Prep Baseball Report

PIAA Class AAAA 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 Coatesville vs 12-2 Frankford


How the Red Raiders got here: South 4-seed in District I playoffs, 1st round bye, beat Central Bucks South 10-0, beat Central Bucks East 5-0, beat Council Rock North 3-2, beat Pennridge 5-4

Players to Watch: Brian Brown (2014 LHP), CJ Martinez (2013 RHP), Jake Kennedy (2013 C) - Brown (8-0, 0.34, 10 BB, 89 K in 61.1 IP), who has made a verbal commitment to Duke, is the top southpaw, and arguably the top overall arm, in the 2014 class in southeast PA.  Martinez (7-3, 1.81) has stepped up to play a more than capable Robin to Brown's Batman, while Shippensburg-bound Kennedy provides the thump (.859 SLG) in the middle of the line-up.


How the Pioneers got here: beat Edison (4-3), Olney (9-6) & Washington (7-4) in Public League playoffs, lost to La Salle 8-3 in District XII championship

Players to Watch: Kidanny Cumba (2013 SS), Kevin Montero (2013 1B) - Cumba moves well on defense, has solid arm strength, and trusts his glove hand.  The right-handed hitter has a simple approach at the dish out of the leadoff spot.  Slugging corner infielder Montero joined Cumba as a 1st-team Public League Division A selection.

11-1 Parkland vs 1-4 North Penn


How the Trojans got here: 3-seed in District XI playoffs, beat Liberty 4-1, beat Pocono Mountain East 3-0, beat Whitehall 5-2

Players to Watch: Tyler Duff (2013 RHP), Gabe Mosser (2014 RHP) - The strength of this team is the pitching staff (composite ERA of 1.52, nearly 2.5:1 K:BB) led by these two strike-throwers.

Underclass Names to Know: Chris Rabasco (2015 IF/RHP), Connor Higgins (2015 LHP) - Rabasco has uncommon arm strength across the diamond, while the big-bodied Higgins (6-foot-3, 200-pounds) picked up saves in the district semis and championship.

North Penn

How the Knights got here: North 12-seed in District I playoffs, beat Conestoga 9-3, beat Perkiomen Valley 9-3, beat Strath Haven 5-0, lost to Pennridge 4-3, lost to Council Rock North 4-1

Players to Watch: Brady West (2013 OF), Eddie Posavec (2013 C) - West is a quality table-setter for the Knights offense, while Binghamton-bound Posavec provides some pop and has arguably the most accurate arm of any backstop in the area.

Underclass Name to Know: Mason Nadeau (2016 OF) - Nadeau is a plus runner who has acquitted himself well offensively the second half of his freshman season.

12-1 La Salle vs 1-2 Pennridge

La Salle

How the Explorers got here: beat Father Judge (6-4), Archbishop Wood (11-8) & St Joseph's Prep (10-3 & 10-0) in Catholic League playoffs, beat Frankford 8-3 in District XII championship

Players to Watch: Chris Melillo (2013 1B), Dom Cuoci (2014 RHP/IF) - Melillo, who is headed to Notre Dame this fall, provides pop in the 3-hole.  Cuoci holds down SS when not serving as the groundball-inducing staff ace.

Underclass Names to Know: AJ Grezeszak (2015 IF), Jimmy Herron (2015 OF) - Grezeszak bounces between 3B & SS, depending on Cuoci's role for the day.  Herron is a multi-sport athlete with good wheels.


How the Rams got here: North 10-seed in District I playoffs, beat Great Valley 7-3, beat Neshaminy 7-1, beat Boyertown 4-1, beat North Penn 4-3, lost to Coatesville 5-4

Players to Watch: Evan Myers (2013 RHP), Mike Kacergis (2013 C) - Myers and DeSales-bound Kacergis form the top battery for the Rams.

Underclass Names to Know: Danny Shane (2015 OF), David Tatoian (2015 IF), Joe Unangst (2015 OF) - Sophomore trio has helped solidify the Rams line-up.

2-1/4-1 Wyoming Valley West vs 3-2 Exeter Township

Wyoming Valley West

How the Spartans got here: 2-seed in District II/IV sub-regional, beat Wallenpaupack 15-4, beat Scranton 2-1

Players to Watch: Chris Nixon (2013 RHP), Jeremy Sabecky (2014 OF), Nicholas Hogan (2013 OF) - The strike-throwing Nixon led the staff in IP & Ks. Sabecky is a sparkplug at the top of the line-up, while Hogan led the every-game starters in OBP & SLG.

Underclass Name to Know: Ryan Hogan (2016 C): Hogan has a football player's build and his pinch-hit walk-off double lifted the Spartans to victory in the district title game.

Exeter Township

How the Eagles got here: 15-seed in District III playoffs, beat Red Land 5-3, beat Chambersburg 4-1, beat Dallastown 11-2, lost to Lower Dauphin 1-0

Players to Watch: Ben Bortz (2013 RHP), Derian Sarlat (2013 C) - In their swan song together before becoming PSAC opponents, East Stroudsburg-bound Bortz paced the staff in wins and strikeouts, while Kutztown-bound Sarlat led the team in AVG & OBP.

3-1 Lower Dauphin vs 1-3 Council Rock North

Lower Dauphin

How the Falcons got here: 5-seed in District III playoffs, beat Cumberland Valley 3-2, beat Warwick 4-2, beat JP McCaskey 6-2, beat Exeter Township 1-0

Players to Watch: Deon Stafford (2014 C), Kaylor Kulina (2014 SS) - Stafford and Kulina were named co-MVPs of the Mid-Penn Keystone Division.

Underclass Name to Know: Blair Lewis (2015 RHP) - Lewis was named 1st-team Mid-Penn Keystone division and held the fort down in the rotation while 2013 RHP Marshal Kiessling was recovering from a torm labrum.

Council Rock North

How the Indians got here: North 7-seed in District I playoffs, beat Penncrest 9-8, beat Unionville 10-5, beat Methacton 9-8, lost to Coatesville 3-2, beat North Penn 4-1

Players to Watch: Brett Newman (2013 RHP), Nate English (2013 RHP), Matt Renck (2014 RHP) - English, Susquehanna-bound Newman, and Renck, who has verbally committed to Pitt, give coach Matt Schram a quality trio of arms upon which he can call.

6-1 State College vs 3-3 JP McCaskey

State College

How the Little Lions got here: 1-seed in District VI playoffs, beat Altoona 10-0, beat Central Mountain 3-2

Players to Watch: Nick Raquet (2014 LHP), Darian Herncane (2013 OF), Dan Fry (2013 OF) - Raquet put up ace numbers (1.54, 32 H, 27 BB, 66 K in 50 IP) while joining Binghamton-bound Herncane and Bloomsburg-bound Fry as 1st-team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division selections.

Underclass Name to Know: Ryan Karstetter (2015 3B) - A premium athlete, Karstetter has made a verbal commitment to Virginia.

JP McCaskey

How the Red Tornado got here: 16-seed in District III playoffs, beat Hempfield 13-3, beat Spring Grove 5-0, lost to Lower Dauphin 6-2, beat Dallastown 6-1

Players to Watch: James Hartman (2013 LHP), Lazaro Duvergel (2013 RHP/3B) - Hartman (6-3, 2.33) and Duvergel (4-2, 2.80) are the backbone of a Cinderella staff that only allowed six runs in four district games.  Duvergel also hit .400 while leading the team in OBP & SLG.

7-1 North Allegheny vs 7-3 Hempfield Area

North Allegheny

How the Tigers got here: 2-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Norwin 6-4, beat Plum 5-0, beat Hempfield Area 3-0, beat Seneca Valley 4-2

Players to Watch: Matt Waugaman (2013 1B/OF), Mitchell Machi (2014 RHP/OF) - Waugaman hit .443 with 23 RBI and nearly half of his hits went for extra bases.  The toolsy Machi led the team in wins and strikeouts, while also chipping in a .302 batting average.

Hempfield Area

How the Spartans got here: 3-seed in District VII playoffs, beat Fox Chapel 2-0, beat Canon-McMillan 7-3, lost to North Allegheny 3-0, beat Pine Richland 9-2

Players to Watch: Zack Martinelli (2013 RHP), Greg Martin (2013 1B/LHP) - Seton Hill-bound Martinelli led the team in strikeouts and posted five wins, the same number as Martin,who also hit .400 and led the team in RBI.

8-1/9-1/10-1 Dubois vs 7-2 Seneca Valley


How the Beavers got here: beat McDowell 8-3 in District VIII/IX/X sub-regional

Player to Watch: Devon Walker (2014 IF/RHP) - Walker does it all for the Beavers, leading the team in AVG (.435) & OBP (.583), while striking out only one time against 17 walks.  He also paces the pitching staff in most categories (6-0, 0.95, 19 H, 10 BB, 38 K in 37 IP).

Underclass Name to Know: Jake Felix (2015 DH) - Despite not entering the line-up until late April, Felix made quite an impact, providing some serious thump in the middle of the order (9 XBH in 14 G, good for a .725 SLG).

Seneca Valley

How the Raiders got here: 1-seed in District VII playoffs, 1st round bye, beat Bethel Park 2-0, beat Pine Richland 6-0, lost to North Allegheny 4-2

Players to Watch: Zach Spangler (2013 RHP), Connor Coward (2014 RHP/IF) - Kent State-bound Spangler and the athletic Coward form a stellar 1-2 rotation punch.

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