Prep Baseball Report

Season Preview: SOL American

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

                Suburban one league
                                                      American conference

Returning all-SOL American Honorees

2013 Brett Bernstein (2nd-team C); 2013 Matt Lawlor (2nd-team RHP); 2013 Matt Meyers (1st-team 3B)

2014 Vincent Catagnus (2nd-team 3B); 2013 Jimmy Perna (2nd-team 2B)

Plymouth Whitemarsh
2013 Austin DiBonaventure (3rd-team SS); 2014 Teddy Slagle (3rd-team DH)

Springfield Township - [first year in SOL American]

Upper Dublin
2013 Andrew Carber (2nd-team DH); 2013 Bryn D'Andrea (Hon. Men. OF); 2013 Morey Hershgordon (Hon. Men. C); 2014 Dan Jacobson (2nd-team RHP)

Upper Merion - [none]

Upper Moreland

2013 Dan Cripps (Hon. Men. DH); 
2014 Pat Driscoll (3rd-team C); 2014 Charlie Hooker (1st-team RHP); 2013 Robert Knox (1st-team OF); 2013 Matt Kohn (2nd-team OF); 2014 Tom Robinson (Hon. Men. P)

2013 Randy Frankenfield (Hon. Men. OF); 
2013 Greg McDonough (1st-team OF); 2013 Billy McFarland (3rd-team RHP); 2014 Matt Oruch (3rd-team OF)

Slices of SOL Americana

Plymouth Whitemarsh placed five members of last season's offense on college rosters this spring, leaving Chestnut Hill-bound DiBonaventure (.368 AVG, 6 SB) to set the tone for a group of inexperienced sophomores and juniors.  Slagle, who features a low-80s fastball that peaks at 84, is the sole returner on a southpaw-heavy Colonials pitching staff.  Keep an eye on 2016s C/IF Dutch Reardon and IF Kevin Ashenfelter to make an impact early in their careers for first-year coach Chris Manero.

Coach Chris Shelly expects his Spartans' strength to be up the middle this year as Springfield Township transitions to SOL American from the Bicentennial Athletic League.  The mighty-mite double-play combo of 2013s Tyler Bond (.343 AVG) and Luke Pollack (.306 AVG, 13 SB) will anchor the infield defense.  Before heading off to Seton Hall, 2013 RHP Anthony Scafidi (8-1, 1.79 ERA, 103 K in 66.1 IP) leads the way on the mound one more time.  2014 catcher Marten Pauwels will be asked to help develop an otherwise inexperienced pitching staff, while also stepping up his offensive production to compensate for losses due to graduation.

In his debut season at Upper Merion Area as head coach, Matt Mitchell will look to make up for the loss of six everyday position players.  Expected to lead the way are 2013 C/P/1B Michael Greenwood, 2013 OF Bobby Landmesser, and 2014 IF Carmen Fortino, the latter two of whom formed the Vikings quarterback tandem on the football team.  Greenwood and 2013 RHP/IF Hunter Saunders will toe the rubber often, while both the line-up and staff could receive a boost from twin 2015s: C/RHP Alex Del Giudice and RHP/IF Andrew Del Giudice.

Six Golden Bears who received post-season all-SOL American recognition return to Upper Moreland, which was one win away from its second straight District I class AAA title.  Knox (.467 AVG, 23 R, 11 RBI) led the offense as well as serving as the closer.  Hooker hopes to emerge as a bonafide ace, after racking up seven wins as a sophomore.  The biggest question marks for coach Ernie Rehr could be finding a number two starter, as well as replacing his middle infield.

Two-thirds of the starting line-up returns for Wissahickon coach Shannon Gunby, with the quartet of Frankenfield (York College), McDonough (Widener), Oruch, and 2014 OF/P Lee Dugger holding down the outfield.  Pushing to fortify the infield could be athletic 2015 Nick Falso, a transfer from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, who exhibits terrific feet and plus arm strength.  While pitching depth could become an issue, Frankfield and McFarland again will play major mound roles during their final season in a Trojan uniform.

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