Prep Baseball Report

2015 Season Preview: PIAA District III (Class A & AA)

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

We soldier on to installment number seven of our district preview articles, the main component of our season preview content, which will run for three weeks up to the first official competition date for PIAA schools on March 20. To view all district previews as they are released, please visit our District Previews 2015 page.

Bayley Jamanis

Dillon Marsh

PIAA District III Class A & AA Top Prospects

1. Dillon Marsh, 2018, LHP/OF, Lancaster Catholic ==> (left)
2. Peter Vaccaro, 2017, IF, Oley Valley
3. Tyler Peters, 2017, C/IF, Lancaster Catholic
4. Bayley Jamanis, 2016, 3B/P, Lancaster Catholic ==> (right)
5. Kyle Glouner, 2016, 3B/P, Upper Dauphin Area

Class A

Lancaster County Christian appears poised to continue its run of success, which currently stands at four state tournament berths in a row (two district titles, two district runner-ups). Back is the experienced starting pitching trio of junior RHP Kyle Ebersole, senior RHP Jensen King, and senior LHP Chandler Petersheim, as well as their battery mate: junior catcher Hunter Smucker. The left side of the infield graduated, but six seniors return to the starting line-up, including three who batted over .400 last year: outfielder Chandler Petersheim, IF/C Blake Petersheim, and infielder Cory Eavanson. First-year coach Chris Burns will also be able to pencil in outfielder Luke Dixon, utilityman King, and potential impact freshman Jeremy Brubaker into his everyday line-up.

Millersburg Area will feature eight returning starters from its district semifinal team, led by senior 1st-team Tri-Valley OF/LHP Connor Keim (.435 AVG, 16 XBH), senior 2nd-team IF/RHP Robbie Burger (.392 AVG), and junior IF/RHP Austin Lehman (.356 AVG, 10 SB). Keim (32.2 IP, 26 H, 26 K) will be joined on coach Corey Keim's staff by 6-foot-4 senior RHP Ethan Troutman (28.2 IP, 29 K) and sophomore LHP Christian Wingard (42 IP, 47 K).

Senior RHP/IF Mitch Esser, an all-Berks Division III 1st-team selection, returns to lead Antietam, but the Mountaineers suffered a big blow when junior P/IF Ledwin Nunez, a 1st-team honoree himself, transferred to division rival Wyomissing Area.

Isaiah LocketteUnable to pick up a win in the Mid-Penn Capital Division last spring, coach Joseph Pilsitz and his Steelton-Highspire Steamrollers will look to get off the schneid behind the efforts of junior LHP/OF Taj McClendon, sophomore RHP/OF Isaiah Lockette (right), and junior infielder Matthew Pilsitz.

Lebanon Catholic graduated its top two pitchers, leaving junior Noah Marinkov (26.1 IP, 48 H, 9 BB, 12 K) as the only holdover on the staff to log more than seven innings last season. The offense graduated five regulars as well, including its top three hitters, with John Groh (.283 AVG, .356 OBP) the lone returner to hit above .220.

Mitchell TaylorGreenwood struggled last year as a group of primarily freshman and sophomores took their lumps on the varsity level. Coach Mark Sherman will be counting on maturity and that experience to improve the Wildcats fortunes this spring. The pitching staff will be led by junior Tri-Valley 2nd-team all-star Mitch Taylor (right), junior LHP Brady Stover, and sophomore RHP Drew Paden, while freshman RHP Parker Taylor may have a chance to make an impact as well. The offense will feature sophomore utility Eli Goodling, junior infielder Cody Hinterliter, and sophomore utility Grant Sarver.

Class AA

Peter VaccaroA move down from class AAA could help soften the blow Oley Valley took with the graduation of three-time all-Berks honoree Nick Distasio. Junior RHP/IF Matt Fisher and Vaccaro (.380 AVG, 9 XBH; right) return as all-Berks Division III selections, as does Honorable Mention sophomore 3B/C Tyler Wentzel. Other offensive contributors will be junior outfielder Gray Williamson and DH Joe MacDonald, the lone senior on the roster with significant previous playing time. Fisher, the only returning pitcher to log varsity innings last spring, will be joined by RHP Williamson, and sophomore RHP Nate Christman on coach Rick Harrison's staff.

Senior catcher Austin Roth (.310 AVG, .449 OBP) and senior OF/RHP Jimmy O'Boyle (.351 AVG, .430 OBP, .500 SLG, 8 SB), both 1st-team all-YAISAA Division IV honorees, return to guide Delone Catholic as it attempts to defend its division crown. Junior shortstop Austin Kuntz (.388 OBP) is among five other returning contributors for the Squires. O'Boyle, senior Austin Keith, and junior Chase Kint give coach Doug Arnold a trio of RHP who each tossed at least 18 innings last season.

Kyle Glouner

Upper Dauphin Area will look to defend its Tri-Valley League championship behind three all-TVL honorees: Kutztown-bound 1st-team IF/P Tanner Miller, 1st-team IF/P Glouner (right), and junior 2nd-team IF/P Aaron Cleveland.

Annville-Cleona lost two-thirds of its starting line-up to graduation, leaving senior third baseman Colton Long (.306 AVG, .409 OBP), senior infielder Adam Bennett (.357 AVG, .519 OBP), and junior catcher Hunter Long (.254 AVG, .380 OBP) to carry the offensive burden for the Dutchmen. The pitching staff appears to be a little more settled, with two of three primary starters -- the elder Long (47 IP, 53 H, 26 BB, 29 K) and senior Jordan Gohn (36.1 IP, 38 H, 32 BB, 46 K) -- returning to front the rotation.

Tyler PetersLancaster Catholic will turn to junior RHPs Shawn Henry (20 IP, 12 H, 16 BB, 15 K) and Jamanis (28 IP, 43 H, 10 BB, 22 K), as it looks to replace mound ace Willie Burger, who exhausted his PIAA eligibility and transferred to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. Senior infielder Casey Regan (.351 AVG, .415 OBP) will spark an offense for rookie coach Ty Book that will rely on a number of underclassmen to produce. Keep an eye on Peters (right), who hit .320 in a late-season, eight-game cameo as a freshman.

Logan ReeverSenior outfielder Logan Reever (left), a Lebanon Valley College commit, will be called on to use his .458 OBP to spark a Biglerville offense that lost two 1st-team all-YAISAA Division IV hitters to graduation. The bigger question for Canners coach Jeff Taylor, however, might be whether or not he can coax more consistent command from a pitching staff that includes a trio of senior RHPs -- Honorable Mention selection Shawn Redding, Jon Borth, and Jorden Trostel -- and sophomore RHP Noah Ayers.

Jake KrevetskiAttrition doesn't even begin to describe what happened to York Catholic once its season ended at the hands of eventual state champ Devon Prep in the first round of the state tournament. Exactly one player who received significant playing time is back this spring. Senior Jake Krevetski (right) is a nice starting point offensively (.450 AVG, .616 OBP, 18 BB vs 16 K, 12 XBH) and on the mound (46.2 IP, 43 H, 22 BB, 52 K), but he going to need his teammates to quickly learn on the job, as the Fighting Irish transition up from class A.

Matt KerberTulpehocken will look to replace its top two pitchers with senior Matt Martin (22 IP, 30 H, 21 BB, 20 K) and a group of otherwise inexperienced arms. Outfielder Martin (.302 AVG) and senior infielder Matt Kerber (.283 AVG, .429 OBP, 15 BB vs 8 K; left) are the top holdovers from a line-up that graduated two-thirds of its regulars.

Bryson TurnerSophomore infielder/catcher Brett Swire (.292 AVG) returns off a solid rookie campaign to join three all-Berks Division III Honorable Mention selections -- junior third baseman Ben Flicker (.435 AVG, .491 OBP, .608 SLG), senior 1B/RHP Dan Kristian (.296 AVG, .367 OBP), and Widener-bound RHP/IF Bryson Turner (.369 AVG, .414 OBP) -- in the line-up for Brandywine Heights. Coach Chris Cole's pitching staff is a little more in flux, with Turner (right), junior RHP Austin Kunkel (16.1 IP, 30 H, 12 BB, 13 K), and Kristian (22.2 IP, 26 H, 15 BB, 16 K) all looking to increase their impact from last spring.

Lancaster Mennonite is looking to make progress its development this spring. The Blazers offense will be sparked by senior second baseman Christian Kemp (.471 OBP, 16 SB), with senior 1B/C Tyler Weaver, senior outfielder Noah Sturges, junior third baseman Jeremy Newswanger (.320 AVG, .493 OBP), and sophomore catcher Kevin Hoopes also projected as primary run-producers. Coach Stephen Robinson will have a balanced staff at his disposal, including RHPs Newswanger and Sturges, plus senior LHP Evan Dunn and junior LHP Matthew Eshleman.

Columbia hopes to take a step forward on the strength of a line-up that returns seven regulars, including senior shortstop Derek Sheckard (.364 AVG, .493 OBP, 13 BB vs 3 K, 10 SB), senior outfielder Adam Geltz (.406 AVG, .515 SLG), and junior catcher Gabe Grove (.292 AVG, .413 OBP, 12 BB vs 10 K). Ultimately, the Crimson Tide's competitiveness will likely rest on the development of its returning pitchers, all of whom walked more than they struck out last spring. Junior Util/RHP Jarod Kashner should have an opportunity to make an impact for coach Tony Plastino with his bat and arm.

Season Preview Schedule

2/27 - PAISAA
2/27 - District V
2/28 - District IX
3/1 - District VI
3/2 - District IV
3/3 - District X
3/4 - District III (Class A & AA)
3/5 - District VII (Class A)
3/6 - District VII (Class AA)
3/7 - District II
3/8 - District XI
3/9 - District I (Class A, AA, AAA)
3/10 - District III (Class AAA)
3/11 - District VII (Class AAA)
3/12 - District I (Class AAAA)
3/13 - District III (Class AAAA)
3/14 - District VII (Class AAAA)
3/15 - District XII