Prep Baseball Report

PIAA Class AA Tournament Preview

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

1st round match-ups are listed in bracket order.  Check the PIAA Championships Blog for game dates, times, locations, and results.

1-1/12-1 Neumann-Goretti vs 11-1 Salisbury Township


How the Saints got here: lost to St Joseph's Prep (7-2), beat Cardinal O'Hara (8-7) & lost to Archbishop Wood (6-1) in Catholic League playoffs, beat Springfield Township 4-3 & Prep Charter 5-2 in District I/XII sub-regional

Players to Watch: Josh Ockimey (2014 1B), Joe Kinee (2013 RHP), John LaMotta (2013 RHP) - Ockimey, who has verbally committed to Arkansas, features the best raw power in the region.  A couple of college-bound arms, Kinee (Maine) and LaMotta (Marymount) front the pitching staff.

Underclass Name to Know: Nicky D'Amore (2016 IF), Pat Doudican (2015 LHP/OF) - D'Amore is the starting shortstop as a varsity rookie.  Doudican's frame gives him upside on the mound and at the plate.

Salisbury Township

How the Falcons got here: 1-seed in District XI playoffs, beat Pine Grove 6-5, beat Notre Dame (Green Pond) 9-4

Players to Watch: Nicolas Ampietro (2013 RHP/IF), Justin Aungst (2014 RHP/IF) - The two-way duo went a combined 16-1 on the mound with 125 strikeouts against 35 walks in 95.1 IP.  Aungst led the team in AVG (.506), OBP (.543) & SLG (.778), while Ampietro chipped in a .392 AVG and 11 XBH.

Underclass Name to Know: Evan Kulig (2015 IF) - The starting second baseman and 2-hole hitter hit .345 and made only three errors in 24 games.

4-1 Hughesville vs 3-2 Kutztown


How the Spartans got here: 7-seed in District IV playoffs, beat Athens 1-0, beat South Williamsport 4-0, beat Southern Columbia 6-1, beat Loyalsock Township 7-5

Players to Watch: Sadiq Burkholder (2013 OF/LHP), Justin Lambert (2014 RHP/Util) - Burkholder and Lambert combined to pitch the Spartans through the District IV tournament and to their first title in school history.


How the Cougars got here: 3-seed in District III playoffs, beat Halifax 5-1, beat Camp Hill 3-0, lost to Delone Catholic 4-0

Player to Watch: Andrew Gernert (2013 RHP/IF) - West Chester-bound Gernert is a competitive strike-thrower on the bump (he beat District III AAAA runner-up Exeter Township in the first round of the BCIAA tournament) who also doubles as a primary run-producer for the Cougars.

3-1 Delone Catholic vs 12-2 Prep Charter

Delone Catholic

How the Squires got here: 1-seed in District III playoffs, beat Berks Catholic 6-1, beat Tulpehocken 6-2, beat Kutztown 4-0

Players to Watch: Dalton Haymaker (2014 RHP/IF), Brett Smith (2013 IF/RHP) - Smith is a 3-sport star headed to Bucknell.  Haymaker's development on the mound is a big reason the Squires won their first ever District III title.

Prep Charter

How the Huskies got here: 1st round bye, beat Bracetti (11-3) & Esperanza (5-1) in Public League playoffs, lost to Neumann-Goretti 5-2 in District I/XII sub-regional

Player to Watch: Peter Piccoli (2013 P) - Piccoli was the lone Husky to garner 1st-team honors in Public League Division A.

2-1 Lakeland vs 4-2 Loyalsock Township


How the Chiefs got here: 3-seed in District II playoffs, beat Carbondale 10-0, beat EL Meyers 11-0, beat Mountain View 9-2, beat Mid-Valley 6-0

Players to Watch: Eric Grabowski (2013 RHP/IF), Joey Natale (2013 OF) - Left-handed hitting Natale (.414 AVG, .493 OBP, 18 SB) is the table-setter for the offense.  Grabowski swings it as well (.492 AVG, .552 OBP, 19 SB), while commanding a quality 3-pitch mix as the Chiefs mound ace (8-0, 0.42, 22 H, 11 BB, 72 K in 49.2 IP).

Underclass Name to Know: Shane Rivenburgh (2015 1B) - The right-handed hitter has a bit of pop in his bat and hit .320 as one of only two sophomores to receive regular playing time.

Loyalsock Township

How the Lancers got here: 1-seed in District IV playoffs, 1st round bye, beat Towanda 4-3, beat Montoursville 2-1, lost to Hughesville 7-5

Players to Watch: Robbie Kline (2014 OF/LHP), Phil Krizan (2014 IF) - Kline (.541 AVG, .653 OBP, .649 SLG) and Krizan (.378 AVG, .465 OBP, .541 SLG) pace a young offense that has only two seniors playing major roles.

Underclass Names to Know: Kyle Datres (2015 SS/RHP), Jimmy Webb (2015 OF), Luke Glavin (2015 RHP) - Webb has already verbally committed to Wake Forest, while Datres (upper-80s, touch 90) and Glavin (mid-80s) both hold high spots in the PA 2015 rankings.

7-1 Beaver vs 9-1 Karns City


How the Bobcats got here: 2-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Bentworth 6-5, beat Laurel 6-0, beat Shady Side 8-1, beat Quaker Valley 7-1

Player to Watch: Austin Ross (2013 RHP), Austin Logan (2013 RHP/IF) - Radford-bound Ross worked 88-89, touching 90 a few times, in the WPIAL title game.  Logan is the starting SS and capable #2 starter behind Ross.

Karns City

How the Gremlins got here: 1-seed in District IX playoffs, beat Moniteau 7-4

Players to Watch: Tyler Kepple (2014 RHP/SS), Nathan Weckerley (2014 C), Zach Moore (2014 OF) - Kepple was one of the leaders on the bump (6-0, 1.57, 14 BB, 22 K in 40 IP), while also hitting .352 with a .685 SLG.  Weckerly hit .500 and led the team in OBP (.658).  Moore hit .450 and was tops in SLG (.757).

Underclass Name to Know: Matthew Yough (2015 IF/RHP) - Yough (5-0, 3.35, 8 BB, 28 K in 43 IP) joined Kepple to form the 1-2 rotation punch, while also posting a .500 batting average as an everyday player.

5-1 Bedford vs 6-2 Mount Union


How the Bison got here: 2-seed in District V playoffs, beat Northern Bedford 5-1 beat Everett 5-3

Players to Watch: Luke Campbell (2013 C), Tyler Black (2013 RHP/3B) - Campbell spearheads the offense out of the 3-hole while Black notched 11 strikeouts in the district semifinal win.

Underclass Name to Know: Austin Montgomery (2016 1B/RHP) - Montgomery went 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI in the district championship game.

Mount Union

How the Trojans got here: 7-seed in District VI playoffs, beat Penns Valley 6-5, beat Bald Eagle 3-0, beat Ligonier Valley 2-0, lost to Blairsville 3-2

Players to Watch: Cole Boozel (2013 RHP), Boomer Brown (2013 C) - Boozel, who is headed for Allegany College of Maryland, works in the mid-80s and has topped out higher, while his battery-mate Brown is headed for Mount Aloysius.

10-1 Saegertown vs 7-2 Quaker Valley


How the Panthers got here: 2-seed in District X playoffs, beat Franklin 6-0, beat Wilmington 10-0, beat Sharpsville 10-3

Players to Watch: Stephen Sada (2013 SS), Tyler Walters (2014 C) - Miami (OH)-bound Sada and Walters are multi-year starters who have led Saegertown to three straight District X championships.

Quaker Valley

How the Quakers got here: 1-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Burrell 6-3, beat Freeport 6-1, beat Deer Lakes 4-0, lost to Beaver 7-1

Players to Watch: Jake Pilewicz (2013 RHP), Tyler Garbee (2015 RHP) - Pilewicz is a workhorse who started the WPIAL quarterfinal, semifinal, and championship games.  Garbee is a capable #2, who showed 84-86 velo in the WPIAL title game.

6-1 Blairsville vs 7-3 Shady Side


How the Bobcats got here: 1-seed in District VI playoffs, bye in 1st round, beat Cambria Heights 12-11, beat Central 7-6, beat Mount Union 3-2

Players to Watch: Reed Ratkus (2013 RHP/IF), Bobby Thompson (2013 3B) - Ratkus did it all for the Bobcats, hitting .558 while also going 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA.  Thompson batted .510 with an .824 SLG.

Underclass Name to Know: Scott Thompson (2015 C) - Thompson hit .460 and led the team with three HR.

Shady Side

How the Indians got here: 14-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Riverside 9-2, beat Chartiers Houston 2-1, lost to Beaver 8-1, beat Deer Lakes 7-6

Players to Watch: Jake Kleindl (2014 C/1B), Chuckie Scales (2014 OF), Paul McCullough (2013 IF/RHP) - Kleindl, Scales, and McCullough are the offensive catalysts for the Indians.

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