Prep Baseball Report

PIAA Class AAA 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 Holy Ghost vs 3-2 Littlestown

Holy Ghost

How the Firebirds got here: 1-seed in District I playoffs, beat Upper Perkiomen 16-9, beat Phoenixville 3-2, beat Upper Moreland 6-0

Players to Watch: Tim Brennan (2015 IF/RHP), Curtis Staropoli (2015 RHP) - This is a young team that is well-positioned to continue their run of success for the next few years.  Staropoli has been a fixture in the rotation all season, while Brennan was mainly pulled off of SS to serve as the closer, although he authored a CG shutout in the district title game.

Another Underclass Name to Know: Ryan Malloy (2015 IF) - Malloy's plus bat speed earned him an invitation to compete in the PBR Midwest Future Games on Team Pennsylvania.


How the Thunderbolts got here: 3-seed in District III playoffs, beat Kennard-Dale 5-0, beat Hamburg 3-1, beat Lampeter-Strasburg 4-3, lost to Greencastle-Antrim 12-8

Players to Watch: Ryan Kehr (2013 RHP), Kai Hess (2013 IF) - Kehr (7-3, 1.68, 25 BB, 72 K in 66.2 IP) was a workhorse this spring, totaling more innings than the 2nd- and 3rd-most used arms on the team combined.  Hess led the offense with a .414 AVG and .671 SLG.

12-1 Bonner-Prendergast vs 3-3 West York


How the Friars got here: beat Cardinal O'Hara (5-3), lost to St Joseph's Prep (11-3) & lost to Archbishop Ryan (9-0) in Catholic League playoffs, beat Franklin Towne Charter 5-0 in District XII championship

Players to Watch: Jim Haley (2013 SS), Pat Vanderslice (2013 RHP), Dan Furman (2013 RHP) - Penn State-bound Haley is the top position player in the area and began to receive some draft buzz as the season wore on.  Vanderslice (Temple) and Furman (Pittsburgh) form a potent 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

Underclass Name to Know: Richie Tecco (2015 2B) - Bat speed and athleticism will get you noticed, even when overshadowed in the middle of the field by Haley all season.

West York

How the Bulldogs got here: 8-seed in District III playoffs, beat Northeastern 4-3, beat Shippensburg 5-3, lost to Greencastle-Antrim 5-3, beat Lampeter-Strasburg 9-7

Players to Watch: Joey Prego (2013 RHP), Brandon Kinneman (2013 1B/LHP) - Kinneman finished second on the team in AVG and first in OBP, while also racking up the second most innings on the mound behind Prego (7-2, 1.68, 20 BB, 32 K in 58.1 IP).

Underclass Name to Know: Brett Kinneman (2015 OF/LHP) - The younger Kinneman brother stole 14 bases and was a key cog on the pitching staff (2-0, 1.31, 13 H, 13 BB, 26 K in 21.1 IP).

11-1 Tamaqua vs 12-2 Franklin Towne Charter


How the Blue Raiders got here: 1-seed in District XI playoffs, beat Lehighton 6-1, beat Southern Lehigh 4-3

Players to Watch: Matt Roberts (2014 DH), Brett Kosciolek (2015 RHP/1B) - Roberts hit .408 and notched at least one base hit in 20 of 24 games this spring.  Kosciolek led the offense in AVG & SLG, and the staff in IP, wins & Ks, while working in the mid-80s.

Underclass Names to Know: Bo Rottet (2015 SS) - A solid defender, Rottet hit .316 and holds down the lead-off spot in the line-up.

Franklin Towne Charter

How the Coyotes got here: Beat King (15-0), Swenson (6-0) & Franklin (10-3) in Public League playoffs, lost to Bonner-Prendergast 5-0 in District XII championship

Players to Watch: Tim Hart (2013 RHP/IF), Chris Hartman (2013 1B) - Hart is the ace of the staff (9-1, 2.32, 34 BB, 97K, in 54.1 IP) and hit .415 to boot.  Hartman led the team in AVG (.441), OBP (.542) & SLG (.864).  Both were named 1st-team Public League Division A.

Underclass Name to Know: Stephen Callahan (2015 IF/RHP) - Callahan led the team in SB while posting 14 BB against only two strikeouts offensively and also finished second on the team in IP.

2-1 Abington Heights vs 4-1 Jersey Shore

Abington Heights

How the Comets got here: 7-seed in District II playoffs, beat West Scranton 2-1, beat North Pocono 3-2, beat Wyoming Area 9-7, beat Valley View 5-0

Players to Watch: Dave Manasek (2014 RHP), Kevin Elwell (2013 SS) - Manasek is the staff ace (5-3, 1.87, 68 K).  Elwell hit .448 and led the team in XBH.

Underclass Name to Know: Tyler Ksiazek (2015 RHP/IF) - A lead-off hitter with quick hands, Ksiazek is a competitor on the bump who tossed a CG shutout in the district title game.

Jersey Shore

How the Bulldogs got here: 1-seed in District IV playoffs, beat Shamokin 2-0, beat Midd-West 1-0

Players to Watch: Travis Eisworth (2014 RHP), Chris Glunk (2013 LHP/1B) - Eisworth (6-1, 1.62) and Glunk (6-0, 2.24) have carried the pitching staff

Underclass Name to Know: Zach Miller (2015 IF) - Miller hit .379 with a .672 SLG.

3-1 Greencastle-Antrim vs 1-2 Upper Moreland


How the Blue Devils got here: 13-seed in District III playoffs, beat Lancaster Catholic 9-6, beat Oley Valley 7-1, beat West York 5-3, beat Littlestown 12-8

Players to Watch: Adam Moore (2013 C), Justin Hovey (2014 2B), Hunter Szaflarski (2013 SS) - Three 1st-team Mid-Penn Colonial Division selections give the Blue Devils strength in the middle of the diamond.

Underclass Name to Know: Myles Gayman (2016 RHP) - Gayman has been a stalwart in the starting rotation as a rookie and was the only freshman in any of the four Mid-Penn divisions to be named 1st-team all-division.

Upper Moreland

How the Golden Bears got here: 3-seed in District I playoffs, beat Marple Newtown 12-0, beat Pottstown 6-1, lost to Holy Ghost 6-0

Players to Watch: Charlie Hooker (2014 RHP/1B), Robert Knox (2013 OF) - Hooker serves as the staff ace and also one of the line-up's most potent bats.  Knox brings a football player's build and mentality to the diamond.

9-1 Punxsutawney vs 7-2 Hopewell


How the Chucks got here: automatic qualifier from District IX

Players to Watch: Ryan Sloninger (2015 C/RHP), Ty Zimmerman (2013 IF) - Sloninger, a strong-armed backstop with bat speed and some pop from the left side, led the team in AVG & SLG.  Slippery Rock-bound Zimmerman (.386 AVG, .531 OBP, 7 SB) is the catalyst out of the lead-off spot.

Underclass Name to Know: Braxton Giavedoni (2016 OF) - A plus runner with a solid stroke, Giavedoni worked his way into the starting line-up in the beginning of May.


How the Vikings got here: 2-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Derry 1-0, beat Blackhawk 13-3, beat West Allegheny 4-0, lost to South Park 4-3

Players to Watch: Clayton Covalt (2013 RHP), Logan Johnston (2013 IF) - Covalt (6-1, 1.73, 19 BB, 44 K in 48.2 IP) fronts the staff, while Johnston leads a veteran offense (7 seniors, 2 juniors) in AVG, SLG & OBP.

7-1 South Park vs 5-1/6-1/8-1 Somerset

South Park

How the Eagles got here: 1-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Yough 10-0, beat Thomas Jefferson 6-0, beat Keystone Oaks 1-0, beat Hopewell 4-3

Players to Watch: Randy Dobnak (2013 RHP), Jake Bywalski (2013 LHP), Nick Yobbi - The college-bound trio of Dobnak (Alderson-Broaddus), Bywalski (Concord), and Yobbi (USC-Aiken) give coach Steve Bucci plenty of options as his squad makes a run toward an undefeated season.


How the Eagles got here: 1-seed in District VI playoffs, bye in quarterfinals, beat Huntingdon 1-0, beat Hollidaysburg 1-0

Players to Watch: Ian Stiffler (2013 RHP), Drew Hemminger (2013 IF) - VCU-bound Stiffler (4-1, 2.35, 17 BB, 67 K in 44.2 IP) led the staff and also contributed a .393 average with the bat.  Potomac State-bound Hemminger hit .450 with a .547 OBP.

10-1 Slippery Rock vs 7-3 Keystone Oaks

Slippery Rock

How the Rockets got here: 6-seed in District X playoffs, beat Harbor Creek 1-0, beat Grove City 2-1, beat Warren 7-6

Players to Watch: Cody Stephenson (2013 RHP/IF), Joe Barnhart (2014 RHP) - Stephenson (6-0, 1.62) and Barnhart (3-4, 2.62) combined to throw more than 80% of the team's innings.  Stephenson also led the team in hitting at .349.

Keystone Oaks

How the Golden Eagles got here: 5-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Elizabeth Forward 10-0, beat Chartiers Valley 4-3, lost to South Park 1-0, beat West Allegheny 1-0

Players to Watch: Jared Skolnicki (2013 LHP), Taylor Lehman (2014 LHP) - Twin tower two-way southpaws.  6-foot-2 Kent State-bound Skolnicki was dominant all spring (9-1, 0.34, 31 H, 10 BB, 93 K in 62 IP), while also chipping in a .410 batting average.  6-foot-6 Lehman posted solid numbers in his own right (3-1, 2.27, 9 BB, 34 K in 24.2 IP plus a .415 average at the plate).

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