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Randy's Ramblings '14
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   Randy Seidman has long been a follower of Washington games, and Pub games in general. We appreciate his hustle. Randy graduated from Washington, which his two sons also attended. Randy is an award-winning producer of televised sporting events, in addition to doing free-lance work for major networks. His career highlight -- producing games, on back-to-back days, when Julius Erving scored his 30,000th point and Mike Schmidt slammed his 500th homer. He may be reached at rseidman9@aol.com.
  Follow Randy on Twitter . . . @rseidman9.

   Ol' RRs: 2002 . 2003 . 2004 . 2005 . 2006
  2007 . 2008 . 2009 . 2010 . 2011 . 2012 . 2013

    This is lucky season number 13 for Randy's Ramblings, a place where Philadelphia Public League high school baseball players can get some recognition. "The Pub," often maligned, sometimes deservedly so, is still a place where quality kids can play quality baseball. Obviously, this is not the Philadelphia Catholic League or Inter-Ac League, where the ratio of coaches to players is much higher than it is in The Pub. But maybe that's part of the charm of covering this circuit. To celebrate season number 13, the braintrust? of The Public League took the elite division (Division A), which had a manageable eight teams for the last ump-teen years, and increased it to 13 teams. I guess that's what happens when, in addition to the numerous Public high schools, there are charter schools at every corner in our city. Oh well ... As always, thanks so much to Ted Silary, for making this site possible and caring so much about high school sports!
Liberty Bell 4, Tri-Township 2
    Welcome to a special summertime edition of Randy's Ramblings. Although the Public, Catholic and Inter-Ac Leagues wrapped up their baseball seasons over a month ago, some of the guys are still playing. And playing very well, at that! In a feel-good story, the Liberty Bell Patriots, coached by Ken Hoffman, won the Senior Babe Ruth League Championship, improving their overall season record to a remarkable 34-4, with their 24th straight win, as they beat Tri-Township, 4-2, at Palmer Park, in the The Great Northeast. Also, the very, very Far Northeast, about as far as you can go, and still be within the city limits. Players from all three of the city leagues are on the Patriots.
    It was a scoreless game into the bottom of the fourth inning. Why? How 'bout some great "D"? Both teams were flashing the leather early on in this one. Liberty Bell third baseman Nick Centeno was robbed of extra bases in the second inning by Tri-Township's left fielder who made a positively outstanding over-the-shoulder grab. The Patriots web gems included Phil Gilchrist's throw from center field to pitcher Ryan Conner, who nailed an overly aggressive base runner at third base, and a pair of running catches by LF Ish Bracy. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning and two outs, Bracy, not the usual left fielder, broke in on the ball, adjusted, and made an athletic leap, recording the putout, and saving three runs for sure. But that wasn't the best play Ish made in this one. Earlier in the game, Tri-Township's leadoff batter laced a fastball into the left-center gap for at least a double, probably a triple, but it was not to be! Bracy read the ball perfectly, got a great jump, made the running catch to his left, thereby earning the Randy's Ramblings Defensive Play of the Game. In addition, infielders Brian Nieves (SS) and Anthony Frat (2B), kept sharp grounders in front of them, and calmly threw runners out. For Anthony's full last name, see the list at the bottom. I would type it here, but it would probably give me carpal tunnel syndrome!
    "The Bambino," "The Sultan of Swat," or just simply, "The Babe." Certainly no player in baseball history was as colorful as the great Babe Ruth. Always joking around, always with a smile on his face, always keeping his teammates loose, always eating hot dogs. Well, I did not see catcher Jim Huston eating any doggies, and he has not hit 714 career home runs, but he is like a modern day, high school version of Babe Ruth. So here's the scene ... scoreless game, bottom of the fourth, Liberty Bell batting, bases loaded, one out. Huston steps up to the plate. "He was throwing first-pitch fastballs," Huston said of Tri-Township's pitcher. "I was ready!" Yep, you guessed it. Jim took a look at that big, fat first-pitch meatball coming towards home plate, and made pretend it was batting practice, and smashed a grand slam well over the left field fence. The estimated 334' blast gave the Patriots all the runs they would need to capture the championship. "I was smiling all the way around the bases," said Huston. Yeah, no kidding! Mom, Bridget, did not need oxygen after the smash, but jumped way out of her seat! "He's always been that way," she beamed about her slugger son's light-hearted antics. "He doesn't take it too seriously off the field, but on the field, he means business!"  
    MaST Charter's Ryan Conner was also all business, on the mound. He went the first six innings, allowing just two earned runs on five hits, with eight strikeouts. Ryan was not commanding his fastball late in the game, leading to a lot of free passes. He was, however, able to get his breaking ball over the plate for strikes. His gutty 109-pitch outing gave his team the chance to win. That's all you can ask from a starting pitcher. High school teammate, Brian Kaelin, closed the game out in dramatic fashion in the seventh inning. He struck out the first two batters he faced on seven pitches (all strikes). The final out was recorded on a flyout to right field, and the mandatory and celebratory dog-pile ensued. Kaelin's line: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (9 strikes).
    Oh, and by the way, Ryan Conner, you DID give up two earned runs. The lanky (and funny) RHP disputed my scoring, can you believe that?! He was trying to tell me a bad-hop single should have been scored as an error. Sorry, kid, but you know what, you got the "W," so there's that. Just sayin...
    These guys certainly earned their right to be publicized, and will be featured in this week's Northeast Times. Sports Editor Ed Morrone was on hand to do interviews with players and coaches earlier in the week. His story is here.
    Not only is baseball the ultimate team sport on the diamond, but how about a shout out to all of the assistant coaches off the field! These are guys who devote their time and energy, and form bonds not only with their sons, but with all of the family members and friends, who came out in droves to support this team. Tip of the cap to assistant coaches Larry Bracy, Roger Hanson and Anthony Fratunduono!! Head Coach Ken Hoffman is as knowledgeable as any guy I've seen in many years of covering baseball, and he is also a "players coach," as was evidenced by his guys' affection for him.
LIBERTY BELL PATRIOTS (School year entering in the fall)
ARCHBISHOP RYAN: Matt Wilson (SR), Anthony Fratunduono (SR), Nick Centeno (Graduate), Ryan Heckmanski (JR), Sean Heckmanski (JR), TJ Hurschbul (Grad)
FATHER JUDGE: Jim Huston (SR), Ken Hoffman (SR)
ROMAN CATHOLIC: Christian Von Hofen (SR)
MaST CHARTER: Ryan Conner (SR), Brian Kaelin (SR)
RUSH: Anthony "Haas" Moore (SR)
FRANKLIN TOWNE CHARTER: Phil Gilchrist (SR), Rob "Rook" Henry (SOPH)
SWENSON: Brian Nieves (SR)
GEORGE WASHINGTON: Ed Tingle (JR), Ish Bracy (SR), Roger Hanson (Grad)
    Hey, you know what, sports fans? Life is pretty, pretty good! That was in evidence at The Philadelphia Public League Coaches Association All-Public Banquet. The annual event was held for the first time at FOP Lodge #5 in Northeast Philly at Comly and "The Boulevard." (When is the last time anybody said Roosevelt Boulevard?) This is such a beautiful facility with great (yes, great) banquet food. Certainly convenient to everybody, except maybe for Southern High School head coach Frank "Roscoe" Natale, who probably was not exchanging pleasantries with other drivers, while stuck in the construction zone on I-95. Really have to give credit to the Coaches Association, as this event is not funded at all by the Philadelphia School District. It was a first-rate event, and kudos to John Larsen, the head coach at Lincoln High, and the president of the Coaches Association.
    The Public League has four divisions, and every one of the all-star players and MVP's were honored with plaques and certificates. But I do have to tell you, the most rewarding part of this experience is watching the student-athlete's parents, family members and friends. Not only are they filled with pride, but it was exciting watching them race up to get the best possible picture of their sons, without stepping on each other.
    The highlight of the night was delivered by Guest Speaker Bob Peffle, the former Frankford High baseball coach, and current La Salle High School soccer coach. In his introduction by former Frankford assistant, and now head coach, Juan Namnun, the audience was informed of Bob's high school and college accomplishments. He was a five-sport star at Frankford, and was an All-American in baseball and soccer at Temple University. Just think about that for a second. To be an All-American in any sport is quite an accomplishment, and "Peff" did it in two sports. It was a raucous gathering, but when Coach Peffle got up to speak, you could hear a pin drop. He implored the players to study the game of baseball, watching major league players, and their responsibilities on the field, and to learn about each specific situation. He emphasized the importance of not only excelling on the diamond, but in the classroom, as well. To the coaches, Bob challenged them to play non-league games against stronger opponents, as a teaching tool, and also to toughen up their teams, that it would pay off come playoff time. His final point was to let the players know, that when you are on the field, that someone is always watching. When scouts come out to games, they like to arrive early, and see how players warm-up in preparation for the game. Players, keep your cool in the game, too, because people may be watching to see how you react to adversity. After the event, it was a great feeling watching players come up to Coach Peffle, and introduce themselves, and have some quality time with a man that "somebody was watching," as he wound up playing in the Houston Astros organization.
Division D MVP: Matt Bilotti, Tacony
Division C Co-MVPs: Jeff Schwartz, Science Leadership and Randolph Edwards, King
Division B MVP: Manny Fernandez, Boys' Latin
Division A MVP: Roger Hanson, Washington ... Overall Public League champion: Washington
    Click here for a complete list of the 2014 All-Public League teams.
Methacton 4, Washington 0
    This season to remember for the George Washington Eagles is now officially in their rear-view mirror. A year from now, two years from now, at their 10th-year high school reunion, at their 25th-year high school reunion, even with grandkids on their lap, they can always look back and be proud of what they have accomplished in 2014, and in particular, the last few weeks. GW ended its season in style, going toe-to-toe with District I heavyweight Methacton. After winning the Public League Championship, and getting drubbed by La Salle High in the District 12 championship game, this group of Eagles could have packed it in, thinking of graduation, or the prom, or a summer on the beach, or their girlfriends, but instead they came out and played perhaps their finest game of the season, and fell just short of advancing to the state quarterfinals.
    After the game vs. La Salle, nobody was sure what to expect in the first round of the PIAA 4A Tournament. Playing against a Methacton team that had just won its first-ever PAC-10 Championship, and with the stands filled mostly with Methacton family and friends, it was surely a daunting task for the Eagles. After G-Dub went down 1-2-3 in the first inning, senior ace Roger Hanson took the mound, and yielded a leadoff single to center. The poised Hanson threw over to first several times, then nailed the base runner with a swift pick-off move for the first out. The next batter struck out, and after a walk, Roger struck out dangerous clean-up hitter Kyle Lowery to end the inning. I promptly tweeted after one inning that the game was scoreless. I repeated that same tweet after the second inning, the third inning, and the fourth inning. And guess what? This "Band of Brothers" Eagles team realized not only could they play on the same field with the Methacton Warriors, but that they could beat them, as well. Washington's first big opportunity came in the third inning. Singles by jr 2B Joel Goldberg and sr LF Pat Farrell, along with an infield groundout by sr CF John Santos, placed runners at second and third with two outs. With sr SS Gilad Metro at the plate, it was time for the Randy's Ramblings Defensive Play of the Game. Metro laced a 1-1 pitch up the middle for two runs ... wait a second, backup second baseman Eric Marburger took a few steps to his right, snared the grounder and threw to first to end the inning, saving the Warriors two runs.
    Meanwhile, Hanson continued to keep Methacton batters off-balance with an excellent curve ball, racking up seven strikeouts through the bottom of the fifth. That dangerous clean-up hitter Kyle Lowery had already fanned twice against Hanson, but this time he was first-pitch swinging, lining a rope into the left-center field gap, scoring two runs, snapping the scoreless tie, and sending the large, and very respectful, Methacton crowd into a lot of cheering and stomping. The next batter, jr LF TJ Tornetta increased the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single. GW didn't quit, as sr 3B Scott Siley singled and stole second in the sixth inning. Methacton once again was flashing the leather, preventing the Eagles from scoring, as soph RF Eddie Tingle's sharp grounder was fielded by fr SS Pat O'Neill, who then had to pivot, and throw to first to end that inning. The Warriors tacked on a run in the sixth, and the Eagles were retired in order in the final inning, ending the game, and the season, but not their memories of a very eventful season.
    A picture-perfect early June afternoon on the grounds of Neumann University, made this game even more memorable. A big shout out to the Neumann U grounds crew for maintaining the excellent field conditions. The only glitch of the day was from the official score-keeper who had GW with only three hits for the game, and on the scoreboard. Clean singles by Goldberg, Farrell, Siley and jr C Chase Alexander, along with a gap-splitting double by impressive soph Eddie Tingle, worked out to five hits in my very unofficial, official scorebook. Perhaps the score-keeper was thinking about the previous week's match-up between the Bustleton Bengals and Somerton Spartans. No big whoop, it was still an amazing game for all involved!
    Neumann University head coach John Fleming was in attendance, and spoke to Roger Hanson after the game. I am guessing the conversation went something like, "Great game, Roger, maybe you might want to consider Neumann U?" Hanson, the Public League MVP, can certainly add that to his growing list of options. After all of the school buses had departed, and the large crowd dispersed, I sought out Coach Fleming. He was very impressed with Hanson's curve ball and composure on the mound, and he knows a thing or two about baseball. The Neumann U Knights are 149-102-2 (.593) under Fleming in his six years at the school. Pretty good record, when you consider that Neumann was 11-51 (.177) in the two years prior to his arrival at the Aston, PA school. Plus, he led O'Hara to the 2003 Catholic League championship.
    Randy's Ramblings and tedsilary.com are all about athletes from the Philadelphia Public, Catholic and Inter-Academic Leagues. But I really enjoyed the Methacton supporters, and the team's level of play. So being a rule-breaker, here are some notes on the Warriors. Senior 2B Austin Bregman will be attending Old Dominion University in Virginia, a team that recently qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Sr 3B Kyle Lowery not only had the key hit in this game, but his dad, Ed Lowery, was there to witness it. So who cares? Well, tedsilary.com cares, since Ed was an All-Public baseball star at Roxborough High in the late 70's under coach Cliff Hubbard, the same time Eagles head coach Ken Geiser was playing for Washington, and winning the PL title. Way to go, Ed and Kyle! The younger Lowery will be playing baseball at nearby Widener U next season, and who knows, if he becomes a star, maybe he can command the same bucks as Philly's other Kyle Lowry, the former Cardinal Dougherty and Villanova star, who is due a new NBA contract. His salary for last season was only $6.2 million, or roughly $120,000 a week. Senior catcher Glenn Seymour is ticketed for East Stroudsburg next season, and sr RHP Tim Carfrey is headed to Reading, PA's Alvernia. Carfrey was outstanding in relief, earning the win by hurling 2.2 innings, and allowing just one hit, along with eight ground outs. Ace pitcher John Wiedmayer will be going to Moravian, and looks like a certainty to start in Methacton's semifinal vs Spring-Ford this Thursday.
    Although The Pub season is over, I will be at the All-Public banquet this week, and send along some random ramblings from this annual event. The great Bob Peffle, the former Frankford baseball head coach, and current soccer coach at La Salle High School, will address the student-athletes. Also, the Carpenter Cup is around the corner, and who knows, maybe this is the year The Pub comes out on the winning side.

MAY 27
Washington 3, Franklin Towne Charter 2
    "Patience, grasshopper. Good things come to those who wait." - Cassandra Clare, City of Glass
    "Rivers knows this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
    "He that can have patience can have what he will." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." - Aristotle
    "Come on already, Washington, win it all, huh?" - Random GW parent sitting in a folding chair
    You'll never have to read that Washington has not won a Public League Baseball Championship since the Clinton administration again. Well, at least, since the Bill Clinton administration. For the first time since 1995, the Eagles hoisted the Princeton Cup, the reward for winning The Pub title. It was a well played, low scoring seven inning game, that went scoreless after the third inning. Thanks to the Baseball Gods of the Public League for allowing the precipitation to hold off long enough for the Eagles to celebrate their title, then delaying the Phillies-Rockies game an hour later.
    Steve Callahan vs Roger Hanson, the aces of FTC & GW respectively, pitched the full seven innings in this winner takes all matchup. Playing small ball in the first inning, both teams played sound fundamental baseball. The visiting Eagles benefited from a first inning leadoff double by sr CF John Santos. The speedy Santos advanced to third on a perfectly executed bunt by sr SS Gilad Metro, then came in to score on a sac fly by jr 1B Ishmael Bracy. In the bottom half of the inning, the Coyotes also scored on a sac fly. Two-hole hitter, Rob Henry split the gap to right-center and motored all the way to third base for a triple. The ninth-grader would score on a sac fly by Steve Callahan. Sound, fundamental, well executed baseball - love it in The Pub. This is what the coaches teach all season long.
    Coach Ken Geiser's Eagles pushed two runs across in the third, thanks to three hits: a leadoff single by sr LF Pat Farrell, an RBI single by Ish Bracy, and an RBI triple by clean-up hitter Scott Siley. Looking for that elusive shutout inning, Hanson's lack of control cost him in the bottom of the third. Four walks plated a run as soph 1B Zack Beltran took a 3-2 pitch out of the zone for the RBI base on balls. FTC had the bases packed with one out, and were poised to tie the game or take a lead. That's when the Randy's Ramblings Defensive Play of the Game happened. FTC sr catcher Chris Hammerstein mashed a grounder to GW jr 2B Joel Goldberg, who gave Gilad Metro a perfect toss for the out at second base. Even though Metro double-clutched the ball, he has a rocket arm, and threw a perfect strike to Bracy, whose athletic stretch resulted in the 4-6-3 DP. Hey, guess what? No more scoring in this one. Callahan and Hanson threw four scoreless innings from that point. Key plays: GW catcher Chase Alexander throwing out a potential base stealer for the umpteenth time this season, and a tremendous running, diving catch in foul territory by Coyotes' soph LF Matt Schlernitzauer. Not only is Matt an important player for Coach Chris Lauber's squad, but he excels in the classroom, ranked second in his sophomore class. Very, very impressive!
    Franklin Towne Charter came up just short in the title game, but they gave it their all, and they will be back in the title game very soon. With only two senior starters graduating, watch out for the Coyotes in 2015. Ray Lopez, the second basemen and catcher Chris Hammerstein look forward to graduation on June 5. Hammerstein will be headed to Bloomsburg University in the fall.
    I would like to take the time to salute Coach Lauber and his team, and also show appreciation for the man who was the first head coach at FTC. A man who built this team from the ground up. A man who could be seen spending countless hours manicuring his home field, teaching and mentoring these student-athletes from Franklin Towne Charter. Thanks to Coach Kyle Riley.
    Washington has some great players coming back next season: Eddie Tingle, Ishmael Bracy, Joel Goldberg and Chase Alexander, just to mention a few. But what a way to go out for the seniors! Congrats to the hard working seniors, or as assistant coach Craig Sharp calls them, "a gritty group." These moments will last forever for the graduating guys: Gilad Metro, John Santos, Roger Hanson, Pat Farrell, Scott Siley, Melvin Vargas, John Hughes and Adalberto Ayala.
    It was a pleasure doing the internet broadcast with former Northeast High great Ari Bluestein. Special thanks to The Sports Fan Base Network for sharing this game with our region. Please visit their website at http://www.sportsfanbase.com/ for more information, and a link to this game, and many other archived games. For me personally, it was a moment to cherish, being a lifelong GW fan, but foremost, I am a fan of The Public League, and look forward to many great games and teams in the future. It is great to live in Philly, a town that appreciates its sports, whether at the major league level, the collegiate level, or the high school level.

MAY 23
Game 1: Washington 6, Masterman 2
Game 2: Franklin Towne Charter 10, Philadelphia Academy 2
    There's nothing better than getting sunburned and watching high school baseball on a mostly sunny spring day. As the great Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks would say, "It's a great day for a ball game, let's play two!" The old timers would remember this adage, and for all of you young turks, if you don't know who Ernie Banks is, well, you should, and if you don't, then google him!
    Masterman was feeling pretty, pretty good after beating GAMP, 5-4, to win the Public League Class A Championship this past Wednesday. Washington players and coaches finally discarded their oxygen tanks, after holding on to beat Central, 9-8, for the Class AAAA Championship, also on Wednesday. These teams met once in the regular season, with the Eagles coming away with a 13-0 victory. There would be no mercy rule on this day, however. Head Coach Vic Otarola's Blue Dragons struck first with three singles against GW ace Roger Hanson in the first inning. Freshman 3B Scott Phillips' infield single drove in another freshman, Liam Shanahan. Masterman added another single run in the third inning, as Shanahan scored again, this time courtesy of soph 1B John Pizzollo's sharp single to right. When Shanahan is not pitching, as he was in this game, he plays shortstop, just a bit unusual for a southpaw. Ken Geiser's Eagles broke through with a five-spot in the bottom of the third. After sr SS Gilad Metro's sac fly, GW got a pair of two-run singles, by soph RF Eddie Tingle and jr C Chase Alexander. Both starting pitchers, Shanahan and G-Dub's Hanson, threw scoreless fourth and fifth innings. The Eagles closed out the scoring in the sixth when sr CF John Santos' single to center plated jr 2B Joel Goldberg, who had two hits and two runs scored on the day. Both pitchers tossed complete games, with Hanson recording nine strikeouts, and Shanahan fanning six. If not for a couple of mental mistakes in the field, Masterman would have made this a closer game.
    Franklin Towne Charter dispatched Boys' Latin, 11-1, for the Class AAA title, while Philadelphia Academy beat Prep Charter, 9-5, for the Class AA crown. In this semifinal, PAC got on the scoreboard in the first inning, with soph SS Shane McGrody driving in jr LF Anthony Pickens. FTC came back with three runs in their half of the inning, courtesy of two wild pitches, and a sac fly by soph 1B Zack Beltran. PAC added a solo run in the second, as jr RF Dylan (don't call me Bonner) Prendergast scored on a sweeping single by sr CF Bailey Broomhead. Unfortunately, for PAC, they would score no more in this game against pitchers Steve Callahan (5 IP) and Chris Hammerstein (2 IP). FTC scored four runs in the third, thanks to an RBI single by Hammerstein, and a two-run single off the bat of jr CF Paul Gilchrist. FTC put the game out of reach with three more runs in the fifth, partly due to sloppy fielding by PAC, and an RBI fielder's choice by fr SS Rob Henry. Gilchrist led the way with two runs scored and two ribbies for first-year Head Coach Chris Lauber's team. The Randy's Rambling Defensive Play of the Game occurred when PAC soph LF and scrabble favorite Matt Schlernitzauer made a beautiful running catch, robbing extra bases from Bailey Broomhead (love that name!). PAC coach Jack Smith should be proud of his young squad, which returns six starters for next season, including impressive sophs Shawn Hayes (3B) and Tyler Sharp (2B).  
    The championship will be at the very same Ashburn Field in South Philly on Tuesday, May 27 at 3:30 pm. For those who can't make the trip, or are just too lazy to get out of the house, the game will be broadcast on The Sports Fan Base Network (SFBN). Ari Bluestein, the former Northeast High great, will be on play-by-play, while yours truly will provide analysis (hopefully). Special thanks to Public League legend Barry Strube for coordinating all of the activities at Ashburn Field in a smooth and flawless manner.
    How refreshing to watch "The Pub" in action, and nobody noticed the umpires. With very few exceptions, there was no belly aching from the four coaches. Tip of the hat to the men in blue: Marvin Doughty, Bill Munro, Kevin Ward, Perry Petrongola, Keith Fell, Derrick Segers, Eliezer Beauchamp and Jim Scott. Joe Lieberman was in New York, monitoring the replays for challenges, well not really. Just had to mention his name!
    Although GAMP did not reach the semifinals, it should be noted that sr RHP Jacob Kurtz had another outstanding season, shutting out Masterman for five innings in the Class A final. The sr RHP will be attending Misericordia College in the fall.

MAY 21
Washington 9, Central 8
    Wow! I'm speechless, but for your sake, I will try to regain my voice, but, WOW! To summarize, Washington took a 9-5 lead into the top of the seventh, Central pushed three across to make it 9-8, with runners on first and second and two outs. Eagles soph LHP Eddie Tingle, well in excess of 100 pitches, got the final out on a pop-up, the GW faithful, players and coaches exhaled, and the Central Lancers, though very disappointed, held their heads high.
    In a battle of young lefties (soph Tingle and Central fr Danny Holdsman), the Lancers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on the first of three RBI doubles by sr SS K.J. McFarlane. GW plated three runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Key hits included sr LF Roger Hanson's monster 2-run jack to left-center (an estimated 378 ft?) and jr 1B Ishmael Bracy's 2-run double to very deep center field. Bracy had a pair of doubles, a single, and a walk in this game. Central had their bats going, scoring three times in the fourth (RBIs by jr DH Tyler Barreto and McFarlane), and scored one run in the fifth on a RBI single to right by sr All-Public Anthony DeVito. The sixth inning gave all of the fans a breather, as no runs crossed the plate, setting up a power-packed top of the seventh. Credit goes to Lancers' coach Rich Weiss and his squad, as they battled back, scoring three times against an exhausted Tingle in the final inning. "It was his game to win or lose," said relieved Eagles skipper Ken Geiser. Central ribbies in the seventh came from DeVito, McFarlane and pinch-hitter Andrew Foronda. Tingle got that final out, and it's just too bad that one of these teams went home empty-handed.    
    This certainly was a memorable game, showing that "The Pub" can still get it on. Hats off to Central sr CF Andrew Cesario. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, and G-Dub leading 9-5, Roger Hanson raked a pitch to deep right-center, and Cesario made the running catch, over his shoulder. In hindsight, if Central had won, that surely would have been the turning point. Other special plays: GW jr 2B Joel Goldberg's bare-handed grab of a dying ground ball and throw to first, and a 6-4-3 double play initiated by Eagles sr SS Gilad Metro and ending with a 180 split by Ish Bracy, that had many of the older spectators saying, "Ouch!" But the Randy's Ramblings Defensive Play of the Game was turned in by Eagles jr C Chase Alexander. Central was rallying in the seventh, Washington was desperate for an out. Second and third, one out, GW leading 9-7. Hard hit ground ball to Eagles sr 3B Scott Siley ... had time to nail the runner at the plate, but he semi-air mailed the ball. Chase Alexander not only had to reach across his body to snag the throw, but then applied a sweet, swipe tag right in front of home plate ump Keith Fell for the second out.
    On the athletic fields, it sometimes is hard to remember that these are student-athletes, student first, athlete second. Lancers catcher Danny Feyler is a presence behind the plate, and a very vocal leader when his teammates are batting. Danny is enjoying the academic challenges at Central. Very impressive, considering the Mt. Airy native is only in tenth grade! I see "All-Pub" in his future. At the other end of the spectrum is senior Anthony DeVito, who played his last game in the Public League. An outstanding performer over the years, he also is a gentleman, making a special trip to congratulate GW head coach Ken Geiser after the game. He will be attending Mercer County College in the fall, and would like to pitch there. Oh, by the way, the Mercer Vikings are headed to the Junior College World Series with a 39-6 record, and have received stellar freshman seasons from OF Joe Santospago (Archbishop Wood) and RHP Nate Vahedi (Masterman).
Washington 13, Masterman 0 (5 innings)
    OK, it's May already, so how come no Randy's Ramblings yet for the 2014 season? Well, between the lousy weather, a hectic work schedule, and binge-watching "How I Met Your Brother," the Ramblings have been delayed. But you know what THEY say? Better Nate than Lever. So here we go, and we'll be with you through the Public League playoffs. And with Monica Lewinsky recently in the news, just a reminder that George Washington High School has not won a league championship since the Clinton Administration. (Bill, not Hillary)    
    This was a one-sided affair, with Washington getting timely hitting, great pitching, and taking advantage of some poor Masterman fielding. So here are just some Random Randy's Ramblings. This site's new favorite player is Ishmael Bracy. The junior 1B/LHP took the mound and allowed Masterman just one hit, a sharp single up the middle in the fourth inning, while striking out five. At the plate, he mashed a pair of doubles, and increased his season batting average to .611 (22-36), with 12 doubles. But the most impressive thing about Bracy, a transfer from Southern, is his on-field and off-field demeanor. The kid is the total package: talent, leadership, and a high baseball IQ, which sadly to say, has not been too prominent in The Pub the last several years. G-Dub's fielding was spot-on, particularly for jr 2B Joel Goldberg, who had a busy, and flawless, day. Kudos to coaches Ken Geiser and Craig Sharp, it looks like they have another great bunch of student-athletes this season.
    The Eagles are a nice blend of seniors, juniors and sophs. The lineup, in addition to Bracy and Goldberg, featured soph 1B Eddie Tingle, sr Gilad ("G") Metro, sr 3B Scott Siley, sr LF (and outstanding pitcher) Roger Hanson, sr CF John Santos, sr RF Pat Farrell, and jr C Chase Alexander. Siley was an outstanding performer last season at first base, and has transitioned nicely to the hot corner. Santos covers lots of room in center, and has a better arm than Ben Revere. For that matter, my arm, with its torn rotator cuff and mangled triceps, is better than Revere's! Chase Alexander is a smart catcher, and nailed a would-be base stealer. And of course, RF Farrell is a magnet for any pitched ball. He has been hit by a pitch twice in each of the last two games, and often gets hit in practice. Pretty funny, although maybe not for Pat. Just know, you really are helping your team by getting bruises all over your body.
    Head Coach Vic Otarola's team has struggled this season, but there are definite bright spots. Soph CF Jason Stales made an outstanding running catch, robbing Joel Goldberg of extra bases. Junior catcher Jacob Nelson did all he could to help his team, and oh by the way, freshman SS Liam Shanahan got to every ball hit his way. Of course, he's lefthanded ... "only in The Pub!"CASING THEIR TALENTS
    Many of the GW players also are members of the Liberty Bell Patriots, one of the top teams in the Far Northeast for decades. They play in Bucks County's Senior Babe Ruth League and in South Jersey's Tri-State Elite League. They will compete in a showcase at Waterfront Park, home of the Trenton Thunder, on July 13.
    It's kind of hard to believe that the Andrew Farrell Home Run Derby is in its tenth year. It has become a Northeast Philly tradition, and is open to the public. The event is on Saturday, May 17, at Washington's home field. Special mention to co-founders Craig Mullen and Jay Welte, as well as board members Lou Sannutti, Kevin Wiener, and the one and only Jason Guzik. For more info, please go to http://andrewfarrell.org/