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La Salle . . . 2012 PIAA Class AAAA State Champs!

   On June 15, at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, La Salle beat Council Rock South, 3-1, to capture District 12's first state title in baseball. Kevin Long pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts with one walk while the RBI went to Colin Pyne, Mike Piscopo and Dom Cuoci on singles.
here for preparation/celebration pics. And here for game pics. Starters pictured below. Selected shots at bottom of page.

La Salle's lineup vs. CR South: CF Ryan Otis, LF P.J. Acierno, 1B Chris Melillo, C Corey Baiada,
 RF Tyler Kozeniewski, 3B Mike Piscopo, 2B Colin Pyne, SS Dom Cuoci, P Kevin Long.
(Pic taken day of CL final; same lineup that day.)

The title-game boxscore . . .

La Salle 3, Council Rock South 1
Ryan Otis cf 4 0 0 0   Zach Fitzgerald 2b 3 0 0 0
P.J. Acierno lf 3 0 0 0   Brian Donnelly cf 2 0 1 0
Chris Melillo 1b 3 0 0 0   Bret DeStefano p 3 0 1 0
Corey Baiada c 3 1 1 0   Jeff Miller rf 3 0 0 0
Tyler Kozeniewski rf 2 2 0 0   Dan Callahan c 3 0 0 0
Mike Piscopo 3b 2 0 2 1   Zak Gross 1b 3 1 0 0
Colin Pyne 2b 3 0 2 1   Kane Price lf 2 0 0 1
Dom Cuoci ss 3 0 1 1   Michael Chaykin 3b 3 0 1 0
Kevin Long p 3 0 0 0   Steve Wright ss 2 0 0 0
26 3 6 3     24 1 3 1
La Salle 0 1 0  2 0 0  0 -- 3              
Council Rock South 0 0 0  1 0 0  0 -- 1              
  E: Otis, Pyne. DP: CR South. LOB: La Salle 6, CR South 5. 2B: Baiada, Chaykin. SB: Cuoci. S: Pyne. SF: Price.
La Salle IP H R ER BB SO
Kevin Long (W) 7 3 1 0 1 8
Bret DeStefano (L)   5.1 6 3 3 4 6
Brian Donnelly 1.2 0 0 0 0 2
  HBP: by Long (Wright). PB: Baiada. T: 1:45

Postseason statistics . . . (eight games)

Mike Piscopo 9-19 2 1 0 0 .474  
Chris Melillo 11-25 12 4 0 0 .440  
Corey Baiada 11-25 10 4 0 0 .440  
P.J. Acierno 11-26 8 1 1 1 .423  
Colin Pyne 8-22 6 1 0 0 .364  
Tyler Kozeniewski 7-21 5 1 1 0 .333  
Kevin Long 6-19 2 1 0 0 .316  
Dom Cuoci 5-22 4 0 1 0 .227  
Jim Herron 2-10 0 0 0 0 .200  
Ryan Otis 5-26 3 1 0 0 .192  
John Scheffey 0-1 0 0 0 0 .000  
  Totals 75-216 52 14 3 1 .347  
Mike Piscopo (1-0) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
Dom Cuoci (2-0, S) 17 11 3 2 4 14   0.82
Kevin Long (4-1) 32.1 21 12 10 15 26   2.17
John Scheffey 2.2 5 4 4 1 2 10.49
  Totals 52.1 37 19 16 20 42 2.14


The Season's Results (24-3) . . .

5-2     12-0     2-1     4-0  
Frankford W, 11-5   Roman W, 15-3   SJ Prep W, 6-0   Upper Dublin W, 10-1
Shadyside (FL) W, 10-0   Roman W, 10-0   Carroll W, 10-0   Central Dauphin W, 7-6
Grayslake (IL) W, 7-3   Bonner W, 10-0   Neumann-Goretti L, 5-4   Hatboro-Horsham W, 7-5
Haverford School W, 4-3   Bonner W, 10-3         Council Rock S. W, 3-1
Lansdale Catholic L, 5-2   O'Hara W, 12-5            
St. Augustine (NJ) W, 5-4   O'Hara W, 13-3            
Holy Ghost Prep L, 8-6   SJ Prep W, 6-2            
    SJ Prep W, 7-2  


    Ryan W, 9-0  


    Ryan W, 3-1  


W, 14-1      
    Judge W, 12-1            
    Judge W, 10-0            

Selected Photos . . .

1B Chris Melillo catches a foul popup.

Tyler Kozeniewski (15) is greeted after scoring run No. 3.

Winning pitcher Kevin Long leaps into catcher Corey Baiada's arms.

Team photo . . .

Ted's Website Report . . .

La Salle 3, Council Rock South 1
At Penn State
  Back in Kevin Long’s hometown of Horsham, or somewhere else, a beautiful young lass must have been waiting for him. ‘Cause this dude was pitchin’ at warp speed! Not so much the pitches themselves, though his fastballs did have respectable juice. We’re talking about how quickly he worked. A few times, the sr. RH was delivering the ball three seconds after snagging it from sr. C Corey Baiada. OK, maybe four. When a kid works that quickly and is having control problems, an observer’s main thought is automatic: He needs to slow down. When the kid’s throwing strikes, THIS thought is also automatic: Work even faster! This is great! After Long today pitched the Explorers to a state title, he mentioned that the umpire gave him an acceptable strike zone, especially toward the bottom, whereas the ump in Monday’s state semi had called pitches tighter. In that one, Long had some free-pass issues and wound up pitching six innings before yielding to soph RH Dom Cuoci, also a SS. The Cootchster warmed up today as La Salle batted in the visiting seventh, but coach Joe Parisi had no intention of removing Long, short of an implosion. No wonder. Long had retired nine in a row and 12 of 13 and he zipped through the ninth in very rapid fashion and then . . . let the celebration begin! The pics are all posted and some of the specifics are mentioned in the SportsWeek story (only one dollar at a store near you; come on, you can afford it – smile) and, well, they were all cool to see. Like the first Catholic League team to win a state title (Carroll, basketball, 2008-09), the Explorers did not win the league title. But they stunned N-G in a state playoff and rolled onward to state AAA honors. These guys fell to N-G in the CL chip, but the teams were members of different classifications. La Salle won the AAAA City Title over Frankford and stormed to four more triumphs in the state tourney. Long was masterful. Incredibly, he pitched a three-hitter even though the second and third batters of the game reached him for singles. That early uh-oh was compounded by a passed ball and CR South had men on second and third with one away. Long fanned the next guy and got the third out on a grounder to sr. 1B Chris Melillo and what a mental/emotional lift that success must have given him. The only other hit was a looping double down the rightfield line with two away in the second. An HBP followed, but Long (eight Ks, one walk) induced a flyball to sr. RF Tyler Kozeniewski to thwart that threat. The run against him was unearned. In the fifth, the leadoff guy sent a liner to center. Sr. CF Ryan Otis had some problems with judgment and footwork and the ball wound up being scored a three-base error. A sac fly followed and that was the first out of the 12 to finish the game. La Salle tallied one run in the second and two in the fourth. Second: Kozeniewski drew a leadoff walk and sr. 3B Mike Piscopo received credit for a single off a shot that ate up the first baseman. Sr. 2B Colin Pyne followed with a low liner to center that bagged him an RBI. Fourth: Baiada scorched a leadoff double into right-center. Kozeniewski hit the ball to the shortstop and an attempt to catch frosh courtesy runner Jim Herron was made at third. Didn’t work. Piscopo then sent a hard single to right-center for one RBI. Pyne’s bunt moved up both runners and Cuoci followed by stinging an RBI single to left-center. Parisi flashed a squeeze sign to Long, but Kevin missed it. Afterward, he said it must have been sent his way while he was distracted by orders from the plate ump to get back in the box. Piscopo got hung out to dry and was tagged out a short distance from third. Long then was rung up and, thankfully, the snafu did not wind up providing pain and sorrow. Aside from glancing at his strikeout totals, a sign of Long’s dominance can be had by checking a scoresheet. Mine, for instance (smile). Kozeniewski had five putouts and Melillo notched three more on foul popups. Most if not all of South’s hitters were righties, so obviously they were swinging late and/or getting bad looks at the pitches. This La Salle team was a fun one to cover and congrats to all, coaches and players alike! The day’s one downer came when I checked email and found out that Inter-Ac/Indy fell in its Carpenter Cup Classic quarterfinal. Would have been cool to visit CBP for a semi and maybe a final, as well. That result means -- except for the All-City squad, which will appear sometime next week -- my 41st school year of covering scholastic sports is in the books. Great fun, as always! Thanks for paying attention!