Conference Preview: Lehigh Valley Conference
March 18, 2014
By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting
Lehigh Valley Conference
This spring will be the last scholastic sports season for the LVC as it is currently known. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the LVC will merge with the Mountain Valley Conference to form a new, 18-team, as yet unnamed, league. Details have yet to be finalized and/or released regarding division alignment and scheduling, but the eighteen largest schools in District XI will soon be playing under the same banner.
'14 RHP Alex Flynn, Parkland
'14 3B Tyler Bridgewood, Whitehall
'14 3B Zach Tobash, Allentown Central Catholic
'14 OF Brad Vasilik, Parkland (Elizabethtown)
'14 OF Jason Fatzinger, Emmaus (Fairleigh Dickinson)
- Defending District XI champ Parkland is the clear favorite, with enviable depth on the pitching staff. In addition to Flynn, the Trojans can feature '14 RHP Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg), '15 LHP Connor Higgins (Indiana), '15 RHP Rhett Jacoby (Penn State) and, if they need to pull his plus arm off of shortstop, '15 RHP Chris Rabasco (right). Vasilik will set the tone for the offense, while Rabasco and '14 Zach Merkle (Southern Connecticut State) will be key cogs as well.
- Whitehall may have been 2013's hardest luck team. They split four competitive games with Parkland during the regular and post-season (including beating Parkland in the LVC title game) and only lost three games total all spring. However, despite having a starting pitching duo that made them one of the top sixteen teams in class AAAA, they missed out on the state tournament because District XI only got one bid. '14 LHP Matt Hassick will see an uptick in innings, while '15 RHP/SS Jake Meyers is poised to take on a larger role with his arm and bat. Joining him on an offense that will be leaned on more heavily this spring are middle-of-the-order boppers Bridgewood and '14 3B Jeff Charles, along with Bonshak, an athletic backstop with solid defensive skills. Keep an eye on toolsy '16 OF/RHP Gianni Sinatore to make an impact early on as well.
- Durich will be re-joined in the Northampton Area line-up by slick-fielding '15 SS Harley Davidson (left) and '16 C/3B Ian Luberti (right), both of whom started as underclassmen last spring.
- Nazareth Area coach Bryan Wolf will turn to '14 C Brett Hallman and 6-foot-4 '14 RHP Jake Carty, a transfer from Bethlehem Catholic, to lead his veteran Blue Eagles club toward a district berth.
- Fatzinger and Miller will team with '14 IF Storm Schichtl, '14 LHP Josh Lemaster, and swiss army knife '14 Util/RHP Jake Pacheco (right) as coach John Schreiner's crew tries to keep Emmaus atop the LVC West.
- Allentown Central Catholic will feature a young roster, although coach Mike Brosious will be able to run two senior southpaws out to the mound in 6-foot-2 Dan Lloyd and Vinny Romano (Wilkes).
- William Allen brings back the bulk of its line-up for coach Rob Leskosky, including '15 IF/RHP Justin Kratz (.270 AVG; 3.39 ERA in 31 IP) and speedy '14 Util/RHP Felix Martinez (.316 AVG)
- Freedom will rely on its pitching and defense as they adjust to life without six graduated starters from last year. '14 LHP/1B Nick Mazzella and '15 RHP/OF Zak Gagnon (left) will have the opportunity to soak up innings. They will be joined in the line-up by '14 OF Jay Clymer and '15 SS Danny Corvino (right).
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