrew Rogers, G Nick Ferdinand, OF
2009-10 Neum.-Goretti Will Huff, P Tony Chennault, G Mark Donato, P
      Tyreek Duren, G  
2011-12 La Salle Ryan Geiger, OL Eddie Mitchell, G Joe Forcellini, 1B
    Jamal Abdur-Rahman, RB    
    Connor Daly, LB    
    Kevin Forster, DB    
  Malvern Michael Mooney, OL Brendan Kilpatrick, G Joe Ravert, 1B
    Connor Mahoney, DL   Joe Poduslenko, INF
    Joe Nilan, LB   Nick Bateman, OF
2012-13 SJ Prep David Tracz, OL Stephen Vasturia, G Jawan McAllister, OF
    Paul Johnson, DL   Tom Mullin, P
    Todd Jones, LB    
    John Reid, DB    
  La Salle Sean Coleman, Rec. Amar Stukes, G Chris Melillo, 1B
    Ryan Winslow, P   Dominic Cuoci, P
    Tom Spiteri, DL    
    Zaire Franklin, LB    
2013-14 SJ Prep Jon Daniel Runyan, OL Chris Clover, G Jawan McAllister, OF
    Chris Martin, QB    
    Jake Strain, DL    
    Ryan McNulty, LB    
    John Reid, DB    
2014-15 SJ Prep Jon Daniel Runyan, OL Chris Clover, G Dino Cattai, OF
    Olamide Zaccheaus, MP   Colin Scanlon, P
    D'Andre Swift, MP    
    Jake Strain, DL    
    John Reid, DB    


Wood Anthony Diodato, OL Collin Gillespie, G  John "JR" Gifford, DH
    Mark Webb, Rec.    
    Raheem Blackshear, MP    

  This was submitted by Gerry Sasse, an assistant to Penn Charter's athletic directors. Thanks, Sas.
  He noted that Tom McClain (RIP) was inducted into the Philadelphia Softball Association HOF in 1990. Here's the bio that appeared in the program.

Tom McClain - (Umpire)
Tom McClain has been officiating for 30 years. He has umpired approximately 2000 softball games, including the 1960 Philadelphia Catholic League Championship, the 1984 PIAA State Championship, the 1981 Ivy League Championship, ASA regional tournaments from 1965-1972 and the Women’s Class-A National in Utah. He is the PIAA State representative for District-1. Tom has worked as a football official and has done games for Army, Syracuse, Miami and Notre Dame, plus Philadelphia Catholic and Philadelphia Public League Football Championships. He doesn’t relax in the winter, but does high school and college basketball, where he has also had State High School Playoff Games and College League Championship Games. Tom has always been highly respected in al three sports and coaches say they are always happy to see him appear at their games. They know that they will have a knowledgeable, constantly hustling official. Tom Resides in Bridesburg and works for Admiral transportation Company.

  My report on a crazy day from the 2000 season . . .
MAY 8, 2000

Carroll 25, West Catholic 3
  Frustrating day on the trail, folks. I started in Norristown, hoping to see Neumann/Kennedy-Kenrick, but the game had been switched to Neumann's home field. My next thought was to rush to La Salle and catch the Explorers' game with Dougherty. En route, though, I got stuck in traffic on Germantown Pike and I was fearful of not getting there by 3:30. Last alternative? Hop on the Blue Route and go to Carroll. Oh, brother. West got there late and then proceeded to struggle big-time. Carroll scored two in the first, nine in the second, zero in the third (hooray!) and eight in the fourth. I'm not sure how the total got to 25 because I had to leave to cover a basketball all-star game in nearby Conshohocken. By the way, the Carroll folks called in the score to the Scholastic Scoreservice as 15-3, even though two reporters were in attendance. Why do guys do that? The West kids knew they lost by 22 runs. (This isn't the first time Carroll has under-reported a victory margin; it happens in the Public League, too.) Let's say a score is under-reported. I guarantee this happens at the losing school the next day. "Hey, I saw you lost by 10 runs," a non-player says to a player. "Ten? It was really 20," the player responds. Then they have a good laugh and take another bite out of their hoagies. Kids are so resilient. Here's another reason coaches should be discouraged from under-reporting scores: It can make papers look bad. If the Norristown paper covers the game and, of course, publishes the correct score, the Inquirer and Daily News will look bad if they publish the fabricated score. We don't need that. And vice versa. Anyway, before I left, sr. SS Mick Hannan and sr. CF John Zamichieli hit three-run homers, sr. 1B Ted Piotrowicz picked up three RBI on a pair of singles and sr. C Jim Gillin had three RBI on a single, triple and fielder's choice. Sr. RHP Dave Omlor allowed just one hit in the first five innings, a solo homer to jr. 2B Greg Scannapieco. The lefty swinger sent a blast two-thirds of the way up the trees in dead centerfield.

  My report on a crazy game in a crazy week from the 2003 season . . .
MAY 1, 2003
Washington 24, Northeast 23 (click here for boxscore, and here for Randy's tidbits)
   Hmmmm. What are the chances that I own a national sports writing record for highest-scoring games seen in a week? The other day it was 36 runs, as Ryan beat O'Hara, 20-16. Today it was 47 runs!! Amazing!! The first two innings gobbled up 87 minutes and the game in total took 4 hours, 6 minutes. It ended at 7:24 as jr. 2B Adam Eisman (five RBI) lined a single to left to score pinch-runner Justin Presley and set off a wild celebration. Jr. 3B-P Ken Radziak opened the home seventh with a single to right and yielded to Presley. Sr. 1B-P Harry Parfitt fanned on a pitch in the dirt and, with first base occupied, was automatically out. But he dashed toward first and sr. C Brandon O'Malley, momentarily duped, made an offline throw, enabling Presley to advance to third. Eisman followed with his hit. As he was being mobbed, he bellowed, "Let's play another one!" Let's not and say we did (smile). This game was often brutal, but since it became such a memory-maker with so many twists and turns and comebacks and blown leads and such, I didn't mind being there for so long. DN sports writer Mike Kern arrived at 4:45 from a round of golf in South Jersey thinking he'd see two innings. He saw five! His son, Steve, is GW's sr. SS. They were 40 hits, 8 doubles, 2 triples, no homers, 23 walks, 3 hit batsmen, 17 stolen bases, 14 errors and 8 wild pitches. Twelve of the runs were unearned. Only three half-innings were scoreless. In seven, at least nine players batted. Northeast sr. Steve Sandberg was scratched as the starting pitcher because of arm tenderness and a hamstring problem. He played first base, then later relieved. Off a full outing Monday, Lihotz pitched twice in relief and went 4 1/3 innings total. Parfitt, who also pitched Monday, got the win by going 2 2/3 innings. At 5:56, with only the fourth inning about to end, Northeast soph DH Dennis Heebner departed for a doctor's appointment. For Washington, sr. CF Marcus Kennedy reached base all six times with three hits and three walks, jr. RF Brian Morgan went 4-for-6 with a double and three RBI, sr. handyman Dennis Massott went 3-for-4 with two walks and three RBI, sr. DH Bruce Bauer had a double and triple en route to six RBI, and Radziak went 4-for-6 with three RBI. For Northeast, jr. SS Joe Cross collected two hits, three walks and two RBI, jr. P-OF Bryan Adamson went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI, and jr. OF Jay Banks had two hits and two walks en route to three RBI. Northeast blew leads of 8-0 and 15-8.


  This is Year No. 40 for All-City Baseball Teams -- man, where has the time gone! -- and four guys have earned Player/Pitcher of the Year honors. Penn Charter sr. RH Joey Lancellotti now owns a spot on the list and he's the first to be honored NOT in consecutive seasons and while representing different schools; he played for Archbishop Wood in 2015. If Joey had not pitched this season, he would have been a strong contender for Player of the Year. The first baseman when not hurling, he hit .487 (38-for-78) with six doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 36 RBI. He's headed for the University of North Carolina . . . This year's Player of the Year, Neumann-Goretti sr. SS Jared Healey, was the Catholic League's Defensive Player of the Year and a major factor on offense. Plus, he was at his best during the Saints' eight-game run to CL, CT and state championships. He went 11-for-20 (.550) with three extra base hits, five RBI and eight runs scored. He's headed to Chestnut Hill College.

Available Stats for Dual Players/Pitchers of the Year
Year Name School W-L ERA IP H BB SO
Year Name School H-AB Avg. 2B 3B HR RBI
1990 Dan Kusters  Wood 7-0 0.68 51.1 21   79
1991 Dan Kusters Wood   .519     7 35
1990 Keith Conway Carroll 44-78 .564 12   9 35
1991 Keith Conway Carroll 15-0 0.76 92 46 16 174
2009 Mark Donato Neum.-Gor.   .601 10 3 4 32
2010 Mark Donato Neum.-Gor. 6-0 1.10 44.2 27 31 72
2015 Joey Lancellotti Wood   .333 5   4 22
2017 Joey Lancellotti Penn Charter 6-1 0.60 46.2 26 16 85

  The Pellegrini and Zolk families are forever linked. In 1978, having freshly arrived from St. Joseph's Prep, Gaspare "Gamp" Pellegrini (RIP) steered Malvern Prep to the Inter-Ac League football championship and went on to enjoy wild success during his 31 seasons as the Friars' coach. His son, Kevin, was his replacement and also won a championship (shared) in his first season. Meanwhile, Mike Zolk became Neumann-Goretti's baseball coach in 2012 and guided the Saints to the Catholic League championship. His son, Mike, a k a "Zoom", took over the program this season and likewise produced a CL champ. These Saints also forged ahead to win a state crown at the Class 2A level.

  Can't imagine too many basketball/baseball combos in any state have experienced this kind of success, let alone in Pennsylvania. Since the Catholic League joined the PIAA for the 2008-09 school year, N-G has captured nine state titles (seven bask/two base) and racked up a record of 58-8 (.879). Plus, seven of the eight setbacks have featured deficits of no more than five points/runs. Plus, part two, the combined record over the last four years is 33-2 (.943). The breakdown is right below.

Details for N-G in Bask/Base State Playoffs
Year Bask Lost by Base Lost by
2009 2-1 5 pts 2-1  5 runs
2010 5-0   None  
2011 5-0   0-1 2 runs
2012 5-0   2-1 2 runs
2013 2-1 5 pts 0-1 4 runs
2014 5-0   2-1 1 run
2015 5-0   3-1 9 runs
2016 5-0   4-0  
2017 5-0   4-0  
  39-2 10 pts 17-6 23 runs
    58-8  33 total  

Here's some advice: Don't do research while trying to watch the NBA finals (ha ha). Hopefully, the list below is complete, but Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, LeBron James, etc., provided many distractions so please speak up if other teams deserve to be on it. Yesterday, two-run singles by winning pitcher Phil Sanborn, shortstop Jared Healey and catcher Eric Nardini helped to power Neumann-Goretti to 10 runs vs. Bellwood-Antis in a Class 2A state semi. In the quarterfinal, Healey's three-run homer was the highlight in a 13-10 win over Old Forge. This is the ninth time (maybe) a Catholic League team has scored at least 10 runs in a postseason game. Neumann/N-G has pulled off the feat four times. The efforts by La Salle and N-G in 2013 and '14 occurred in the CL's double-elimination playoffs.
  UPDATE: Not a surprise, folks. We have an update! (smile). In 2013 a double-elimination format was in effect and I neglected to include La Salle's 10-0 win over SJ Prep in the overall final. Three in a row for the 'Splorers! Thanks to then-coach Joe Parisi for speaking up.

Catholic League Teams With at Least 10 Runs in Back-to-Back Postseason Games
Winner Year Runs Loser Round
Dougherty 1969 15 St. James CL final
    10 Olney City Title
Neumann 1986 11 Bonner CL 2nd round
    10 O'Hara CL semifinal
Carroll 1996 10 O'Hara CL 1st round
    11 Kenn.-Kenrick CL 2nd round
Wood 2010 10 Franklin Towne 3A City Title
    10 West York 3A 1st round
La Salle 2012 14 Frankford 4A City Title
    10 Upper Dublin 4A 1st round
Neumann-Goretti 2013 13 Lansdale Catholic CL quarterfinal
    18 La Salle CL semifinal
La Salle 2013 11 Wood CL WB 1st round
    10 Ryan CL WB final
    10 SJ Prep CL overall final
Neumann-Goretti 2014 11 Roman CL "1st final"
    11 Roman CL "2nd final"
Neumann-Goretti 2017 13 Old Forge 2A quarterfinal
    10 Bellwood-Antis 2A semifinal

The baseball season for Catholic League teams rolls along and rolls along and rolls along and then you reach that day where, geez, it could come to a sudden end. Only St. Joseph's Prep (6A) and Neumann-Goretti (2A) are still alive and both will play today in state quarterfinals. There's a new format this year -- six classifications instead of four; the CL has never been involved with 1A -- and the record in first round games was 2-3 while the runs for-runs against numbers were 15-19. Since joining the PIAA in the 2008-09 school year, CL schools are 29-22 and the RF-RA numbers are 166-172. Three state titles have been won: La Salle in 4A in 2012 and 2014 and N-G last year in 2A. Good luck to the Hawks & Saints today! The breakdown is below . . . 
  UPDATE: The chart below has been updated through the 2017 state playoffs. The CL is eight games over .500, but is still being ever-so-slightly outscored.  

Results for Catholic League Teams in State Playoffs (31-23, 197 RF-200 RA)
Original Format                
  CLASS 4A   CLASS 3A   CLASS 2A        
  W-L RF-RA   W-L RF-RA   W-L RF-RA            
2009 2-1 8-10   2-1 13-13   0-1 1-8            
2010 0-1 1-4   1-1 10-8   1-1 3-10            
2011 0-1 3-8   0-1 1-3     --              
2012 4-0 23-17   2-1 11-4     --              
2013 0-1 4-11   0-1 6-9   0-1 2-6            
2014 4-0 16-6   0-1 1-3   2-1 9-7            
2015 1-1 3-2   0-1 0-2   3-1 18-13            
2016 0-1 1-2   0-1 5-6   4-0 12-1            
11-6 59-60   5-8 47-48   10-5 45-45            
New Format                
2017 1-1 4-6   0-1 0-2   0-1 3-7   0-1 5-6   4-0 34-26

It's the bottom of the seventh and your team needs a clutch base knock to win the game. Which player would you love to see step into the batter's box? Jones? Williams? Smith? Johnson? Hitman? . . . Thought you'd go with that last guy (smile). Max Hitman is a freshman infielder at Archbishop Carroll and his scholastic career is off to an impressive start. On the Coaches' All-Catholic Team, The Maxster received second team honors. In this century he's the seventh frosh to earn A-C honors. Mark Donato, who then transferred to Neumann-Goretti, was honored as a pitcher AND first baseman while playing for Roman in 2007. Mike "Zoom" Zolk, N-G's current coach (and an alumnus), was honored while playing for North Catholic in 2008. He remained at North through '09, but was not around for the school's final season in '10. Wood's Kyle McCrossen, the lone first-teamer on the list below, maintained that status all the way through his high school career. Meanwhile, if Hitman is the coolest name ever for a baseball player, this one might deserve that honor for hoops: Rodney Basketbill. He was a starting guard for McDevitt in the 1974-75 season.

All-Catholic Freshman Honorees in This Century
Year Name School Division Pos. Team
2007 Brian O'Grady Wood Northern OF 2nd
  Mark Donato Roman Southern P 2nd
  Mark Donato Roman Southern 1B 3rd
2008 Mike "Zoom" Zolk North Red C 2nd
  Kyle McCrossen Wood Blue OF 1st
  Al Campbell West Blue INF 2nd
2015 Andrew Cossetti La Salle Overall C 2nd
2017 Alex Hitman Carroll Overall INF 2nd

  The Catholic League no longer owns wins in EVERY City Title since the Catholic-Public showdowns were resumed in 2009. In fact, for the second consecutive year, the Pub has triumphed in the highest classification -- 4A in 2016 (Olney over Judge) and 6A in 2017 (Frankford over SJ Prep). The CL has won the other 25 showdowns and the average victory margin now stands at 9.2 runs. The breakdown is below. The original series -- one game each year -- lasted for 35 years from 1945 through '79. The Pub twice put together three-game winning streaks -- 1947-49 (Southern each time) and 1959-61 (Southern, then Bartram twice).

Victory Margins for CL Teams in City Titles, 2009-17
Year 6A 5A 4A 3A 2A Avg.
2009     10 16 11 12.3
2010     7 10 10 9.0
2011     5 5 None 5.0
2012     13 13 None 13.0
2013     8 5 3 5.3
2014     15 8 11 11.3
2015     10 8 10 9.3
2016     Lost 16 6 11.0
2017 Lost 11 6 10 4 7.8
Total 0 11 74 91 55  
Avg.   11.0 9.3 10.1 7.9 9.2

Information on assorted websites says lefthanders make up only 10 percent of the population, though I did see one mention of 12 percent. But check this out: Over the last 42 years, 33 percent of the winning pitchers in Catholic League finals have been lefties. Neumann-Goretti's Phil Sanborn recently joined the club and he's the fourth Saint to have done so in the last nine years.

Winning Lefties in Catholic League Finals, 1976-2017
Year Winning Pitcher Winner Loser IP H R ER BB K
2017 Phil Sanborn N-G Wood 7 6 4 2 1 7
2014 Charlie Jerla N-G Roman 5 4 0 0 2 8
2011 Joey Gorman N-G Bonner 8 4 1 1 3 4
2009 Mark Donato N-G La Salle 8 4 1 1 5 10
2005 Matt Zielinski La Salle C-E 7 4 3 3 0 9
2002 Frank Gailey Carroll La Salle 7 3 0 0 1 6
1995 Chris Heck North Neumann 7 7 3 1 3 6
1994 *Roger Burns La Salle SJ Prep 1/3 0 0 0 0 0
1991 Keith Conway Carroll Wood 4 1/3 3 0 0 2 6
1986 *Javier Barreto North Neumann 3 2/3 1 0 0 2 5
1982 Kevin Waninger Judge Carroll 7 4 1 1 7 6
1979 Bill Mendek West Judge 7 6 2 2 5 5
1977 Jeff Etsell North Bonner 7 5 2 1 1 11
1976 Shawn O'Neill Judge O'Hara 7 2 0 0 7 5
*-in relief                

MAY 31
  Imagine the pride felt by the parents of someone who starts for a championship team. Now multiply by six. Or even nine. Say hello to Dom and Tina Nardini. Their sons -- Nicky, Tommy and Eric -- have started for Neumann-Goretti in all six of its victories in Catholic League finals since 2009 and Nicky has been an assistant with the last three champs. Amazing! Nicky was the designated hitter in '09 and the catcher in '11 and '12. Tommy ('14) and Eric ('16/'17) were also catchers. Eric is only a soph, so it's possible (likely? certain? - smile) we haven't seen the end of these joyful days. There have been two other brother acts during this run: Al (3b in '09) and Aidan Baur (3b in '17); Dom (cf in '09, dh in '11) and Mike Riverso (1b in '09). Aidan is only a junior. Dudes of a certain age will remember the "first" Al Baur, the kids' father. He was a first team All-City pitcher for Southern in 1986 AND a starting forward for the Rams' Public League basketball champs. That team was headlined by future NBAer Lionel Simmons. Al pitched for a stretch in the Phillies' farm system. Young Al is a part-time first baseman for a Class A Pirates team in West Virginia. He's batting .319 in 20 games and has a .798 OPS. (Jimmy Kerrigan, who started in center for the title squads in '11 and '12, is a starting outfielder for an independent team, the River City Rascals, in Missouri. He's hitting .250 through 16 games.) . . . Congrats to the Nardini family!

MAY 30
To borrow/alter a now-famous phrase . . . It takes a village of children to raise multiple Catholic League baseball championship plaques. Neumann-Goretti has captured six since over the last nine years (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017) and the starting lineups have included 41 players. Three guys have started three times, 12 have done so twice and 25 have done so once. There have been four head coaches during this stretch. One assistant, Joe Messina, who handles the pitchers (his son, a soph also named Joe, is one of them), has been on the staff for the last five triumphs. Josh Ockimey, one of the three-year guys, is currently starring for a Class A team in the Red Sox' system. He is averaging just under one RBI per game (46 in 48) and has seven homers along with a .309 average. Also, his OPB and SLG numbers are .416 and .506, respectively.

Starters for Neumann-Goretti's Six CL Champs, 2009-17
Year Name, Position Year Name, Position
--- Three-Time Starters --- --- One-Time Starters ---
2011 Josh Ockimey, 1b 2014   Chris Ciliberto, lf
2012 Josh Ockimey, 1b 2009 Al Baur, 3b
2014 Josh Ockimey, 1b 2014 Bay To, rf
2009 Marty Venafro, ss 2009 Billy Fulginiti, 2b
2011 Marty Venafro, ss 2017 Brian Reynolds, rf
2012 Marty Venafro, ss 2014 Charlie Jerla, p
2011 Nicky Nardini, c 2016 Ethan Pritchett, lf
2012 Nicky Nardini, c 2017 George Masciulli, lf
2009 Nicky Nardini, dh 2016 Jeff Ciocco, p

--- Two-Time Starters ---

2012 Joe Kinee, 3b
2016 Aidan Baur, 2b 2016 Joe LaFiora, dh
2017 Aidan Baur, 3b 2009 Joey Armata, c
2011   Anthony Adams, lf 2014 Justin Curtin, ss
2012 Anthony Adams, rf 2016 Lou Testa, 1b
2014 Brian Verratti, cf 2012 Mario DiFebbo, lf
2016 Brian Verratti, cf 2009 Mark Donato, p
2017 Colin Eiser, cf 2011 Mike "Zoom" Zolk, 2b
2016 Colin Eiser, rf 2009 Mike Riverso, 1b
2009 Dom Riverso, cf 2014 Pat Doudican, dh
2011 Dom Riverso, dh 2017 Phil Sanborn, p
2016   Eric Nardini, c 2017 R.J. McGettigan, 1b
2017 Eric Nardini, c 2009 Reno Regalbuto, lf
2016 Jared Healey, ss 2017 Steve Pizza, 2b
2017 Jared Healey, ss 2014 Tommy Nardini, c
2011 Jimmy Kerrigan, cf 2014 Vinny Vaccone, 2b
2012 Jimmy Kerrigan, cf    
2012 Joey Glennon, 2b    
2011 Joey Glennon, 3b    
2011 Joey Gorman, p    
2012 Joey Gorman, p    
2009   John Snyder, rf    
2011 John Snyder, rf    
2014 Nicky D'Amore, 3b    
2016 Nicky D'Amore, 3b    
  Indented names not part of batting order; DHs not used in '12/'17

MAY 29
Five days before Christmas, Bill "Babs" Haines probably wondered if he'd ever be able to umpire again, let alone pull off a special accomplishment. On that day he had DOUBLE knee-replacement surgery. He was back on the calls-making job exactly two months later (in college games) and this past Saturday he became just the second guy over the last 42 years to work the plate six times in a Catholic League final. Congrats, Babs! He shares the honor with Ed Kerrigan. Gene Otto does the assigning for CL games and the other guys, around the bases from first to third, were John McArdle, Carlos Deno and Mike Finney. "Los" (No. 2 with five) and Mike have also handled dish duties in this time frame. Babs is a West Catholic grad. In 1973, he earned first team All-City football honors for his play at center for the Burrs.   

Plate Umps in Catholic Baseball Finals, 1976-2017
Name No. ------- Years -------
Ed Kerrigan 6 2000 1985 1982 1980 1979 1976
Bill "Babs" Haines 6 2017 2016 2011 2008 2006 2002
Carlos Deno 5 2015 2013 2012 2003 1999  
Jim Ricci 4 2001 1996 1991 1986    
Jim Cronin 3 1990 1984 1981      
Paul Fricker 2 2009 2004        
Tom Scartozzi 2 1998 1995        
Bruce Martin 2 1992 1989        
Steve Porrini 1 2010          
Jack Dabagian 1 2007          
Mike Finney 1 2005          
Art Chapman 1 1997          
Pete DeIuliis 1 1994          
Gary Brooks 1 1993          
Bill Lawrence 1 1988          
Bill Harris 1 1987          
Jim King 1 1983          
Greg Mills 1 1978          
Tony Focht 1 1977    

MAY 28

  The year was 1957 and Father Judge was about to graduate its first senior class . . . But first., the Crusaders had to celebrate a Catholic League baseball championship! There were no playoffs that year, but the 'Saders, in their second season of league competition, finished first at 12-2. In a late-season CL game, they beat long-closed St. Thomas More by 24-0 and, according to a recap in the Inquirer, scored 23 runs in the sixth inning. Nick Stampone AND Bob Murphy poled grand slams in that frame and Stampone had seven RBI. Anyway, Charles "Gabbo" Gaffney was the coach of that team and his son, Charley, was the starting first baseman and No. 2 hitter. (Alas, Judge fell to nearby Lincoln, 14-4, in the City Title game, which was played at Connie Mack Stadium.) Now we zip ahead to this era. In 2011, Mike "Zoom" Zolk was the starter at second base and No. 2 hitter for Neumann-Goretti, which won the Catholic League championship with a 3-1, eight-inning win over Bonner. Zoom went 0-for-3 and scored a run. With Zoom's dad, Mike, now in charge, N-G won again in 2012. Was Zoom again in the lineup? Nope. He was playing for the University of North Carolina. So, though Mike Sr./Jr. were not able to match the feat of the Gaffneys, it does appear Zoom is the first guy to start for a CL baseball champ AND coach a CL team to a championship. One other nugget of note: In 2003, O'Hara won the CL crown under interim coach John Fleming. He was in charge as Frank Allison continued to nurse injuries suffered in an off-season fall. John's stepson, Mike Antonini, started at first base and batted seventh in the CL final. He was also a pitcher and wound up being drafted by the Mets in 2007. By 2012, he was employed by the Dodgers and wound up being summoned to the majors two times. Both stints were very short, however, and he never made an appearance on a major league mound.

MAY 27
PAISAA Tournament Semifinal
SCH Academy 9, Penn Charter 5
(At Perkiomen School)

  It was so quiet, you could hear hearts breaking. Plus, even Stevie Wonder could have seen the tears sliding down some guys' cheeks. That's what happens when a dream season ends with a nightmare. The game ended at 6:20. Seventeen minutes later, a couple PC players still were crying and one was even heaving. Not easy. Not even one little bit. A shade earlier, coach Dave Miller walked around inside and outside the dugout, extended his ultra-strong arms toward assorted players and uttered these words: "C'mon, let's hug it out." Oooooomph! The Quakers entered this day with legitimate hopes of finishing the season with the PAISAA title and an outrageous overall record of 27-1. Those SCH guys had other ideas. Early this season, Miller's alma mater handed PC its only loss (by a 1-0 score) while claiming its 10th consecutive win in The Not-Far-Off-Wissahickon-Avenue Rivalry. PC ended that skid on May 2 at home by a score of 5-3, but it didn't take long for snakebit status to return. Yes, there were some shaky calls with a hint of bad luck mixed in (more on that later), but there were also these facts: PC managed just one hit in the first five innings (an infield one, at that) and sent just one ball to fair territory in the outfield during that span. Plus, the Quakers allowed almost as many runs in this one (nine) as they'd allowed, total, in their last 11 games (11). Not easy. Jr. RH Aidan "Curly" Frye, the Blue Devils' ace and the winner of that 1-0 game, was unavailable due to injury, so the pitching duties were split by starter Mike Hoffman, a sr. RH, and reliever Jack Cucinotta, also a sr. RH. They worked three and four innings, respectively, and the win went to the Cucinotta. Both were effective at mostly keeping the Quakers off-balance, plus there too many trying-to-it-downtown swings. PC's starter was sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci. SCH reached him for two runs apiece in the second and third thanks to a mixture of hard hits, mediums and hiccups around the field. PC scored one apiece in the first, third and fourth. The first run scored as sr. LF James Gabor beat out what would have been a doubleplay ball for most guys. Sr. CF Mike Siani scored No. 2 while running all the way around from first after an errant pickoff throw. "Chooch" drove in No. 3 with a sac fly to left; more of a sac liner, actually. In the visiting sixth, the No. 8 hitter, soph C Sam Aslansan drew a walk to start things off and a courtesy runner was bunted over by jr. DH Kyle Williams. Then came a VERY important at-bat. Sr. Andrew Singer, the leadoff batter, fouled off numerous pitches before drawing a full-count walk. According to the plate ump, anyway. Those nearby described the pitch as being just about perfect. Some PC student fans were behind a fence not far from the plate. They expressed so much disgust, the plate ump ordered them to leave the area. (They wound up behind another fence beyond PC's dugout. One bellowed, "Hey, Blue! We're down here, dog! Whatcha gonna do?!") Cellucci, obviously upset by the call, then plunked sr. SS Chris "Bubba" Alleyne on the foot to load the bases. Sr. RH Matt Gorman was summoned from the bullpen. He racked up a looking strikeout and a way out of the inning was on the doorstep. Sr. Brian Fischer sent a hopper along the third base side. Sr. 3B Dom Toso was ready to glove the ball and step on the bag to end the inning. The ball had other plans. It HIT the bag and skidded down the line for a two-run single. Cucinotta with followed a two-run double to the base of the fence. Soph Pat Elliott then sent a groundball through the left-side hole for a run-scoring single, upping the BDs' lead to 9-3. PC rallied in the bottom half, but even that did not go smoothly. Gabor started things off with a looper down the leftfield line for a double. He then scored on a passed ball and wild pitch. Sr. 2B Brendan Pell resumed the momentum with a hard single to left-center, sr. DH Steve Lorenz sent a fly to right and sr. RH Alex Cohen, who'd ended the top half by recording a strikeout, hit a hopper that wound up leading to an error. Sr. SS Adam Holland scorched a double to left. Pell scored easily and Cohen tried to score . . . but was erased on solid throws by Elliott and Alleyne to Aslansan. Major life was sucked out of the inning. A popup ended it. Nothing noteworthy occurred in the home seventh after sr. RH Joey Lancellotti posted a 1-2-3 top half (lineout, flyout, 1-3 chopper). Even after many years pass by. it will be tough for the PC guys, especially the seniors, not to have vivid memories about how today did not go well. Only natural. Many athletes will tell you they remember more about the bad than the good. A fact of sporting life, unfortunately. But here's hoping these guys will also be able to spit out details, with ease, about the wonderful moments. There were so many and the young men who created them were EXTRA special. Thanks for being class acts throughout, guys, and for bringing so much positive attention to PC. All the best going forward!
  UPDATE: On June 30, PC coach David Miller was named the head coach at La Salle University.

Starting Lineups Used in League/Tournament Play
Mike Siani cf   Mike Siani cf   Mike Siani cf
Joey Lancellotti p   Joey Lancellotti 1b   Joey Lancellotti 1b
Dom Toso 3b   Dom Toso 3b   Dom Toso 3b
Sammy Siani rf   Sammy Siani rf   Sammy Siani dh
James Gabor lf   James Gabor lf   James Gabor lf
Brendan Pell 2b   Brendan Pell 2b   Brendan Pell 2b
Steve Lorenz dh   Steve Lorenz dh   Steve Lorenz rf
Alex Cohen 1b   Brendan Cellucci p   Matt Gorman p
Adam Holland ss   Adam Holland ss   Adam Holland ss
  Gavin Zavorski c     Gavin Zavorski c     Gavin Zavorski c

MAY 25
If you saw the scores from yesterday's Catholic League semifinals. you knew this was coming, right? (smile) . . . This list shows all semifinal shutouts since scheduled semis became part of the CL process in 1973. This is only the second time both games have produced blankings. For years and years and years, the semis were played as a doubleheader on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Ryan's Tom Filer, who shut out North Catholic in 1974, wound up pitching in the majors for six seasons and compiled a 22-17 record. He's now the pitching coach for the West Virginia Black Bears, a short-season Class A team in the Pirates' farm system. . . There were also semis in 1959. In Dougherty's 4-0 win over Bonner, Jack Shepper pitched a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and six walks.

Shutouts in Catholic League Semifinals, 1973-2017
Year Winner Loser Score Winning Pitcher
1974 Ryan North 4-0 *Tom Filer
  Bonner Neumann 1-0 John Jones
1975 O'Hara St. James 7-0 Jim Wilks
1980 Ryan La Salle 8-0 Joe Cohill
1982 Judge Egan 2-0 Pat Waninger
1983 O'Hara St. James 1-0 (8) Norm Hanratty
1987 Judge Wood 8-0 Chris Gies
1990 Wood La Salle 6-0 Dan Kusters
1991 Carroll Bonner 1-0 Keith Conway
1997 Carroll Dougherty 8-0 Jim Fuchs
1999 SJ Prep Ryan 1-0 Matt Altomare
2012 La Salle Carroll 10-0 Dom Cuoci
2017 Wood SJ Prep 7-0 Kody Cracknell
  Neumann-Goretti Ryan 4-0 George Masciulli
*-advanced to majors      

MAY 24
Penn Charter 6, Gtn. Academy 3

  There's a slight chance -- repeat, SLIGHT -- PC will never play another game on its forever field. Take a walk down the left field line and cross School House Lane at about a 45-degree angle. The new field -- turf, at that -- will be over there. It probably will debut in the 2019 season, but who knows? The wheels might turn quickly and it could be ready by next spring. Having moved from downtown, PC began using the main building on its current campus in 1925, but PC owned the property (known as Queen Lane) well beforehand and baseball was played there as far back as 1905. Just not sure if the field was located where it is now. Anyway, baseball on this side of School House Lane has an incredibly lengthy history and if this game was the last . . . well, not exactly a classic. The game lasted 2 hours and 21 minutes in part because the teams combined to issue 15 walks over the last five innings (and 18 in all). To some degree, you could say today's overall winner was GA and the individual winner was sr. RH Nick Picariello. In an Inter-Ac finale last week, also played at PC, the Patriots played horrific defense with "Pic" on the mound and the result was a 17-0 defeat. I can only imagine what crazy thoughts were bouncing around inside Nick's head as he walked to the mound today. And they even might have multiplied after he walked PC's second and third batters in the home first. But then he humped up for a strikeout and retired the next guy on a grounder. He did give up five of PC's six runs in a five-inning performance and all were earned because not one measly error was committed. The Quakers scored on a double to deep left-center by sr. SS Adam Holland in the second, a ringing solo homer to dead left by sr. 1B Joey Lancellotti to start the third, an infield single by sr. LF James Gabor later in that frame, a followup single to left by sr. 2B Brendan Pell, a groundout to short by Lancellotti in the fourth and a sac fly ro right by sr. 3B Dom Toso in the sixth. That ball was launched vs. jr. RH Mike Reilly, who replaced soph RH Jack Popolizio after that frame began with a pair of walks. PC's hurling was done by sr. RH Matt Gorman, sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci and jr. LH Mike Siani, who played the first six innings in center. It was nice to see Matt collect a win in his last appearance on PCs field. He has meant so much to the program as a player and class act. Granted, he was not completely locked in today, but he did force GA to strand three guys in scoring position through the first four innings. He departed after walking the first two batters in the fifth. Soph DH Drew Yuskevich bunted up the runners and jr. 1B Colton Niedzielski followed with a grounder that led to a throwing error (though he was credited with an RBI). A walk loaded the sacks before Chooch shut things down with a strikeout and foulout. GA also left 'em loaded in the sixth and seventh. Siani wound up recording three whiffs and he was in serious hump-it-up mode on the back-to-backers that ended the game. The semis will be played Saturday afternoon, 4 o'clock start, at Upper Perkiomen High and Perkiomen School, respectively. PC will play at the former and the opponent will be SCH Academy, a 4-3 winner over Episcopal. The final, also at Upper Perk, is scheduled for 7 p.m. GA beat host Mercersburg in yesterday's first round. The Patriots did not get back to campus until about 10:15 p.m. This PAISAA stuff sometimes ain't easy.

Penn Charter's lasts . . . (If this game does turn out to be the last one played on this field) . . .

In Sixth Inning . . .

Out -- James Gabor, flyout to right
Walk -- Sammy Siani
Sacrifice fly -- Dom Toso
Run -- Pinch-hitter Alex Cohen (started inning with walk)
Strikeout -- Mike Siani
In Fifth Inning . . .
Groundout -- Steve Lorenz
Stolen base -- Sammy Siani
In Fourth Inning
Single -- Mike Siani (to center)
In Third Inning . . .
Home run -- Joey Lancellotti (solo to dead left)
In Second Inning . . .
Double -- Adam Holland (to left-center)
Vs. GA on 5/18
In Fourth Inning . . .
Hit for multiple RBI -- Sammy Siani (two-run single to left)
HBP -- Brendan Pell
In Third Inning
Grounded into DP -- Dom Toso (6-4-3)
Vs. Mercersburg on 5/26/16
In Fifth Inning
Triple -- Sammy Siani
In Seventh Inning . . .
Win -- Matt Gorman
Save -- Mike Siani
Strikeout -- Mike Siani (to end game)
Walk -- Mike Siani
In Sixth Inning . . .
Flyout -- Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci
Gorundout -- Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci
In Fourth Inning . . .
Hit -- Matt Gorman (single)
Vs. GA on 5/18
Perfect Game -- Joey Lancellotti (4 inn.)
Vs. SCH Academy on 4/12
Loss -- Joey Lancellotti

In Seventh Inning . . .

Putout -- Gavin Zavorski (strikeout)
Error -- 2B Brendan Pell (popup)
In Sixth Inning . . .
Assist -- Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci (on sacrifice)


MAY 21
Major league games last at least nine innings, of course (minus weather woes), and yesterday two Catholic League quarterfinals also did so. It was the first time in CL playoff history that two games went at least nine innings on the same day. Ryan beat Carroll, 6-3, and Neumann-Goretti beat Judge, 3-2. History was on the winners' side. N-G is now 4-0 in playoffs of at least nine innings while Ryan is 4-1.

Catholic League Playoffs That Lasted at Least Nine Innings
Year Round Winner Loser Score Innings
2012 Semi Neumann-Goretti Bonner 8-7 14
1988 2nd round Ryan Judge 11-10 13
1983 Prelim Roman SJ Prep 5-4 12
1975 Semi North Catholic Judge 5-4 11
1999 2nd round La Salle Conwell-Egan 5-4 11
2010 1st round Judge SJ Prep 5-4 11
2011 Semi Bonner Wood 5-4 11
1988 Semi La Salle Ryan 3-2 10
2003 2nd round Conwell-Egan Judge 5-4 10
2009 1st round Roman Bonner 4-2 10
1986 2nd round Ryan Wood 4-2 9
1994 1st round SJ Prep Kennedy-Kenrick 6-5 9
1997 1st round Neumann Kennedy-Kenrick 5-4 9
1998 Final Ryan Judge 6-1 9
2001 2nd round Kennedy-Kenrick O'Hara 3-2 9
2009 Semi Neumann-Goretti SJ Prep 10-9 9
2013 LB 1st round Neumann-Goretti O'Hara 8-7 9
2014 1st round Roman Wood 6-5 9
2014 WB 1st round Roman O'Hara 6-5 9
2015 1st round Carroll Conwell-Egan 2-1 9
2017 Quarter Ryan Carroll 6-3 9
2017 Quarter Neumann-Goretti Judge 3-2 9
LB: Losers bracket in double-elimination format
WB: Winners  bracket in double-elimination format

MAY 19
Through yesterday's 17-0 win over Germantown Academy, in which sr. RH Joey Lancellotti fired a four-inning perfect game with seven strikeouts, Penn Charter has racked up 38 consecutive scoreless innings. "Lance" and sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci are 2-0 during the stretch while two more seniors, RHs Justus Sanders and Matt Gorman, are 1-0. RH Alex Cohen, who pitched one inning in the win over Central Bucks South, is also a senior. The Quakers have scored 50 runs during this stretch. According to the website of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the record for high school ball is 56 1/3 innings by Jamesville (NC) in 1979 and South San Francisco in El Camino (CA) in 1977. (Some organizations count outs that end innings WITH runs. In that case, PC's streak is 38 1/3 innings.) The MLB record is 56 by Pittsburgh way back in 1903. The record for the Division 1 level in college baseball is 64 by Arizona State in 1972. This streak came within a foot of ending in the fourth inning of the game vs. Judge. An errant throw to third base squirted over toward the out-of-play line near PC's bench. Gorman made a slide and gloved the ball to keep it in play. PC's coaching coach is Justin Hanley. When this season began, he set a goal for his crew: fewer than 75 walks, more than 200 strikeouts. The current totals are 60 and 190 heading into today's non-league game at Germantown Friends. The Indy Schools Tourney will follow.
  UPDATE: The streak ended today in the first inning of a game vs. Germantown Friends. The run scored on consecutive singles by Tom Primosch, Alex Mirage and Ben Mass. PC's pitcher was sr. RH Jon Lewis.

Penn Charter's Streak of 38 Consecutive Shutout Innings
Date - Opponent - Score IP H R ER BB K
5/4 at Haver. School, 6-0            
Brendan Cellucci (W) 7 1 0 0 5 8
5/9 at Malvern, 1-0            
Joey Lancellotti (W) 7 5 0 0 5 9
5/12 at Gtn. Academy, 9-0            
Brendan Cellucci (W) 7 4 0 0 1 14
5/15 at Cent. Bucks South, 7-0            
Justus Sanders (W) 6 2 0 0 2 2
Alex Cohen 1 0 0 0 0 0
  7 2 0 0 2 2
5/16 Judge, 10-0 (6 inn.)            
Matt Gorman (W) 6 3 0 0 2 7
5/18 Gtn. Academy, 17-0 (4 inn.)            
Joey Lancellotti (W) 4 0 0 0 0 7
  38 15 0 0 15 47

MAY 18
Penn Charter 17, Gtn. Academy 0 (4 innings)

  The Senior Day festivities lasted longer than the game. Just kidding. I think (smile). This wonderful PC squad, which finished 9-1 and outscored its opponents by 69-13 while storming to the outright I-A championship, has 14 seniors. One was not on hand today, but after the game the other 13 drew short-speech praise from coach David Miller and the parents scrambled down the hill beyond PC's bench to exchange hugs/kisses/handshakes with sons before walking over to pose for group shots in the mound area. Along the way the players received poster-sized individual pics in plastic frames. Very nice! (Especially since they were snapped by a pro photographer, Zamani Feelings. His amazing PC pics are here.) As for the game . . . While extending PC's streak of consecutive shutout innings to an amazing 38, counting league and non-league games, sr. RH Joey Lancellotti fired a perfect game! He faced just 12 batters while recording seven strikeouts and allowing just one ball to leave the infield -- a simple fly by sr. LF Miles Love to soph RF Sammy Siani wth one away in the first. The game ended abruptly after PC scored seven runs in the fourth. By this point I was standing near Ed Foley, one of PC's assistant athletic directors, and he said the Inter-Ac did not have a 15-run, game-shortening rule. But I spoke afterward with GA coach Tim Ginter and he said the coaches decided before this season to follow EVERY directive that's in the rule book of the National Federation, except for the one regarding pitch counts. No idea why the game wasn't terminated at 15-0 before the run total reached 17. A strong contender for day's best moment was the appearance of sr. sub Jon "Typhoon Lewie" Lewis, who intends to become a weatherman and use that handle. He pinch-hit to start the fourth and fired a groundball single down the leftfield line, drawing major applause from his teammates and others. PC batted around. Jon wasn't finished. This time he sent a grounder through the left-side hole for two RBI. Again the troops went nuts. Here's hoping "Lewie" never forgets these special moments. Three other seniors also were used as pinch-hitters. Oliver "Director of Entertainment" Cataldi grounded out and reached base when another grounder was bobbled. The first pitch Alex Slook saw thumped him on the helmet. He fanned in his other at-bat. Matt Gorman, who has had some nice pitching moments this season while also serving as the most vocal/focused guy among PC's five captains, drew a walk in his one plate appearance. PC scored nine runs in the second and, honestly, it was truly a butt-ugly frame. GA, which just two days earlier beat SCH Academy, 1-0, to win its first league game, was guilty of five errors. Just one of those wicked occurrences that defies all logic. Only one of the runs was earned. Sr. DH Steve Lorenz and sr. LF James Gabor poled two-run doubles in that uprising. Assistant coach Justin Hanley, who guides the pitchers, put together a nice/funny program for Senior Day. In the What You May Not Know About Me category, Slook noted, "When I was a little kid I created my own language and would yell at my family when I was frustrated at them in that language." In the What I Will Miss Most About PC category, Lewis noted, "The high quality cell phone service we get on campus (sarcasm)." Sr. 2B Brendan Pell, in the Most Memorable PC Baseball Moment category, noted, "When my heroic head coach David Miller saved a dying squirrel." Brendan said he also intends to become a regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Not if Dwight Schrute can help it! (smile) Among the visitors: Former star PC lefty Dave Healy ('86) and his son, Andrew, also a lefty pitcher and set to enroll next fall at PC as an eighth grader. Guess what? Though Andrew throws lefthanded, he kicks rightfooted. Gotta love it. 

MAY 18
One thing's for sure when it comes to high school baseball honors . . . NOTHING is for sure. In 2016, 19 underclassmen earned first, second or third team honors on the Coaches' All-Catholic Baseball Team. An amazing 13 did not repeat in 2017. The reasons are numerous. One guy transferred. Two guys decided not to play anymore. The 10 others did not perform as well and/or suffered injuries. Two players kept their spots on the first team: La Salle C Andrew Cossetti, now a junior and the Offensive Player of the Year, and Carroll P James Kelly, now a senior and a double honoree, MVP and Pitcher of the Year. One kept his spot on the third team: Bonner-Prendie P Evan Raiburn, now a senior. One player went up two teams: O'Hara sr. OF Isaiah Hammond from third to first. One player went up one team: SJ Prep sr. P Colin Scanlon from second to first. One player went down one team: SJ Prep jr. OF Luke Donaphon from second to third . . . Also, 13 schools (all except for West Catholic) play CL baseball. Four have no honorees this season: Roman, Lansdale, Conwell-Egan and McDevitt. That might be a record. That club had only two members last season (C-E & McDevitt). 

MAY 16
For the first time since 1997 and ninth time over 60 years, Penn Charter has won baseball and track championships in the same year. Overall, that feat has been accomplished 18 times by Inter-Ac League/Catholic League schools. Mike Hickey, formerly of Malvern, is now the coach at Episcopal. Yesterday, La Salle won the CL track championship. We'll see if the baseball squad can match the feat.

Inter-Ac/Catholic Schools With
Baseball/Track Titles in Same Year, 1958-2017
Year School Baseball Coach Track Coach
1959 *Penn Charter Ralph Palaia Russ Faber
1963 Penn Charter Ralph Palaia Russ Faber
1964   Judge Bob Ryan Pete Toughill
1969   Dougherty Ray Merkle Ned Moore
1981 Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
1984   Ryan Rich Papirio Ed Ulmer
1986 Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
1987 *Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
1988 *Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
1995 Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
1997 Penn Charter Rick Mellor Steve Bonnie
2003   O'Hara John Fleming Tom Kennedy
2008 Malvern Mike Hickey Mike Koenig
2011 Malvern Freddy Hilliard Mike Koenig
2012 Malvern Freddy Hilliard Mike Koenig
2013   La Salle Joe Parisi Greg Bielecki
2014 Malvern Freddy Hilliard Mike Koenig
2017 Penn Charter David Miller #Steve Bonnie
  Catholic schools indented
  *-shared title
  #-overall director of boys/girls track; Bryan Skelly handles boys

MAY 14
A couple times on this site through the years, we mentioned the special place in Catholic League baseball history owned by Archbishop Carroll product Chris Cashman. Remember him? Chris formerly sat behind home plate at Phillies home games and wielded a radar gun, so MPH numbers could be posted on the scoreboard. The Phillies debuted an automated system after the 2015 season and Chris now focuses on his duties as an advanced scouting analyst. In the 2004 championship game, played at La Salle University over two days due to a serious rainstorm, Chris hit the first (and still only) grand slam in championship game history as Carroll earned a 7-3 win. Here's the blurb from the recap: In the top of the seventh on Day One, Chris Cashman, after being granted new life due to a dropped foul popup, delivered a grand slam -- the first in CL title history -- to dead leftfield to erase a 3-1 deficit. The ball reached the loading dock of a building beyond a driveway. Estimated distance: a shade over 400 feet. The next two batters reached base and the skies opened big-time, forcing a suspension. The infield was a mess, plus La Salle's groundskeepers finished their workday and headed home two minutes before the game was halted. The Day Two resumption lasted just 12 minutes. It began as Ryan Stewart delivered a bad-hop, two-run single. There was no activity thereafter. . . And then there's Ed Kraus. He holds a special place in the history of Pub title games. Not a great one, but what happened after he did his thing wasn't his fault. The 1989 final, in which Roxborough beat Northeast, 7-5, was played on Frankford's field. In the bottom of the fifth, Ed pinch-hit for Northeast and the result was a triple play. The sequence began with a fly to leftfielder Dave Brotherton. Jeff Weiss was out at the plate on a relay from third baseman George Shepherdson. Catcher Joe Turvey (he wound up playing in the minors) spotted Tom Cross, trying to advance from first, and fired to second for out No. 3. Roxborough wound up winning, 7-5. These days, Ed is the executive manager at a Nissan dealership in Woodbury, NJ. And he appears in an entertaining commercial that now appears during Phillies post-game shows. What are the chances? A grand slam guy works for the Phillies and a triple play guy can be seen in commercials connected to their games. Click here to see the commercial that features the good-natured Ed "Dusty" Kraus (smile).

MAY 13
For the 13th time in this century, the Inter-Ac League has produced an outright champion. Penn Charter, with one game still to go, earned that status yesterday by besting Germantown Academy, 9-0. The Quakers have allowed just 13 runs in league play and have posted four shutouts. How does that performance rank? Pretty well. Malvern's 2002 squad ranks No. 1 in terms of fewest runs allowed (12) and PC will remain second if it can surrender no more than one run in next Thursday's rematch with GA. That '02 Malvern squad, and GA's 2004 squad, also posted the most shutouts with five and four of Malvern's were notched in succession. PC owns three in a row. The list below shows a breakdown for runs allowed, shutouts and top two pitchers in alphabetical order.
  UPDATE: The original list below had a typo. GA's '04 squad posted five shutouts. Thanks to former GA assistant Jon Cross (later he was PC's head coach) for speaking up.

Breakdown for Runs Allowed by Outright Inter-Ac Champs in This Century 
(Losses in Blue -- RA = Runs Allowed -- S = Shutouts)
MP '01 / 8-2 MP '02 / 9-1 GA '03 / 9-1 GA '04 10-0 PC '05 / 9-1 MP '08 / 9-1 PC '09 / 9-1
Ross Barna
Derek Duclos
Steve Burns
Paul Keldsen
Sean Grieve
Peter Vernon
Sean Grieve
Joe Matteo
Mark Adzick
Sean Rust
John Gentile
Rich Kazigian
Kenny Koplove
Brett Slobodinsky
EA 1 CH 1 HS 0 HS 2 CH 0 EA 2 EA 0
HS 2 PC 5 PC 3 EA 3 HS 1 HS 0 HS 5
GA 0 EA 1 CH 2 CH 0 MP 5 GA 5 GA 4
CH 1 HS 0 MP 8 EA 8 GA 0 CH 6 EA 0
PC 5 GA 0 EA 4 HS 0 EA 7 PC 1 CH 1
EA 3 CH 0 PC 2 PC 0 CH 3 HS 1 MP 1
HS 3 PC 0 MP 1 CH 1 MP 1 CH 2 GA 2
GA 3 EA 3 EA 0 MP 1 HS 4 GA 4 CH 2
PC 4 HS 2 CH 0 PC 0 GA 5 EA 1 MP 5
CH 3 GA 0 HS 0 MP 0 EA 2 PC 2 HS 7
RA 25 RA 12 RA 20 RA 15 RA 28 RA 24 RA 27
S 1 S 5 S 4 S 5 S 2 S 1 S 2
HS '10 / 9-1 MP '11 / 9-1 MP '12 / 10-0 MP '13 / 9-1 MP '15 / 8-2 PC '17 / 8-1  
Eric Close
Matt Lengel
Chris O'Brien
Joe Ravert
Billy Ford
Joe Ravert
Chris Butera
Gardner Nutter
Chris Butera
Brendan Cellucci
Joey Lancellotti
GA 6 PC 2 SCH 7 SCH 7 GA 0 EA 1    
CH 0 GA 8 PC 3 EA 1 PC 4 SCH 1    
MP 0 EA 2 EA 3 HS 2 EA 6 HS 6    
EA 7 EA 1 HS 1 GA 2 HS 6 MP 0    
PC 2 HS 4 MP 3 PC 3 GA 7 EA 2    
CH 0 GA 3 SCH 6 PC 1 SCH 2 SCH 3    
MP 7 CH 3 PC 2 EA 1 PC 4 HS 0    
EA 0 PC 0 EA 1 HS 8 EA 0 MP 0    
PC 4 CH 0 HS 1 GA 0 HS 4 GA 0    
GA 1 HS 5 GA 1 SCH 2 SCH 3 GA ?    
RA 27 RA 28 RA 28 RA 27 RA 36 RA 13    
S 4 S 2 S 0 S 1 S 2 S 4    

MAY 12
Penn Charter 9, Germantown Academy 0

  On a wonderful day in PC's baseball history, GA assistant Marc Ross made the very best play. After a doubleplay ended it (sr. 3B Dom Toso to sr. 2B Brendan Pell to sr. 1B Joey Lancelotti), after the full-blown dogpile formed near the mound, after the teams shook hands, after everyone grouped in shallow left field to hear short speeches from coach David Miller (who was surprise-doused by sr. backup C Jon Lewis) and assistants Justin Hanley and Charlie McGeehan, and after assorted pics were snapped, everyone began heading back toward the dugout and Ross, former star pitcher for George Washington, came walking over from the GA side. He handed me a baseball and good-naturedly said something along the lines of, "Tell the kids they should keep the ball after they win an important game." Yes, it was the final game ball. Maybe Joey had thrown it up into the air? Maybe it squirted out of his glove just before the dogpile was formed? Whatever, Marc noticed and was classy enough to retrieve the ball and make sure the Quakers would go home with a quality piece of memorabilia. Assistant athletic director Ed Foley was the guy who tossed the ball to Miller. Click here. Thanks, Marc! You're the man! PC had clinched at least a share of the title Thursday, when second place Malvern dropped to 5-3 after falling to Episcopal. Because GA owned an 0-7 record entering today's game, a loss for PC would have been an all-time disappointment (and shocker). Yet, the Quakers had to DO the job, not just EXPECT it to happen. Focus was present from the outset, even though no runs were scored in the first. Sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci was dominant throughout. He scattered four hits (one in the infield, two bloopers to the opposite field, hard single also to right in the seventh) and mowed down 14. He racked up six in the first two innings, though one of the victims reached first on a K/WP combo. No scouts with radar guns were on hand today, but it appeared that Chooch was throwing his most sizzling fastballs of the season. Also, his control on offspeed pitches was mostly pinpoint and he racked up four/five Ks on those. PC scored two in the second (RBI to Cellucci on a single and sr. SS Adam Holland on a sac fly), one in the third (RBI to sr. LF James Gabor on a ringing double to left-center), two in the fourth (RBI to jr. CF Mike Siani on a hard grounder through the right side and Lancellotti on a sac fly), three in the sixth (RBI to Toso on a looping single to center, to Gabor on a fielder's choice and to sr. DH Steve Lorenz on a walk) and one in the seventh (RBI single to sr. PH Oliver Cataldi on a scratch infield single). After going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI against Haverford School back on April 18, Siani, who committed to Virginia in the fall of his freshman year, somehow went 0-for-18 before he stroked today's single. At least three teammates couldn't help but playfully bust his chops from the dugout. They yelled, respectively, "'Bout time! . . . Fiiiinally, Mike! . . . Blind squirrel finds his nut!" Mike's smile lit up the cloudy skies. This is PC's first title since 2014 (shared) and its first outright version since 2009. GA's hits were notched by sr. C Ben Werkheiser, soph INF Dakota Barbet (cool name!), sr. RH-SS Mike Reilly and soph 2B-RH Jack Popolizio. Reilly pitched 5.2 innings before yielding to Popolizio. PC will again meet GA next Thursday. Also, a few non-league games will be played and an appearance will be made in the state independent schools tourney. That's why Miller reminded the 19-1 Quakers that their legacy "is not finished." Among the notables on hand: GA coach Tim Ginter and assistant Calvin Jones (in addition to Ross), GA AD Jim Fenerty, former GA assistant Joe O'Hara, GA football assistant Al Picariello (his son, sr. Nick, started in left field), GA football-basketball-track star Kyle McCloskey, GA football star Jimmy McGettigan, former PC football coach Bill Gallagher, former PC infielder Steven Cohen (his brother is sr. 1B Alex "Malvern Killer" Cohen) and PC teacher/yearbook moderator John Burkhart. Apologies to others whose names I neglected to write down.

MAY 11
This is crazy! Back on April 20, the Tedbit made note of the fact that more than half (seven) of the Catholic League's teams (13) owned the same number of wins (four). Now, here we are, with just Monday's bracket remaining, and there's a five-way tie for first place. And two more teams are one game behind. As mentioned earlier, the 1983 Northern Division campaign finished with a four-way tie for first between North Catholic, Ryan, Egan and Dougherty at 11-5. This nutty outcome will be matched if Carroll (8-3) beats Judge (7-4), La Salle (8-3) beats O'Hara (6-5) and Neumann-Goretti (8-3) beats Roman (4-7). The fourth squad: Winner of SJ Prep vs. Wood (both are 8-3). Of course, there's always the chance that just ONE team will finish 9-3. Not looking likely, however.

CL Craziness With One Game Remaining
    W-L Pts Monday
5A Carroll 8-3 16 Judge
6A La Salle 8-3 16 at O'Hara
2A Neumann-Goretti 8-3 16 Roman
6A SJ Prep 8-3 16 *at Wood
5A Wood 8-3 16 SJ Prep
6A Judge 7-4 14 at Carroll
5A Ryan 7-4 14 McDevitt
*Prep will be the official home team.

MAY 10

  Somehow I sensed that PC sr. RH Joey Lancellotti, with clutch help from his fielders, had not quite forced Malvern to "break a Major League Record" yesterday in an Inter-Ac League classic. The score was 1-0 and the Friars stranded 10. Ten over seven innings translates to 13 over nine innings. Over all these years, some team must have stranded more than 13 while getting blanked in a nine-inning game, right? Correct. According to www.baseball-almanac.com, the record is 16 and two teams own it -- the Cardinals in 1994 and Seattle in 1998. Guess who the Cards played? Your Philadelphia Phillies! The game was played on May 24 at Busch Stadium and the Phillies won, 4-0. They did not score until the ninth and the runs came on a double by first baseman Ricky Jordan and a three-run, pinch-hit homer by Pete Incaviglia. Four guys did the pitching -- David West, Bobby Munoz, winner Heathcliff Slocumb and Doug Jones. Their stats are below. None of the four left the game in the middle of an inning The full box is on www.baseball-reference.com and it shows this inning-by-inning breakdown for the Cards' LOBs -- 0 2 1 3 2 3 2 1 2. They went 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Imagine the frustration. In that 1998 game, Toronto beat Seattle, 6-0, as Roger Clemens bested future Phillie Jamie Moyer, a Souderton High product.

Phillies' Pitchers in 4-0 Shutout vs. Cardinals on May 24, 1994
David West 4 2 0 0 4 2 6
Bobby Munoz 2 3 0 0 3 3 5
Heathcliff Slocumb (W) 2 2 0 0 1 2 3
Doug Jones 1 2 0 0 0 1 2
  9 9 0 0 8 8 16

Penn Charter 1, Malvern 0

  Not sure about his past lives, but in this one PC sr. RH Joey Lancellotti is the ultimate bulldog. Or, in this era, perhaps we should say he's the ultimate pit bull. Looking at the final result, it's natural to think he was dominant and cruised through pretty much every inning. Not exactly. Joey routinely punches out millions (slight exaggeration), but today did not record his first strikeout until batter No. 9 for the host Friars. Amazing. Also, he allowed five apiece of hits and walks and even plunked a guy. But, with help, he forced Malvern to strand 10 guys and wriggled out of these it's-not-lookin'-good situations: bases loaded with nobody out in the fourth, second and third with nobody out in the fifth, first and second with nobody out in the sixth. In all, he racked up nine strikeouts and two apiece were posted in the last three frames. Many scouts were again on hand -- along with maybe 250 people total? -- and according to an insider, Joey did not hit 95 MPH until the late going. How's that for noteworthy? Did not throw his fastest pitch until the home stretch of an exhausting afternoon. Malvern jr. RH Billy Corcoran was also impressive and no Quaker got past second base until the seventh inning. Billy finished with a four-hitter and seven whiffs. Right before the visiting seventh, PC coach David Miller gathered his players in front of the dugout and offered a passionate speech. I didn't hear every word, but he did say, "Somebody has GOT to step up!" Along with, "Find it IN you!" The leadoff batter was soph RF Sammy Siani. Bang! He powered a double into deep left-center. Next was sr. LF James Gabor. He was unsuccessful in getting down a bunt, but wound up sending a semi-bloop single to right. Siani made a pretty big turn around third before applying the brakes. Sr. 2B Brendan Pell sent a semi-hot grounder toward frosh 3B Connor Offshack. "Shack" made a nice play to his left and fired to first as the runners stayed put. The Friars elected to issue an intentional walk to sr. DH Steve Lorenz and the next batter was sr. 1B Alex Cohen. Step-up time. Cohen sent a fly to more-than-deep-enough right and Siani raced home to make it 1-0. He even uncorked a dramatic, celebratory slide. Three innings earlier, "Co" had reason to feel like crap. After Lancellotti issued opening walks to sr. DH Will Burgess and sr. Vince Sposato. Sr. 1B Jack Carpenter bunted the ball a shade up the first base line. Cohen pounced impressively and had more then enough time to get the lead runner. Alas, his throw was wide and the sacks were jammed. At this point Miller yelled out to Lancellotti, "Now you gotta get them yourself!" Sr. SS Matt Daller then fanned and sr. RF Tommy Wolters followed with a groundball up the middle. Sr. SS Adam Holland gloved the ball, stepped on second and gunned to first for a doubleplay. Not a seamless DP. The throw short-hopped Cohen, but . . . he made the scoop! Imagine the relief/pride he felt. Malvern started the fifth with hard singles to left and right, respectively, by Offshack and jr. 2B Connor Dillon. Offshack sped to third and Dillon took second on the throw. Sr. C Shane "Moose" Muntz fanned and soph CF Chris Newell, a lefty swinger with much potential, sent a grounder to Pell. He fired to the plate and frosh C Gavin Zavorski made a sweeping tag to get the out. A check-swing whiff ended the inning. Sixth inning: Sposato fired a single to center and Lancellotti plunked Carpenter, who was aiming to bunt. Daller was unable to get down a bunt and wound up striking out. Wolters, on three pitches, also fanned. Offshack tapped the ball toward third and sr. 3B Dom Toso stepped on the bag for the forceout. Seventh: Dillon worked a five-pitch walk. With Muntz at bat, Dillon broke for second. Lancellotti whirled and tossed the ball toward second. Pell snagged it and gunned to Cohen, who made the tag on the returning Dillon. Malvern coach Freddy Hilliard, and his assistants, were positive that Lancellotti had balked. I can't weigh in. My camera was focused on the batter. Muntz, who'd walked in his first two plate appearances, looked a hot strike three, but Newell kept the Friars' chances alive with a groundball single to center. Lancellotti notched one more K to end it. A MAJOR celebration followed. The championship has certainly not been won, but this victory was beyond important since the teams entered with one loss apiece. PC (7-1) will play Germantown Academy in its last two Inter-Ac games. Malvern (5-2) will play Episcopal twice and SCH Academy once. . . Before one inning began, Malvern completed its infield/outfield warmups and Offshack fired the ball toward soph teammate Charlie Andress, who was standing at the end of Malvern's dugout, waiting to collect the balls. Andress jumped to the side as the ball zipped past him and hit a pole. "Oh, sorry," Offshack said. "I thought you had a glove on." Ha, ha. Plate ump Bill "Babs" Haines said he had double knee-replacement surgery on Dec. 20 and was back on the field for college games by Feb. 20. "I need the money," he cracked. Congrats to PC assistant Justin Hanley and his wife, Shawna. Their baby daughter, Kira, was born his morning. Freddy Hilliard said his daughter, Blake, was born EXACTLY two years ago today. Among the spectators were three guys with hoops ties: Malvern coach John Harmatuk, long-time talent evaluator Norm Eavenson and Michael Arizin, the son of NBA all-timer Paul Arizin and a first team All-City player for O'Hara in 1972. Also on hand: Tom Bagnell, whose son, Tommy, plays for Haverford School; former Carroll football star Vince Sposato (first team All-City linebacker in 1985; Malvern's Vince is his son) and former Penn Charter QB Tom Lee, my classmate just a few years ago (major fib -- smile).

If your desire on the baseball trail is to see competitive games, those involving Archbishop Ryan might be your best bet. Coach Nick Chichilitti's Raiders have played nine Catholic League games so far and seven have been decided by one or two runs. Ryan is 5-0 in one-runners and 0-2 in two-runners. It won big (by six, seven) in the others. Its final three regular season games will be played vs. O'Hara, La Salle and McDevitt.

  Ryan 9, Bonner-Prendie 3:
Robbie McWilliams (three RBI) and Dom Young (two hits) supported winner Pat Reilly and Jason Keen.
  Ryan 3, Neumann-Goretti 2:
In an emergency start (the original guy hurt himself during warmups), junior Brennan Hatala went 6 1/3 innings and soph Anthony Giordano locked down the save. Brian Yost provided the lead with a two-run double in the visiting seventh. Dave Delvecchio had Ryan's earlier RBI. He and Adam Estrada halved four hits.
  Wood 3, Ryan 1 (8 inn.):
J.R. Gifford won it with a two-run double. Dan Trimber pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits/runs. Jack Colyar allowed three hits over the first six.
  Ryan 2, Lansdale 1:
Pat Reilly pitched a four-hitter with eight whiffs, the RBI went to Dave Delvecchio and Cory Hunter, and Brian Yost doubled twice.
  Ryan 12, SJ Prep 5:
At Ryan, with B-P as the home team, Jason Keen picked up the win while Dave Delvecchio and Andrew Costello halved six hits/six RBI.
  Roman 4, Ryan 2:
Aidan Welch spun a two-hitter with seven punchouts. Dom Gillaspy notched two hits and Billy Dougherty scored three runs.
  Ryan 3, Conwell-Egan 2:
Jason Keen (six innings, nine strikeouts) upped his record to 3-0 and Brennan Hatala claimed the save. All five runs were unearned. Nick Glebocki knocked in the game-winner off a fielder's choice.
  Ryan 1, Carroll 0:
Jason Keen fanned five and scattered eight hits in 6.2 innings and had to leave due to the pitch-count rule with the bases loaded. Brennan Hatala notched the save. Carroll's Tyler Kehoe allowed four hits. Ryan scored on Adam Estrada's fifth-inning single.
  Ryan 7, Judge 6:
The Raiders overcame a 5-1 deficit as Adam Estrada (double) and Dom Young (single) thumped hits worth two RBI apiece. Reliever Brennan Hatala (five innings) picked up the win.

Penn Charter
6, Haverford School 0
  HS was ready to bat in the home sixth and PC sr. RH Matt Gorman was standing beyond the rightfield corner in the bullpen. Perhaps mindful that sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci had not pitched more than three innings since April 8, sr. 1B Joey Lancellotti yelled down to Gorman, "Make sure you're hot!" (As in, warmed up and ready to enter at ANY time.) Gorman, known for his quick wit, yelled back toward Lancellotti, his fishing buddy, "I'm already attractive!" He also remained inactive. Cellucci, a Tulane signee, wound up spinning a one-hitter. Though he did walk five -- hey, what lefty isn't a shade wild? (smile) -- Chooch recorded eight strikeouts and five of those were of the looking variety. He changed speeds well and was especially efficient at preventing the Fords from making impressive contact. Only a couple balls were stung. Jr. RF Isaiah Winikur smacked a hard/clean single to left in the second inning and it moved jr. 1B Justin Meyer, who'd drawn a walk, to second. Soph LF Calvin Costner moved up both runners with a sacrifice bunt and -- uh, oh -- soph CF Logan Keller drew another walk to fill the sacks. Chooch regrouped. He retired jr. DH Nick Holtz on a called strike three and induced a fielder's choice grounder out of soph 3B Joe Bonini. The Fords were mostly silent thereafter. Chooch helped himself with a pickoff in the fourth and his middle-infield guys -- sr. SS Adam Holland to sr. 2B Brendan Pell (then on to Lancellotti) -- efficiently turned a doubleplay in the seventh. As for PC's offense . . . Harry Kalas would have loved the first three runs because all came on outta-heres. Lancellotti, who said he's been using the same bat throughout high school, absolutely rocketed a solo homer way out of dead left in the first and pounded another one out of the yard, a shade to the left of dead center, in the third. That one also plated Holland, who'd fired a ground-rule double to left. PC's other dinger was launched in the first by soph RF Sammy Siani. It was crunched to exact right-center and headed out onto Lancaster Avenue. Despite the long balls, HS jr. LH Grady Nance did not pitch too badly. He had many of the Quakers off-balance, witness that they seemingly hit 20, if not 25, high foul balls up and back from the plate. PC's seventh was one of the strangest half-innings you could ever hope (or not hope) to see. Here we go: Sr. DH Steve Lorenz was plunked. Cellucci was also plunked and yielded to soph courtesy runner Demetrius de Ramus. With Holland at bat, Lorenz was thrown out trying to steal third. With Holland still at bat, de Ramus was picked off first. Holland singled hard to left, but since the bases had been ingloriously emptied . . . jr. CF Mike Siani ALSO was plunked and Nance gave way to frosh RF Pat Toal. With first base NOT open, Lancellotti was issued an intentional walk to push ahead the two other guys and load the bases. (Told you this inning was weird.) Sr. 3B Dom Toso then drilled a two-run single to center. A walk to Sammy Siani and popup by sr. LF James Gabor ended the uprising. Lancellotti's homers came on an 0-2 fastball and first-pitch curve. Also, he remembered having been issued a first-base-NOT-open walk just once before in his career. It occurred last year, he said, when he was playing for Wood against Carroll. He clubbed a grand slam in that one. Among the legends on site: HS assistant Tom McNeely, a star QB for long-closed St. James in Chester (329 passing yards in one), base ump Carlos Deno (former Olney High infielder) and HS grad Kevin Burke, a long-time supporter of the Little Quakers football team (among other accomplishments). Tom noted that Cellucci started against the Fords twice this season after doing so twice last season, also. This game was originally scheduled for tomorrow. It was moved up in anticipation of the wicked rain that's rumored to be heading our way. Good move, all involved.

Well, the streak is over and the school that slapped it together deserves some praise. From late 2012 through early 2017, SCH Academy won 10 consecutive games against not-far-away Penn Charter. From the time win No. 1 was secured through last week, SCH was 28-18 in Inter-Ac play and PC was 24-22, so it wasn't as if the former was a mighty power and the latter was quite the doormat. Yet, the Blue Devils stormed to a 70-30 advantage in runs scored and seven times held the Quakers to none or one. Just once did the BDs score fewer than three. Pretty amazing. The recaps are below.

MAY 16
  SCH Academy 4, Penn Charter 0:
Matt "Squeeze" Kozemchak scattered six hits and halved 4 hits with Sam Feirson. Zach Jancarski and Matt Caldwell posted RBI doubles.
  SCH Academy 3, Penn Charter 1:
Ross Mintzer spun a three-hitter while improving his record to 5-0.
MAY 10, 2013
  SCH Academy 16, Penn Charter 1: Major support for Michael Hayes came from Matt Caldwell (two doubles, two RBI), Zach Jancarski (three runs), Mike Melady (four RBI) and Matt Rowland (two RBI).

  SCH Academy 7, Penn Charter 5:
Jake Silverman's single to left field scored the go-ahead run for Springside Chestnut Hill in a four-run visiting seventh. A.J. LaBella tied it on a double. Craig Alleyne had two RBI and played strong defense at shortstop. Gunnar Hayes worked 2.1 innings in relief for the win.
  SCH Academy 11, Penn Charter 8:
Frosh Andrew Singer went 3 for 3 with two RBIs.
  SCH Academy 5, Penn Charter 1:
Gunnar Hayes threw four scoreless innings and struck out three.
  SCH Academy 11, Penn Charter 6:
AJ LaBella went 3-for-4 with a double, sac fly and four RBI while Dan Shubert went 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. The teams combined for 22 hits. PC's headliners were frosh Mike Siani (double, homer, three RBI), Kenny Bergmann (double, triple, one) and Dillon Malandro (3-for-3, double, walk, two).
  SCH Academy 4, Penn Charter 1:
Aidan "Curly" Frye scattered five singles (two infield variety) over 6.2 innings and Bryce Cunningham logged a one-batter save. Danny Shubert and Ian Diaz stroked RBI singles and second baseman Chris "Bubba" Alleyne made two great defensive plays.
MAY 19
  SCH Academy 8, Penn Charter 7:
With the bases loaded, nobody out and the infield up in the home seventh, reliever Aidan "Curly" Frye sent a groundball single up the middle to give himself the win. The Blue Devils (6-3) trailed by 6-1 after 3 1/2 innings. Ian Diaz went 3-for-4 with four RBI and his two-run, fence-clearing homer to dead left created a 7-7 tie in the sixth. PC's Kenny Bergmann went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI.
  SCH Academy 1, Penn Charter 0:
Aidan "Curly" Frye pitched a three-hitter with five whiffs (three in the last two innings) and became a winner when Sam Aslansan drew a two-out, bases-loaded, five-pitch walk in the home seventh to bring home pinch-runner Pat Elliott. The 1-0 win was Frye's third in Inter-Ac play in his three-year varsity career; he's just a junior. PC's Joey Lancellotti also allowed four hits and recorded 12 strikeouts.

Penn Charter 5, SCH Academy 3

  For the first time in his four seasons as PC's coach, Dave Miller owns a win over his alma mater. Let the celebration begin! . . . Or not. "I want to celebrate, but I'm so mad," Miller said, five-plus minutes after the game. He uttered those words in good-natured fashion, but deep down he WAS upset about a few things. The Quakers made some boo-boos along the way and the win could have been secured in much more comfortable fashion. We'll begin with the last inning, which started with PC in control, at 5-1, and sr. RH Joey Lancellotti, who today hit 95 mph on the radar guns of eight/nine pro scouts, already owning 13 strikeouts. Soph PH Pat Elliott reached first on the Blue Devils' third infield single of the game, then "Lance" retired the next two batters on groundouts to sr. SS Adam Holland as Elliott advanced to second, then third. Sr.RH-SS Chris "Bubba" Alleyne then drew a walk and thieved second. Next up was sr. SS-RH Jack Cucinotta, who sent a fly ball into medium right not too far from the foul line. Sr. 2B Brendan Pell, sr. 1B Alex Cohen and soph RF Sammy Siani all scrambled over that way in pursuit and . . . oops, Siani was unable to make the catch and Cucinotta owned a two-run single. The wind was blowing like crazy from third to first and Sammy misjudged how far it would take the ball. Despite a last-second lunge, he was unable to get his glove on the ball. Any here-we-go-AGAIN-these-guys feelings were quickly suppressed when sr. 3B Dom Toso made an efficient play on a grounder to wrap things up. SCH scored its other run in the sixth when Alleyne (3-for-3, walk, two runs scored) sent a looping single to center, moved to third on Cucinotta's double down the leftfield line and scored on an errant return throw to the mound by frosh C Gavin Zavorski. After Lancellotti recorded whiffs Nos. 11 and 12, the run switched from unearned to earned when sr. CF Matt Hoffman slapped a single to center. Punchout No. 13 ended it. In all, the Blue Devils managed eight hits and milked two walks. Meanwhile, six guys whiffed twice. Alleyne, an impressive, quick-footed shortstop with a strong arm, got the mound start because staff ace Aidan "Curly" Frye, a jr. RH, was unavailable due to a pulled muscle in his shoulder. PC reached Bubba for one in the second (RBI to sr. DH Steve Lorenz on a hard groundball up the middle) and three in the third (RBI to sr. LF James Gabor on a walk, to Pell on a sac fly, to Lorenz again on a single to left), then added one more in the fourth vs. Cucinotta (on Toso's hard single to right). Toso had a big day by going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. His best hit was a blast off the fence in right in the third. It could have gone for a double, but soph courtesy runner Demetrius de Ramus had to be hesitant because frosh RF Zion Spearman gave great pursuit and there was no guarantee the ball would not be caught. PC had owned a 10-game losing streak vs. SCH -- three in 2012-13 under coach Jon Cross, all six from 2014-16 under Miller and one this year when Frye outdueled Lancellotti, 1-0. That remains the Quakers' lone loss of the season. Gabor arrived at the field much later than normal (but in time for the game) and faced not even a hint of punishment. Reason? He was taking an advanced placement test in art history. Here's guessing he aced it. PC assistant Justin Hanley missed the game because his wife, Shawna, appeared to be ready to deliver their baby girl. False alarm. Best wishes to base ump Pete DeIuliis, who has done quality work in the city leagues since the 1979 season and will be retiring this June. Always great to see you, Pete! Thanks for being a good dude.

Due to dicey weather, baseball seasons never go smoothly. Some days all games do get played, but the rescheduled games take place in scattered fashion with three here, two there and sometimes just one. With that in mind . . . This is season No. 18 in this century and just three times have two Catholic League shutouts with VERY low scores been played on the same day. The scores yesterday and in 2004 were 1-0 and 2-0. They were 1-0 and 1-0 in 2005. Conwell-Egan twice beat La Salle in those back-in-the-day tilts.  

MAY 2, 2017
  Ryan 1, Carroll 0: Jason Keen fanned five and scattered eight hits in 6.2 innings and had to leave due to the pitch-count rule with the bases loaded. Brennan Hatala notched the save. Carroll's Tyler Kehoe allowed four hits. Ryan scored on Adam Estrada's fifth-inning single.
  Neumann-Goretti 2, Wood 0: Phil Sanborn fired a one-hitter (two-out single in the sixth), walked one and struck out seven and RJ McGettigan stroked two hits.
APRIL 5, 2005
  Conwell-Egan 1, La Salle 0 (9 inn.): Joe Marziano's pinch-hit single scored winning reliever Matt Burns (double) in the home ninth. Ryan Geiss pitched seven no-hit innings with eight strikeouts. La Salle's Matt Zielinski pitched eight innings with seven whiffs.
  Carroll 1, SJ Prep 0 (8 inn.): Brian Rorick's walk-off homer, hit high and deep to dead leftfield, made a winner of reliever Dan "The Vulture" Ritter (one-third of an inning). Rorick had two of the game's six hits and worked the first five innings (one hit, 10 Ks). Brian Puliti went 2 2/3 innings (also one hit).
APRIL 21, 2004
Dougherty 1, Wood 0: Mike McCann struck out nine in a two-hit shutout and won when Josh Guevara scored on a third-inning groundout. Losing pitcher Chris Kirk threw a nine-strikeout one-hitter.
   Conwell-Egan 2, La Salle 0 (8 inn.): Matt Burns pitched a five-hitter and Alex Szathmary drove in the winner on a sacrifice fly. La Salle's Matt Zielinski fanned eight.
Not often do Catholic League games take place on a Saturday, but there was one two days ago and it provided inspiration for this nugget. Reason? Andrew Cossetti hit a grand slam as La Salle beat Wood. Now, there has been at least one slam by a Catholic or Inter-Ac player, in a league game or City Title, in every year in this decade. The list is below. La Salle guys have hammered six and the most notable was launched outta here by Tyler Kozeniewski in 2012; it helped to give then-coach Joe Parisi his 400th win in 26 seasons. Some other extras: In 2013, La Salle's Pete Auteri posted two grand slams. Josh Ockimey's slam for Neumann-Geumann vs. Philadelphia Academy in 2014 was the first in City Title history. The 2012 dinger by Roman's Matt Simon upstaged an absolutely outrageous performance by Ryan's Matt Graber, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and eight RBI. In 2011, Wood's Brett McCrossen went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in addition to the slam for seven RBI. Oh, and his brother, Kyle, turned two homers into four RBI. In 2010, Germantown Academy's Greg Guers, at that time a part-timer, went 3-for-3 with a two-run double, a three-run homer and the slam for nine RBI. The opponent was Penn Charter. Geez, did I have to mention that? (smile) If you know of other slams that aren't mentioned here, and can provide confirmation, please speak up. Thanks!

Grand Slams in League Games/City Titles by Catholic/Inter-Ac Players, 2010-17
Year Name School Opponent
2017 Andrew Cossetti La Salle Wood
2016 Joey Lancellotti Wood Carroll
  Greg Martin SJ Prep Carroll
2015 Nick Greco Haverford School Germantown Academy
2014 Josh Ockimey Neumann-Goretti Phila. Academy
  Nolan Cummings O'Hara Neumann-Goretti
2013 Chris Salvey O'Hara Neumann-Goretti
  Pete Auteri La Salle Judge
  Pete Auteri La Salle Roman
2012 Kevin Sullivan Wood Carroll
  Tyler Kozeniewski La Salle SJ Prep
  Matt Simon Roman Ryan
2011 Brett McCrossen Wood Carroll
2010 Ian Whalen La Salle O'Hara
  Matt Lengel Haverford School Episcopal
  Greg Guers Germantown Academy Penn Charter
  T.J. Burgmann La Salle Roman

Can't imagine too many pitchers, at any level, can make this statement . . . "I was part of a four-man no-hitter one season and a three-man one-hitter the next." Two Penn Charter guys can, sr. RH Matt Gorman and sr. LH Brendan "Chooch" Cellucci. They filled different roles. Chooch started in '16 and pitched middle relief in '17. Matt closed in '16 and was a three-inning starter yesterday. Details are below . . .

May 18, 2016 -- Home vs. Haverford School -- Won, 6-1