Season Preview: Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

Berks county interscholastic athletic association

The BCIAA has shuffled its alignment, going from a four-division set-up to three divisions of six schools each.  The new divisions are as follows:

Division I

  • Daniel Boone Area, Exeter Township, Governor Mifflin, Muhlenberg, Reading, Wilson

Division II

  • Berks Catholic, Conrad Weiser, Fleetwood Area, Hamburg Area, Schuylkill Valley, Twin Valley

Division III

  • Antietam, Brandywine Heights, Kutztown Area, Oley Valley, Tulpehocken, Wyomissing Area

Returning all-berks honorees

Overall All-Berks

Divisional All-Berks (by 2012 Division)

  • Antietam (Div IV) - 2014 IF Anthony Cortes (Hon. Men.), 2015 RHP/IF Mitch Esser (1st-team), 2014 IF Cameron Koller (Hon. Men.), 2014 3B Chaz Miller (1st-team), 2014 RHP/IF Jake Wortman (Hon. Men.)
  • Berks Catholic (Div IV) - 2014 Will Budock (Hon. Men.), 2015 Patrick Causa (Hon. Men.), 2013 P/Util Jake Lloyd (1st-team), 2014 C/OF Josh Mendenhall (1st-team)
  • Brandywine Heights (Div III) - 2014 OF Bryce Galczynski (Hon. Men.), 2014 RHP/IF Michael Hunter (1st-team)
  • Conrad Weiser (Div II) - 2013 IF Zach Reis (Hon. Men.), 2013 OF Connor Tom (1st-team), 2013 IF/P Cole Weinhold (Hon. Men.)
  • Exeter Township (Div I) - 2013 RHP Ben Bortz (1st-team), 2013 OF Alex Dundore (1st-team), 2013 1B Scott Galbraith (Hon. Men.), 2013 RHP Joe Richie (Hon. Men.), 2014 Util/RHP Corey Rowley (Hon. Men.), 2013 C Derian Sarlat (1st-team)
  • Hamburg Area (Div III) - 2014 IF/RHP Ryan Atkinson (1st-team), 2014 Joey Cominsky (Hon. Men.), 2013 RHP Alex Cooper (Hon. Men.), 2013 Brandon Fry (1st-team), 2013 Jake Lenkiewicz (Hon. Men.)
  • Kutztown Area (Div IV) - 2013 Drew Entriken (Hon. Men.), 2014 OF/RHP Austin Isamoyer (1st-team), 2013 Max Randolph (Hon. Men.), 2013 Dustin Smith (1st-team)
  • Muhlenberg (Div II) - 2013 C Austin Epperstein (Hon. Men.), 2013 Mike Calvaresi IF/RHP (Hon. Men), 2013 Util Daulton Fidler (1st-team), 2013 OF/RHP John Henninger (1st-team), 2014 C/RHP Josh Kline (Hon. Men.), 2014 LHP/OF Tyler Sassaman (Hon. Men.)
  • Reading (Div I) - 2013 Dariel Richardson (Hon. Men.), 2013 Cesar Suarez (1st-team)
  • Schuylkill Valley (Div III) - 2013 IF Kyle Beissel (Hon. Men.), 2014 IF Tanner Mish (Hon. Men.)
  • Tulpehocken (Div III) - 2014 LHP/1B Aaron Hartranft (Hon. Men.), 2014 IF Curtis Hershey (Hon. Men.), 2013 RHP/IF Dan Louviaux (1st-team), 2014 OF/RHP Aaron Schreck (1st-team)
  • Twin Valley (Div II) - 2013 OF Jon Abbadusky (1st-team)
  • Wilson (Div I) - 2013 LHP/1B Adam Bainbridge (Hon. Men.), 2013 RHP/IF Bryan Fegley (1st-team), 2014 IF Kyle Gaynor (1st-team), 2013 C/OF Nate Smith (1st-team)
  • Wyomissing Area (Div IV) - 2015 C Ben Carter (Hon. Men.)

college bound

Brandywine Heights - Hunter (Pittsburgh)

Daniel Boone - Reina (Morehead State)

Exeter Township - Richie (Widener), Sarlat (Kutztown)

Kutztown Area - Gernert (West Chester)

Wilson - Bainbridge (Old Dominion), Ravel (Kent State)

berks bytes

With many of the key contributors from last season gone, Reina will assume even more of the offensive burden for Daniel Boone Area.  Coach Jason McCord couldn't ask for a better leader-by-example for his young squad, as the mighty-mite, switch-hitter is a high-energy baseball rat who hit .406 with a .537 OBP, 19 R and 19 SB.  Reina will run his fastball into the mid-80s, while teaming with 2014 OF/RHP Zach Heffner, 2014 1B/LHP/OF Doug Schilling, and a host of other unproven arms on the Blazers pitching staff.  Lacey is a three-sport athlete just beginning to translate his athletic tools into baseball skills.

Coach Chris Hole will rely on a balanced line-up in his second year at the helm of the Governor Mifflin program.  DePaul is a three-sport speedster who posted a .494 OBP as a junior.  Wysocki, 2014 RHP/3B Tanner DeLucia, and 2015 OF/C Niko Hulsizer are expected to provide some thump in the middle of the order.  2014 C/RHP Doug McFarland will handle a Mustangs pitching staff led by DeLucia, the son of 10-year MLB veteran, Rich DeLucia.  6-foot-1, 200-pound 2015 RHP/Util John Catchmark is an intriguing prospect who has good sink on his fastball and some deception in his delivery.

Led by the senior duo of Ravel and Bainbridge, Wilson is in prime position to push for a BCIAA title and make a run in the PIAA tournament.  With his loose arm, plus CB and solid CH, Ravel posted eye-popping numbers (8-1, 1.00, 28 H, 16 BB, 87 K in 63 IP) during a season in which he also hit .326 with a .473 OBP.  Bainbridge was unable to pitch last year due to a shoulder injury, but contributed mightily with the bat (.353 AVG, .476 OBP, .706 SLG).  Gaynor is a quality athlete who hit .341 with a .420 OBP as a sophomore.  Smith hit .338 and led the team in runs scored, while Fegley grinded out a .439 OBP on the strength of 12 BB against only 1 K on the season.

Despite having no seniors on his roster, Antietam coach Matt Burkhart will still have a seasoned group with which to work this spring.  He will count on four juniors who have been starting for the Mounts since their freshman year among eight returning position players.  They will be led by Miller, who hit .375 as a sophomore, and Esser, who hit .327 while going 4-1 with a 3.37 ERA, 18 BB, 47 K, 3 SV in 35.1 IP his freshman year.

Trying to generate enough offense while navigating the jump from AA to AAA will keep Oley Valley coach Rick Harrison busy this season.  Luckily, he can turn to Distasio, the only sophomore selected to the overall all-Berks team, who is coming off a season in which he hit .540 with 10 XBH, 28 RBI, 14 R, and a .620 OBP.  Armed with a mid-80s fastball, Distasio will be joined on the Lynx pitching staff by Pelko and Fesi.

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