Pope John, Bishop Eustace Collect Wins with Stellar Pitching

By TJ Hunt
Scouting Director, New Jersey

On Saturday, Pope John XXIII defeated Don Bosco 2-0 in a pitcher's duel. Marist recruit 2017 RHP Sean Roberts was outstanding, going 6.1 strong and scattering seven hits and punching out six. Don Bosco's Iona recruit, 2018 LHP Drew Helmstetter was the hard-luck loser, going a strong 4.2 innings and allowing just those two earned runs.

Roberts kept the Don Bosco bats at bay, mixing in all three of his pitches for strikes in a wide variety of counts. He was consistently 83-86, touching 87-88 on a cold, windy day in Sparta. His breaking ball had 11/5 depth at 71-75 and mixed in his swing-and-miss changeup at 76. He recorded strikeouts using all three pitches, making him very difficult to predict in a strikeout count. Pope John's Lafayette recruit 2017 C Hunter Silvernail broke the 0-0 tie with an RBI double, and that was all the Lions would need. 

Bishop Eustace 11, Audubon 0
Bishop Eustace got out to a big early lead and never looked back, defeating Audubon 11-0. 2019 RHP/SS and Maryland recruit Matt Orlando was the star of the game, throwing four innings of no-hit baseball, striking out seven. He was also 3-4 at the plate, with two doubles and five RBI. Eustace is loaded with young talent, led by Orlando, 2018 2B Sky Duff (Pittsburgh recruit), uncommitted 2019 CF Johnny Piacentino, and uncommitted 2019 OF Mike Guzzardo. Piacentino and Duff possess plus speed for their ages, and set the table at the top of the order for the likes of Orlando and Guzzardo in the middle to drive them in.  

Orlando was sat 85-86 touching 87 mph from a high-3/4 slot. He mixed in a downer breaking ball at 78-79 with 11/5 shape and a swing-and-miss changeup at 76. At the plate, he starts with feet shoulder width apart in a slight crouch with hands and bat above shoulder. Quiet, but explosive in approach. Very limited prepitch movements but smooth load and quick hands that help get the barrel out.