Preseason Spotlight: Malevern Prep Friars (Inter Academic League)

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

PoduslenkoThe Malvern Prep Friars are the defending Inter-AC League Champions and the 2012 Pennsylvania Independent Schools State Champions. Gone from that roster are six starters, but the Friars have plenty of returning fire power to make a run at both championships again.

Leading the returning veterans will be Seton Hall recruit Joe Poduslenko. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound SS/3B hit .424 in 2012 with 30 stolen bases, 48 runs scored and a .641 on base percentage. Stephen Robinson will return to play first base and catch. The Penn State recruit hit .367 with 18 RBI a season ago.

The pitching staff will be bolstered by the return of senior RHP/C Billy Ford who went 8-0 with a 1.42 ERA and Gardner Nutter who went 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA. The two combined to gobble up 84 innings on the mound in 2012.

Friars' Head Coach Freddy Hilliard feels that his 2013 squad is likely to be even better defensively than the championship team of a year ago. Hilliard also feels confident in the good young pitching he has lined up behind Ford.

This year's squad will lack some of the experience of 2012 and may struggle early to find offensive production. Hilliard will be looking to senior OF Brian Giacchino and sophomore IF Mark Gentilotti to help ignite the offense.

As for the young pitching, Hilliard will be looking at a stable of arms to carry the load. Those likely to see considerable action include RHP Alex Gusikoff (2014), RHP Tony Gruenling (2014) , LHP Brendan McPoyle (LHP), RHP Chris Butera (2015) and LHP Brendan Inglis (2015).

Additional PA News: