On the Trail With Ted
Nick Chichilitti has been named the head coach at his alma mater, Archbishop Ryan, and few guys can match his feats when it comes to non-stop baseball involvement. Nick was the starting shortstop for Ryan's 1984 Catholic League champions and received honorable mention All-City laurels. He then played at Philadelphia Textile (now Philadelphia University) and spent one season there as an assistant in 2005. Along the way, he was almost North Catholic's final coach. He steered the Falcons in the 2008 and 2009 seasons and that latter team advanced to the quarterfinals, thanks to a 7-4 win over Judge in a first-round game. When the 2009 All-Catholic team was released, Nick's name was included because he was the Red Division Coach of the Year. He was not North's coach in 2010, in what turned out to be the school's final season. Want more? Nick has also been a long-time umpire, and in 2012 he was one of the base umps in a semifinal as La Salle beat Carroll, 10-0. He has also umped college games and for a while has owned a business that assigns umps. Online, there's a bio that details everything Nick has done as a player, coach, ump, league director, etc. Click here. Good luck, Nick!
Though West Philadelphia captured the 1924 Public League championship, the most amazing ride was enjoyed by Central. (I stumbled on this stuff last night while trying to cross-check some info on Penn Charter's track history). I'll break this down in order via stories/recaps/boxes that were published in the Inquirer. At that time, Central was located at Broad & Green streets, the current site of Ben Franklin, and played its home games at 29th & Chalmers, which is also now used by Franklin. Two things to realize: High school games were nine innings in that era and papers often mentioned first names only for stars.
April 28 -- We'll pick things up here. Central extended a no-runs-allowed streak to 26 innings with a 13-0 win over Northeast. The pitcher was RH Benjamin Harrison Graitzer, commonly known as Benny. He struck out 14 and Weiss hit a home run. FOUR times, Graitzer whiffed a batter with two outs and the bases loaded.
May 1 -- Central beat Frankford, 4-0, extending the streak to 35. The pitcher was LH Teddy Sloam, a reliever in 1923, and Buddy Hafner had three hits while scoring three runs. The writeup included this: "Sloam was in rare form yesterday, which is his usual form by the way." Ha, ha. (An earlier story mentioned that Sloam's last name was formerly Slomkowski. Maybe it still was Slomkowski, but Sloam became the accepted version? Some Inquirer stories also referred to him as Slomy or Slommy. There was never a mention of Slomkowski. In 1927, according to baseball-reference.com, a guy named Theodore Slomkowski was listed on the roster for Baltimore in the International League. He appeared in no games, however. Weird.)
May 13 -- Must have been lots of rain in the interim. In a non-league game, Central beat Girard College, 4-0, extending the streak to 44 innings. In this story, it was mentioned that the streak began in the second inning of a game vs. Germantown, and that games with Southern, Northeast and Frankford were also involved. Graitzer did the pitching. He fanned 14 while stroking two hits and scoring a run. This story had a pretty big headline.
May 16 -- Central beat Northeast, 9-6, for its sixth straight win. The losers scored five runs in the seventh and one in the ninth. The "story" was a one-paragraph recap near the bottom of the page. There was NO mention of the streak being ended. It lasted 50 innings!
May 19 -- Central beat Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf, 12-2, in a non-league game. Graitzer mowed down 21! Hafner and Biggs scored three runs apiece. The story noted that Graitzer struck four guys in each of the first two innings. He got the chance because a fill-in catcher, Palmer, twice dropped third strikes. . . . (In another story from earlier in the season, it was mentioned that Graitzer whiffed 20 in a game in 1923. He lost that one on an error by the centerfielder. Also, back in early April of this current season, Sloam racked up 18 Ks in a win over Southern.)
May 26 and June 6 -- Central lost both games to West Philadelphia. Sloam was the losing pitcher in each one. In the June 6 game, West's pitcher was Charley Albertus (9 Ks) and Delf had three hits. In 1946, Charley's son, also named Charley, of West Catholic, earned first team All-Scholastic football honors (best players in the five-county area) from the ol' Philadelphia Bulletin. Later, Charley Sr. and Charley Jr. enjoyed quite the golf life. They won numerous father-son tournaments and their exploits created a newspaper stir. Dad also played with another son, William, and that duo was also dynamic.
Young bucks played a large role in spurring Neumann-Goretti to Catholic League glory. The Saints' starting lineup in the championship game included three sophs and a freshman and no other champ over the last 30 seasons has had that many YBs. Carroll came close in 2002 with three sophs. (One was Chris Cashman, who through last year was the guy who brandished the radar gun behind home plate during Phillies home games.) When you check out the list below, you'll notice that only two freshmen have been starters for winners over since 1987. Yes, Eric and Nicky Nardini (now an assistant to coach Kevin Schneider) are brothers. And their middle brother, Tommy, was a starter for N-G's 2014 CL champs. One other nugget: In the state final, the Saints started FOUR sophs along with Eric Nardini. The other was leftfielder RJ McGettigan.
UPDATE: This comes from Prep parent Randy Matthews . . . The Hawks also started four underclassmen (all sophs) in this year's CL final: Giani Arici SS, Luke Donaphon LF, Logan Kellerman C and Evan Matthews RF.
|Starting Young Bucks for CL Champs, 1987-2016|
|2013||La Salle||AJ Grezeszak||SS||10|
|2007||SJ Prep||Steve Bruno||SS||10|
|2005||La Salle||Sean Saverio||C||10|
|1988||La Salle||Chris Massella||SS||10|
How special was the stretch run of Neumann-Goretti's 2016 baseball season? Unmatched in city history! The Saints became the first Catholic/Public League team to post shutouts in their final three postseason games. And the first one in the string, a quarterfinal vs. North Penn-Mansfield, required nine innings. In 1990, as the Northern Division champ, Wood earned a bye straight to the semis and played just two postseason games. In 1991, Carroll did not win by shutout in a second-round game. In 1970, Bonner played only two postseason games -- the CL final (there were no semis then) and the City Title. The Friars' pitcher, Mike Stevens, was described as lefty curve-baller in assorted stories. He finished the season with four consecutive shutouts. The first two were regular season games. Not sure whether either was cut short by rain or required extra innings, but it's likely Stevens finished his season with a streak of at least 28 consecutive scoreless innings. N-G righty Ethan "E" Pritchett finished his senior campaign with a streak of 26 . . . In the Pub, all three teams listed below yielded runs in quarterfinals.
|CL/PL Teams That Finished the Season With at Least Two Consecutive Shutout Wins in Playoffs|
|2016||AA State Qtr||Neum.-Goretti||NP-Mansfield||1-0||Ethan Pritchett/Jared Healey||5||12|
|AA State Semi||Neum.-Goretti||North Schuylkill||3-0||Jeff Ciocco||2||7|
|AA State Final||Neum.-Goretti||Bishop McCort||3-0||Ethan Pritchett||3||8|
|1994||PL Semi||Northeast||Washington||11-0||Justin Ertel||4||10|
|PL Final||Northeast||Frankford||12-0||Andy Smith/Brett Rosen||6||5|
|1991||CL Semi||Carroll||Bonner||1-0||Keith Conway/Sean Dalton||4||6|
|CL Final||Carroll||Wood||2-0||Keith Conway/Sean Dalton||4||9|
|1990||CL Semi||Wood||La Salle||6-0||Dan Kusters||3||8|
|CL Final||Wood||Carroll||1-0||Dan Kusters||2||11|
|1984||PL Semi||Northeast||Central||11-0||Andy Meltzer||1||9|
|PL Final||Northeast||Franklin||5-0||Andy Meltzer||2||9|
|1981||PL Semi||Frankford||Central||9-0||Bruce Konick||2||5|
|PL Final||Frankford||Mastbaum||5-0||Bruce Konick||7||3|
|1970||CL Final||Bonner||North Cath.||2-0||Mike Stevens||6||9|
|City Title||Bonner||Lincoln||4-0||Mike Stevens||4||6|
Season No. 8 of the Catholic League's PIAA era is in the books and it ended with shutout No. 16 in City Titles/state playoffs. Neumann-Goretti has posted half of the blankings and sr. RH Ethan "E" Pritchett has led the way with three -- one in 2014 and two this season. His total could easily be four. In the Class AA state quarterfinal this year, he pitched seven shutout frames vs. North Penn-Mansfield before yielding to Jared Healey. The Saints won that one, 1-0, in nine innings. Pritchett allowed NO runs over his final 26 innings this season -- six vs. Bonner-Prendie (after giving up three runs in the first), six vs. MaST Charter in the City Title (frosh Joe Messina, son of assistant Joe Messina, finished), seven vs. NP-M and seven again in yesterday's state final vs. Bishop McCort, of Johnstown.
|Shutouts by Catholic League Teams in City Titles/State Playoffs During the PIAA Era, 2009-16|
|2009||2A||Quarter||Neumann-Goretti||Twin Valley||1-0||Mark Donato|
|2010||3A||CT||Wood||Franklin Towne||10-0||Larry Brittingham|
|3A||First||Neumann-Goretti||Twin Valley||2-0||Joe Kinee|
|2012||3A||CT||Neumann-Goretti||Phila. Electric||13-0||Joe Jaep|
|2013||4A||CT||La Salle||Frankford||8-0||Tom Cockill|
|3A||CT||Bonner-Prendie||Franklin Towne||5-0||Pat Vanderslice|
|2014||3A||CT||Wood||Franklin Towne||8-0||Anthony Russo|
|4A||Semi||La Salle||Spring-Ford||3-0||Dom Cuoci|
|2015||3A||CT||Wood||Franklin Towne||9-1||Sean Hughes|
|4A||First||SJ Prep||West Chester East||2-0||Colin Scanlon|
|2016||3A||CT||Wood||Franklin Towne||16-0||Sean Hughes|
|2A||Semi||Neumann-Goretti||North Schuylkill||3-0||Jeff Ciocco|
|2A||Final||Neumann-Goretti||Bishop McCort||3-0||Ethan Pritchett|
The Carpenter Cup Classic is in Year No. 31 and this is the seventh time two "Our Guys" teams have posted first-round wins. In all years except one, the Catholic and Inter-Ac leagues have pulled off the feat. In 1990, the Pub managed its first (and still only) victory. Two "OG" teams have never reached the semis in the same year.
|Years With Two "Our Guys" CCC Winners in First Round|
|'90||Del-Val, W, 2-1||Bicen./Inter-Ac, W, 11-2||Catholic, L, 11-2|
|Catholic, L, 11-1||Public, W, 11-1|
|SJ Central, W, 10-9|
|*Chester Co., W, 7-4|
|'95||Catholic, L, 8-1||Public, W, 8-1||Mercer Co., W, 6-4|
|Chester Co., W, 7-5||Dela. North, L, 10-1|
|'04||Tri/Cape, L, 9-5||Dela. South, W, 7-3||Oly./Colonial, W, 11-1|
|Lehigh Valley, L, 9-8||Mercer Co., L, 8-5|
|'05||Delaware Co., L, 5-0||Oly./Colonial, W, 7-2||Burlington Co., W, 6-0|
|Tri/Cape, W, 17-8||Sub. Amer./Cont., L, 4-0|
|Sub. Amer./Cont., W, 6-5|
|*Delaware County, W, 8-2|
|'06||Sub. Nat./Bicen., L, 8-5||Jersey Shore, W, 1-0||Oly./Colonial, W, 7-3|
|Inter-Ac/Indepen., W, 14-5||Catholic, L, 14-5|
|Tri-Cape, L, 6-5|
|'07||Chester Co., L, 14-5||Oly./Colonial, W, 8-5||Burlington Co. W, 11-10|
|Chester County, L, 10-5||Lehigh Valley, L, 5-3|
|'16||Delaware County, L, 15-1||Burlington County, W, 4-3||Delaware North, W, 4-1|
This nugget will only have a short mention of baseball, but I had to post it somewhere, so . . .
The Inter-Ac League has been holding annual track championship meets since 1887 and through the years there have been many dominant performers. But the absolute beast was part of the show in the event's earliest years. We take you waaaaaay back to 1888, when E.S. Ramsdell was a sophomore at Germantown Academy. He won three events. Big deal, you say? He was just getting warmed up. Ramsdell swept five events in 1889, then EIGHT in 1890. Over those three years, he set eight records. The breakdown is below and the coolest event, by far, was the baseball throw. Ramsdell also placed second in the 220, 880 and high hurdles in 1888, and took thirds in the standing high and long jumps in '89. I did some checking on various research sites and Ramsdell spent his college years at Princeton, then Penn. He played baseball at the former while also mixing in track, then apparently concentrated on track at Penn. In 1894, in a major meet in New York (maybe an organization that was an Ivy League forerunner?), he won the 100 in 10.0, the 220 in 22.0 and the long jump (yes, it was called something else back then -- I prefer not to use that word) with an effort of 22-1. It appears that Ramsdell stood just 5 feet, 6 inches. Later, he became a doctor.
Info on Ramsdell's Inter-Ac feats was researched in a book, published in 1956 by A.L. Graburn Jr., entitled The First Seventy Years. It examined the Inter-Ac's title meets from 1887-1956.
SECOND UPDATE: For the record, Ramsdell's first name was Ernest and he became a doctor. His brother's first name was Ralph.
UPDATE: I did one last check of Ramsdell's Inter-Ac feats and had to remove one win in 1890. The winner in the 880 in 1890 was listed as GA's R.R. Ramsdell. A brother or cousin, undoubtedly.
|Inter-Ac Wins by GA's E.S. Ramsdell, 1888-1890|
|High Jump||5-0 3/4||1|
|Long Jump||*19-6||*19-8||20-7 1/2||3|
|Standing HJ||4-3 3/4||1|
|Shot Put||28-6 1/2||1|
|* - league record|
Counting cut-off guy, Rich Toal is 5th from right in top row, between two Neumann Pirates. (Pic provided by Matt "Cauls" McCauley via Monica Toal.)
When members of a certain family compete in the Carpenter Cup Classic, the on-base- percentage bell Toals pretty darn well. We're talking about the father-son combo of Rich and Tommy Toal. So far in four games, those guys are 4-for-6 with three walks. Rich, of Cardinal O'Hara, was the backup centerfielder for the Catholic League in the tourney's very first year, 1986. Back then, all games were played at Veterans Stadium and you can imagine how much excitement the kids experienced getting to play on the same field used by the Phillies. The CL lost their one game, 15-8, to Suburban One American. Rich batted twice, sending a hopping ground ball through the left side in the seventh inning and drawing a walk in the ninth. He was then erased in a forceout at second. (Yes, I still have the score sheet.) Tommy, only a junior at Haverford School, is already a two-year CCC veteran. He played in one game in '15 and two in '14. So far, he's 3-for-5 with two walks. Penn Charter coach David Miller, the manager of the Inter-Ac/Indy squad, said last night his tentative plan is to start Tommy at second base and have him bat leadoff in Wednesday's game. He batted seventh/eighth in his first two CCC years. . . The rest of this nugget will have nothing to do with the Toals, but hopefully you'll find it interesting. In that first year, the Inter-Ac League was scheduled for the last of three opening-round games on June 17. The starting times were 1, 4 and 7. The Inter-Ac won, 15-3, over the Central League and the game ended at . . . 12:18 in the morning!! Tourney officials, obviously, had no idea that nine-inning games involving nervous high school kids in a major league stadium would last so long. The Inter-Ac squad's highlight was a three-run homer by Germantown Academy OF Mark Steffens, a lefty swinger who later played in the minors. The ball exited the field a shade to the right of the 371-foot sign and wound up in the Phillies' bullpen. Back then, the Daily News' deadlines were ridiculously late so I didn't have to hurry to get the story into the next day's paper. A high school game starting on one day and ending on another. Quite the memory. (The I-A had to play that next day at 12:30. It lost, 6-5, to Delaware.)
In the June 10 offering, I kiddingly mentioned that maybe Neumann should have merged with its sister school many decades ago because it has fared so well in 1-0 games during the N-G era. Guess what? Here's more evidence and now I'm serious. Ha, ha. All time, N-G and its forerunners have played in 25 one-run postseason games. The overall record for the Saints (nee Pirates) is 16-9 (.640) and the record during the N-G era is 12-2 (.857).
|One-Run Postseason Games for N-G and Forerunners|
|CL final||Neumann-Goretti||SJ Prep||3-2|
|2014||CL LB 2nd||Neumann-Goretti||Wood||5-4||8|
|CL LB 3rd||Neumann-Goretti||La Salle||1-0|
|2013||CL LB 2nd||Neumann-Goretti||O'Hara||8-7||9|
|2012||CL final||Neumann-Goretti||La Salle||5-4||8|
|2009||CL semi||Neumann-Goretti||SJ Prep||10-9||9|
|2008||CL quarter||Neumann-Goretti||La Salle||1-0|
|1992||CL 2nd||Neumann||St. James||4-3|
|1987||CL 1st||Neumann||West Catholic||6-5|
|1959||CL semi||La Salle||Neumann||3-2|
In this century, eight Penn Charter graduates have earned All-Inter-Ac honors in football AND baseball. The first six years produced six guys while Mick Foley ('10) and Kenny Bergmann have been the only two over the last 11. Bergmann is headed to UConn for baseball. Kenny Devenney is the baseball coach at Judge. Matt Ryan, who also was a basketball starter (and twice earned second team all-league honors), throws footballs for Atlanta.
|Penn Charter's 2000s Grads With Football/Baseball All-Inter-Ac Honors|
--- Football ---
--- Baseball ---
|Kenny Devenney||1999 1st DB||2000 1st LB||2000 1st OF||2001 1st OF|
|Aaron Greenfield||2000 1st LB||2001 1st DL||2000 2nd C||2001 1st C||2002 1st C|
|Matt Ryan||2001 1st QB||2002 1st QB||2001 2nd INF||2003 1st INF|
|R.J. Hollinshead||2003 1st Rec||2004 1st Rec||2003 2nd C||2004 1st C||2005 1st C|
|Zack Zeglinski||2003 1st RB||2003 2nd OF||2004 1st INF||2005 1st INF|
|Ryan Nanni||2004 1st Rec||2003 2nd OF||2004 1st OF||2005 1st OF|
|Mick Foley||2009 1st Rec||2009 2nd 1B||2010 1st 1B|
|Kenny Bergmann||2015 2nd DL||2013 1st C-OF||2015 1st C||2016 1st C|
All time, Catholic League baseball teams have been involved in 16 postseason games with 1-0 scores. The latest took place yesterday and Neumann-Goretti was the winner. Not exactly a surprise, folks. N-G is now 5-0 in 1-0 games -- 2-0 in the league and 3-0 in states. South/Neumann/N-G is 5-2 overall. It fell to La Salle in the 1951 CL final and to Bonner in a '74 semi. Maybe Neumann should have merged with its sister school many decades ago (smile). The original thought was to present this Tedbit in the usual list/table form, but I decided to present all of the recaps. The order is: CL playoffs (all rounds before finals, then finals), City Titles and state playoffs. Four have required extra innings. Yesterday's ranks No. 2 at nine frames. The longest was the 1968 CT (11 innings).
CATHOLIC LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
(Does Not Include Championship Games)
Part of Doubleheader at Temple's Erny Field
Bonner 1, Neumann 0
John Jones allowed two hits and fanned seven. Dave Beanon had an RBI single in the fourth.
Part of Doubleheader at Temple's Erny Field
O'Hara 1, St. James 0 (8 inn.)
In the home eighth, Joe Romano drew a one-out walk and stole second. As Chris McCall grounded out, Romano ran to third and drew a throw from the first baseman that bounced off the third baseman's glove and allowed Romano to score. Norm Hanratty pitched a four-hitter to outduel Tim McCarthy, who allowed four hits and fanned 10 in his 7 1/3 innings.
Part of Doubleheader at La Salle University
Carroll 1, Bonner 0
Keith Conway (five innings) and Sean Dalton combined on a four-hitter to outduel Mike Staehle (five-hitter). The run scored in the visiting first on Sean McGarvey's walk, Mike Halpin's single and Conway's RBI single.
Part of Doubleheader at La Salle University
SJ Prep 1, Ryan 0
Righthander Matt Altomare, who began the season on the junior varsity and was cut from the freshman team in '98, pitched a six-hitter with five strikeouts while becoming just the second soph to pitch a playoff shutout in 27 years. It was just the fifth 1-0 game in that span. Ryan's John Price pitched a three-hitter with eight K's, but uncorked a third-inning wild pitch to score Ed Turner.
Neumann-Goretti 1, La Salle 0
Lefty Mark Donato, the first soph MVP in league history, pitched a three-hitter to outduel junior lefty Shawn O'Neill (also three hits allowed). In the home sixth, Aggie Osano reached first on a bad-hop single, pinch-runner Anthony Pfettcher got to second on a caught stealing/dropped ball combo and, after Joey Armata was issued an intentional walk, soph Mike Riverso slashed an RBI single to center. This was N-G/Neumann's first playoff visit since '97 while the 1-0 score was the first in a CL playoff since 1999 (and eighth total).
Wood 1, Kennedy-Kenrick 0
Matt McAllister pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts, and Mike Spahits scored in the third as Jeff Courter drew a bases-loaded walk. For K-K, which advanced just one guy as far as third base in its final CL game, Joe Harvey allowed five hits. Steve Zbyszinski singled twice.
LOSERS BRACKET FIRST ROUND
Bonner-Prendergast 1, Carroll 0
Danny Goggin’s two-out single drove in Jesse Basden with the walkoff run in the home seventh. Nick Bralczyk needed 83 pitches to go seven innings. He allowed two hits and struck out six.
LOSERS BRACKET THIRD ROUND
Neumann-Goretti 1, La Salle 0
In a battle of lefties, Charlie Jerla outdueled John Scheffey by allowing four hits. He received the necessary run support in the second when Justin Curtin's single scored courtesy runner Joe Lolio.
CATHOLIC LEAGUE FINALS
At Temple's Erny Field
La Salle 1, South 0
Larry Brownsey allowed just one hit and the run scored in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Don O'Connor and John Granozio. South's Bud Fahey pitched a six-hitter.
At Temple's Erny Field
Roman 1, Egan 0 (8 inn.)
Curveballer Craig Houck spun a five-hitter and escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the visiting eighth by retiring the 3-4-5 hitters. Egan's Joe Lynch (four-hitter) hit John Stoffere to start the home half and Stoffere eventually scored from second base in the aftermath of an infield throwing error.
At Penn's Bower Field
Wood 1, Carroll 0
Wood's Dan Kusters (11 strikeouts) and Carroll's Frank Rauscher traded two-hitters, none for extra bases, and the only run was covered in controversy. In the visiting first, Kusters drew a two-out walk and yielded to courtesy runner Mike Daulerio. With Daulerio running, Frank Fisher hammered an easy ground ball to second baseman Mike Halpin for what would surely would have been the third out. Instead, plate ump Jim Cronin called catcher Glenn McClelland for interference -- there was heated debate; even Fisher didn't know whether the call was correct -- and Jon Reimel followed with an RBI single. Kusters became the third pitcher in CL history to record two playoff shutouts in the same season.
At Shibe Park
North Catholic 1, Southern 0
Don Geehring (2-for-3) smashed a single to drive home Bill Shields in the second inning and pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts. With one out and a man on third in the fourth, Geehring registered a strikeout and groundout.
At Connie Mack Stadium
Egan 1, Southern 0 (11 inn.)
A pair of lefties, Egan's Dennis Yesenosky and Southern's Willie Jones, were masterful in this marathon. Yesenosky allowed two hits and three walks and set strikeout records for seven innings (12), nine innings (17) and overall (20). Jones allowed eight hits and fanned 16. In the home 11th, singles by Tony Varacallo, Dan Connors and Jim Colella loaded the bases. Jim Carpenter sent a sinking liner to right and Vince DeMeis made the catch. With all three runners moving a doubleplay was possible, but DeMeis's throw to first was off-line. Jones then walked Paul Scalzone on four pitches to end it. In the sixth, Southern had runners thrown out at second and the plate.
Neumann-Goretti 1, Twin Valley 0
Under gray skies and occasional rain, Mark Donato spun a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and allowed no one beyond second base. The Saints scored in the third on a double steal as Reno Regalbuto thieved second and Marty Venafro ran home. As did some N-G parents, Regalbuto acknowledged afterward that he'd probably been tagged out (that call would have ended the inning). TV's players and coach convinced the second base ump to confer with his partner at first; the call stood.
At Parkland High, in Allentown
Neumann-Goretti 1, Bloomsburg 0
Ethan "E" Pritchett spun a two-hitter with nine punchouts as the Saints won by shutout for the fifth time in 10 postseason contests; the MLB record is four by the Giants in 1905, 2010 and '12 and the Yankees in '98. The run scored in the third thanks to singles by Brian Verratti and Vinny Vaccone, a passed ball and a wild pitch.
At Pottsville High
Neumann-Goretti 1, North Penn-Mansfield 0 (9 inn.)
Ethan "E" Pritchett (seven innings, 10 Ks) and Jared Healey (two, two) divided the pitching. In the home ninth, Joe LaFiora led off with a single and yielded to pinch-runner Steve Pizza. He advanced to second as RJ McGettigan's bunt was misplayed and to third on Pritchett's bunt single. Brian Verratti then created a wild celebration by scorching a liner over the third baseman's head for a game-ending single.
Never know what baseball nugget you'll uncover why doing some research involving Inter-Ac track & field.
Last night, I came across this Inquirer recap on a game that was played on Saturday, May 11, 1991.
Dave Miller, who started and struck out 16 batters in 12 innings, delivered a two-run double in the top of the 15th to lift visiting Chestnut Hill Academy over Germantown Friends, 6-4, in a nonleague game.
Wait. Time out. Miller pitched TWELVE innings, especially in a non-league game!?!?
As you might know, David Miller is now the coach at Penn Charter and I just HAD to take a photo of that recap and send it to him via a text message.
His first response: "LOL."
I then asked him, "Are the numbers legit?"
He confirmed that they were, then added some detail.
"I remember that game," he noted. "I gave up four in the first because I was screwing around and didn't warm up properly. I just thought it was GFS" -- not exactly a power -- "and didn't prepare. My coach (Butch McNally) was so mad at me."
"It was, like, a 4-hour game. In that first inning, I walked the bases loaded, then gave up my lone hit, a triple to their catcher. Then they had a sac fly. I pitched 11 no-hit innings after that. Believe it or not, I iced my arm between innings . . . When I came out, I got a standing ovation from the GFS parents."
David remembered that the win went to reliever Paul Burke, who went on to star for La Salle's basketball team and coach Speedy Morris. In '95, he co-captained the Explorers and was a second team All-Big 5 honoree. He then played pro ball overseas. At CHA, Paul earned All-City honors in football (QB, first team), basketball (guard, second team) and baseball (infielder as junior, outfielder as senior; third team each time).
No one else has collared All-City honors in the three major sports.
David was also a hoops star. In baseball, he was a first team All-City honoree at first base in 1992. He then starred at Clemson and was selected by Cleveland in the first round of the MLB draft in '95. He played seven pro seasons.
The first time I looked at the recap, I didn't write down the date . . . and didn't notice that it included two paragraphs.
Search No. 2 yielded this . . .
Paul Burke, who scored on Miller's hit, picked up the victory as the Hillers battled back from a 4-0 first-inning deficit. Henry Steinburg was tagged with the loss, despite throwing 11 innings in relief and collecting two of Germantown Friends' eight hits. (I strongly suspect Henry's last name should be spelled Steinberg.)
You gottta be kidding me! Another guy pitched 11 innings in that same game!?!?
David didn't remember that part. We won't hold it against him (smile).
These days, pitchers may rack up no more than nine innings in a game, but there are no rules regarding pitch counts.
In 2005, I covered a Catholic League game matching Kennedy-Kenrick and visiting Roman. K-K's Lenny DelGrippo threw 182 pitches over seven innings -- 72 in just the first two -- in what became an 8-7, nine-inning victory.
Here's a nugget from MANY moons ago . . .
In the 1968 City Title, played at Connie Mack Stadium, Egan beat Southern, 1-0, in 11 innings. Dennis Yesenosky pitched all 11 frames for Egan, allowing two hits and three walks while mowing down 20. The Eagles won it in the home half and Southern's Willie Jones also went the (10-plus) distance. He allowed eight hits and fanned 16. A bases-loaded walk ended it.
And here's one from 2000 . . .
In a Public League regular season game, Dobbins fell to King, 7-6, in eight innings. Dobbins' Terrance "T.J." Brunson punched out 22 guys and walked 10 in a two-hitter. Just doing that, with no other pitches involved, would have required 106 (66 and 40). So imagine how many he threw. Brunson also homered in that game . . . and was thrown out at third to end it while attempting to steal.
The PIAA state playoffs are scheduled to begin today and three Catholic League teams will be involved -- Judge in AAAA, Wood in AAA and Neumann-Goretti in AA. Below are won-lost and runs for/runs against totals for the CL, broken down by classification, since it began participating in state playoffs in 2009. La Salle in AAAA has won two state titles ('12 and '14) and N-G in AA has advanced to a state title ('15) but fallen. SJ Prep ('09 in AAAA) and Neumann-Goretti ('09 and '12 in AAA, '14 in AA) have advanced to semis. Overall, CL teams are 22-17 and have been outscored, 144-133. Amazingly, the AAAA-AAA teams have to combined to score/yield exactly 100 runs.
|Results for Catholic League Teams in State Playoffs (22-17, 133 RF-144 RA)|
|CLASS AAAA||CLASS AAA||CLASS AA|
|First Team, Four Times|
|Tommy Coyle||Gtn. Academy||INF||2006-09|
|Jon McAllister||Chestnut Hill||OF||2007-10|
|First Team, Three Times|
|Kenny Devenney||Penn Charter||OF||1999-01|
|Taylor Baum||Penn Charter||1B-DH||2001-03|
|Sean Grieve||Gtn. Academy||P-OF||2002-04|
|Mark Adzick||Penn Charter||P-1B||2005-07|
|John Barr||Gtn. Academy||OF-P||2005-07|
|Anthony Cafagna||Chestnut Hill||P-INF||2005-07|
|Mike Galetta||Haver. School||P-INF||2005-07|
|Rob Amaro||Penn Charter||1B-DH||2006, 2008-09|
|Steel Russell||Chestnut Hill||C-INF||2007-09|
|Doug Fleming||Penn Charter||C||2007-09|
|Sean Coyle||Gtn. Academy||INF||2008-10|
|Kenny Koplove||Penn Charter||P||2009, 2011-12|
|Kevin McGowan||Haver. School||INF||2012-13, 2015|
|Kenny Bergmann||Penn Charter||C||2013, 2015-16|
For a long time, "Our Guys" rarely have been afforded an opportunity to play for our teams. Think about it. How often does a product of a Catholic, Public or Inter-Ac school wind up on the rosters of the Phillies/Eagles/76ers? Anyway, now we offer a contrast -- baseball players out of Olney High. As you hopefully noticed, the Trojans recently won the Public League championship (first time since 1969, victim was Frankford), then claimed the Class AAAA City Title (first CT since 1951, only the second in a major sport in the school's 85 years, victim was Judge). All-time, six Olney alums have reached the major leagues and five were Phillies employees. Three made it to the majors. Del Ennis offered great production over 11 seasons and those numbers are listed below. Bill Peterman appeared in just one game on April 26, 1942, and never played again in a major league game. For anybody. But he did post a single in his only at bat, so his career average is 1.000! Elmer "Swede" Burkart pitched in 16 games (three starts) over four seasons from 1936-39, going 1-1 with a 4.93 ERA. Oddly, he never allowed an unearned run. Infielder Lee Elia and pitcher Jack Crimian signed their first pro contracts with the Phillies, but reached the majors with other teams. The lone Trojan with no Phillies ties was outfielder Al Spangler. He played for five teams from 1959-71. Where was he in 1951? He was a star outfielder for Olney's City Title squad. As the Trojans beat La Salle, 6-4, at Shibe Park (later Connie Mack Stadium, 21st & Lehigh), he smacked a 400-foot RBI triple to highlight a three-run fourth. All of these guys were from the neighborhood. Click here to see where they lived.
|Stats With Phillies for Olney Products|
Yesterday at La Salle High, it's possible Archbishop Wood set a Catholic League postseason record for most runs scored in one inning while dropping 14 on Franklin Towne Charter in the fourth inning of a 16-0 win in the Class AAA City Title. Possible is used because I have not been able to find inning-by-inning scoring breakdowns for a few postseason games that could have included a 10-run frame. Most of the candidates have been cross-checked, however. Interestingly, three of the five outbursts listed below have occurred in the last three seasons. No Wood players had two RBI in the same at-bat. Coach Jim DiGuiseppe Jr.'s Vikings sent 20 batters to the plate and senior Matt Cummiskey batted three times. (The use of a pinch-hitter prevented a second guy from batting thrice.) Though the popular Cummiskey made two outs (and wound up taking some playful ribbing from his teammates), he did provide early momentum by beating out a would-be sacrifice bunt for a single. This Tedbit covers CL playoffs, CTs and state playoffs. If you know of another CL team that has scored 10 runs in one inning, please let me know. Thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org
|Innings of at Least 10 Runs by CL Teams in Playoff Games|
|Wood||Franklin Towne||3A CT||2016||14||4th||16-0|
|Sam Reynolds/Dylan Slowinski/Bobby Heck/Joey Lancellotti had 2 RBI apiece|
|SJ Prep||Ryan||CL final||2007||13||2nd||19-0|
|Jeff Lynch/Steve Bruno/Matt Fischer had 2-run doubles; Bill Edger 2-run single|
|Neumann.-Gor.||La Salle||CL semi||2014||13||6th||18-13|
|Josh Ockimey had a 3-run triple|
|Dougherty||St. James||*CL final||1969||12||3rd||15-1|
|Greg McCorry had a 3-run triple|
|La Salle||Washington||4A CT||2014||11||2nd||16-1|
|Ryan Coonahan had a 2-run single|
|*-Game No. 3 in three-game series to decide championship|
In Saturday's Catholic League final, SJ Prep fell to Neumann-Goretti, 3-2, even though jr. LH Colin Scanlon allowed just one hit. The Saints won it with a two-run home seventh and the one hit was not part of that messy uprising. Over the last 41 seasons (1976-2016), no losing team had ever notched a one-hitter. In 1990, Carroll's Frank Rauscher surrendered two hits in a 1-0 loss to Wood. Below are all details for finals in which the losing teams allowed no more than five hits.
|Hits||Team||Pitcher(s)||Lost to . . .||Score||Year|
|1||SJ Prep||Colin Scanlon||Neumann-Goretti||3-2||2016|
|5||SJ Prep||Mike Bongard (3)||Carroll||3-0||1999|
|Andrew Gambone (2)|
|5||Judge||Josh Riordan (3)||Ryan||6-1||1998|
|Dan Rash (2)|
|5||Carroll||Joe Innes (3)||Judge||6-1||1982|
|Chris Pheneger (2)|
|5||Judge||Dave Healy (4)||West Catholic||4-2||1979|
|Mario Buonanoce (0)|
|Dave Gallo (1)|
|5||Bonner||Tom Stauffer||North Catholic||3-2||1977|
It takes a village to raise a child . . . and perhaps it takes brothers to win multiple championships. Saturday, Neumann-Goretti captured its fifth Catholic League championship in eight years and Eric Nardini became the third brother to be a part of the starting lineup. Nicky got things started as the DH in '09, then catcher in '11 and '12. Tommy was the catcher in '14 and Eric also played that position. Other brothers for N-G: the Baurs and Riversos. When Carroll won seven titles from '91 through '04, it was supported by four brother groups. Mike Fuchs and Jay Aquilante were Co-Players of the Year in '96 and '97. Jim Fuchs was the Player of the Year in '99.
In the last 41 years, 19 guys have handled plate duties in Catholic League finals. Ed Kerrigan, who just completed his 53nd season as an ump (he saw duty in a CL quarterfinal at Wood), has worked the plate six times (though not since 2000). Bill "Babs" Haines, who handled the dish in Saturday's N-G/SJ Prep final, is now tied for the No. 2 spot with Carlos Deno, at five. The latter had worked three of the last four. Jim King, who ran the show in 1983, now assigns referees for Catholic League football. Bruce Martin (two at plate) and Mike Finney (one) were also part of this year's crew.
|Plate Umps in Catholic Baseball Finals, 1976-2016|
|Name||No.||------- Years -------|
|Bill "Babs" Haines||5||2016||2011||2008||2006||2002|
To some extent, we should have known Neumann-Goretti would emerge as the winner from yesterday's Catholic League championship game. Reason: Its pitcher was a Italian guy (smile). Pitchers with Italian surnames have claimed the W in seven of the last nine years and at first we thought the number might be eight until we asked N-G assistant Joe Messina to do a nationality check with Charlie Jerla, the winner in 2014. Though his surname ends in a vowel, Charlie said his heritage is 100 percent Irish. From 2000 through '08, Carroll's John Zamichieli (in relief) was the lone Italian winner. CL title games have taken place each year since 1958. There was a three-game series in that first year and Al Famiglietti pitched then-Bishop Neumann to the crown. Other Italian winners through the rest of the 1900s: Vince Ciaramella, North Catholic, 1981; Jeff Tinari, Bonner, 1989; Jay Aquilante, Carroll, '96 and '97. In 1953, two teams tied for the regular season championship and Southeast Catholic, one of N-G's many predecessors, won that one behind Joe Catanio. . . So, to recap, hardly any over 40-plus years, seven in the last nine years. Piuttosto sorprendente! (Pretty amazing -- smile).
|Winning Pitchers in CL Finals, 2000-16|
|2005||Matt Zielinski||La Salle|
|2007||Matt Dolan||SJ Prep|
|2008||Kyle Mullen||SJ Prep|
|2013||Dom Cuoci||La Salle|
Tomorrow's Catholic League championship game will make upstart history. The combatants, Neumann-Goretti and St. Joseph's Prep, posted the all-time lowest winning percentage in regular season CL play. Their number is .542. That breaks .600 (18-12) by Roman and Egan in 1978. Roman won that game. The regular season records were 9-5 for Roman and 9-7 for Egan. Below is a breakdown for the 2000s. Incredibly, the number has gone down in every year!! (Except for ties in 2004-05 and 2010-11.) N-G is listed first for 2016 only because it had the better record. Good luck to both teams and congrats for scrambling back.
|2014||La Salle||11-4||SJ Prep||10-5||21-9||.700|
The run total was 35 as the Catholic League semis unfolded yesterday. A high total, yes, but well short of Recordville. In 2009, 43 runs were plated as La Salle topped Wood, 15-9, and Neumann-Goretti outlasted SJ Prep, 10-9. Yesterday's total seizes the No. 5 spot. The semis began in 1973.
Bonner-Prendie's 5-3, eight-inning win over host Father Judge, claimed yesterday after a rain delay, was quite the momentus occasion. It was the first time since 2008 that a regular season champ had fallen in its first playoff outing. Now, the quarterfinals are 1-8, 2-7, 3-6 and 4-5. From '83 through '07, division champs did not see playoff action until the semis and it was not uncommon for kingpins to fall. The playoffs went like this in each division: 4 vs. 3, then that winner was vs. 2, then that winner vs. 1. Often, the theory went, kingpins would lose because they lost their edge waiting around for survivors of games that would help winners build momentum. From '83 through '94, the semis featured within-the-division battles. With the '95 season, the format switched and cross-overs took place in semis.
|Division Champs Upset in First Playoff Game, 1983-2016|
|Year||Losing Div. Champ||Winner||Round||Score|
|SJ Prep||La Salle||Semi||9-6|
The Catholic League is now down to eight teams for the 2016 playoffs -- the quarterfinals will be played today -- and once again the schools inside the city limits are providing 50 percent of the teams. That's the case for the third time in four years. In the previous five years, an even split occurred just once. Neumann-Goretti has led the way with nine consecutive appearances since 2008. St. Joseph's Prep is next with six. North Catholic closed in 2010 and we all still miss it.
|A Look at Final Eight Teams in CL Playoffs; Focus on City, 2008-16|
In the 2015 season, the Catholic League switched its alignment from two divisions based on enrollment to no divisions. Then, the coaches decided, in effect, to name four teams of All-Catholic performers . . . jammed into two teams. That approach has already been scrapped and this year the coaches named three, normal-sized teams. In 2015, 20 underclassmen were evenly split between the two teams. This year, three went up from second to first, four stayed the same, five went down from first to second and eight were unable to repeat in any fashion. Two guys transferred: Ryan Logan from Lansdale to Wood and Jeff Manto from Conwell-Egan to St. Joseph's Prep.
|How 2015's All-Catholic Underclassmen Fared in '16|
|1B||Sean Kelly||Wood||Jr.||Down||2nd (C)|
|OF||Joey Lancellotti||Wood||Jr.||Same||1st (INF)|
|DH||Brian Verratti||N-G||Jr.||Same||1st (OF)|
|INF||John Coppola||Prep||Jr.||Up||1st (1B)|
|C||Andrew Cossetti||La S||Fr.||Up||1st|
|OF||Langston Livingston||La S||Jr.||Down||XX|
|OF||Gregg Sywulak||La S||So.||Down||XX|
Ya gotta hand it to the Hillers. Yes, I realize Hillers was ditched as the official nickname for SCH Academy (formerly Chestnut Hill Academy) a while back, but we're resurrecting it today because coach Joe Ishikawa's squad showed old-school gumption Thursday and Friday while tying Malvern for the Inter-Ac championship at 7-3. SCH beat visiting Penn Charter, 8-7, rallying back from 6-1 and 7-5 deficits, and host Malvern, 6-5, shaking off deficits of 3-0 and 5-3. In this century, the Hillers (OK, officially the Blue Devils -- smile), are the first I-A champ to win their last two games by one-run margins and just the second to win three times total by just one run (Malvern did so last year; sorry for missing that earlier). Below are records for all champs, records in one-run games and margins of victory/defeat in ninth and 10th games. And here's yesterday recap . . . SCH Academy 6, Malvern 5: The visiting Blue Devils overcame deficits of 3-0 (first inning) and 5-3 (fourth inning) to earn a co-championship at 7-3 with Malvern. Aidan "Curly" Frye, off a two-inning performance the previous day, regrouped nicely after early struggles and went the distance. Dan Shubert's two-run single made it 5-5 in the fifth. The BDs went ahead in the sixth on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Nick Rowland and Chris "Bubba" Alleyne. For Malvern, Matt Daller and Vince Sposato stroked two-run doubles . . . Meanwhile, congrats also to Malvern coach Freddy Hilliard. His teams have won six consecutive championships (four outright, two shared). The league record is 12 and belongs to Penn Charter and coach Ralph Palaia (1954-65, all outright except for '59).
|Breakdown for Inter-Ac Champions, 2000-16|
|Haverford School||Bob Castell||7-3||2-0||-2||+1|
|'03||Gtn. Academy||Craig Conlin||9-1||2-1||+7||+3|
|'04||Gtn. Academy||Craig Conlin||10-0||0-0||+14||+8|
|'05||Penn Charter||Rick Mellor||9-1||1-1||+5||+7|
|'06||Gtn. Academy||Craig Conlin||7-3||1-0||+2||+8|
|'07||Chestnut Hill||Stan Parker||8-2||2-0||+2||-3|
|'09||Penn Charter||Rick Mellor||9-1||2-1||+5||+5|
|'10||Haverford School||Bob Castell||9-1||2-0||+6||+4|
|Penn Charter||David Miller||7-3||2-0||+2||+1|
|SCH Academy||Joe Ishikawa||7-3||3-2||+1||+1|
Below are regular season records for all Catholic/Inter-Ac schools in football, basketball and baseball in the current school year. Neumann-Goretti and Wood tied for the Catholic League cake at 20-9 for .690 and Malvern owns the Inter-Ac at .667 (with one game remaining). West Catholic no longer fields a baseball team.
UPDATED May 21 through end of Inter-Ac season.
|Records for Catholic Schools in FB-Bask-Base, 2016|
|Records for Inter-Ac Schools in FB-Bask-Base, 2016|
SCH Academy 8, Penn Charter 7
Once again, Penn Charter has accomplished a feat unmatched in major league baseball history. And, like the first time, it did so in a game vs. Haverford School. Crazy. Back on April 19, in a road game, the Quakers received homers in the same inning from brothers (Sammy and Mike Siani) AND hit into a triple play (Mike Siani). Then came yesterday. In a 6-1 home victory, four Quakers combined to throw a no-hitter -- Brendan Cellucci, Frank Driscoll, Kyle Konowal and Matt Gorman -- while recording just three strikeouts. In MLB history, four or more pitchers have combined to throw no-hitters five times. The fewest number of strikeouts is five, and that has happened twice. Three whiffs in seven innings figures to 3.9 in nine, so . . . PC again has outdone the MLB guys! The details are below.
Strikeouts in No-Hitters
Accomplished by At Least Four Pitchers
(Winning Pitcher in Bold)
|Penn Charter||Haver. School||5/18/2016||W, 6-1||Brendan Cellucci||3||1|
|Frank Driscoll||2 2/3||1|
|Oakland||California||9/28/1975||W, 5-0||Vida Blue||5||2|
|Baltimore||Oakland||7/13/1991||W, 2-0||Bob Milacki||6||3|
|Seattle||LA Dodgers||6/8/2012||W, 1-0||Kevin Millwood||6||6|
|PHILLIES||Atlanta||9/1/2014||W, 7-0||Cole Hamels||6||7|
|Houston||NY Yankees||6/11/2003||W, 8-0||Roy Oswalt||1||2|
|Pete Muaro||2 2/3||2|
|Kirk Saarloos||1 1/3||1|
|*-equals four (3.9) for nine innings|
Penn Charter 6, Haverford School 1
The following comes from Wally Lubanski. His son, Chris Lubanski, was selected in the first round (No. 5) of the MLB draft in 2003 out of Kennedy-Kenrick High, in Norristown. That school closed in 2010. In 2013, Chris was the head coach at SCH Academy. Congrats, Chris, and best of luck with the next chapter!
Very big day (May 16) for the Lubanski clan with the graduation (Magna Cum Laude) of Chris from the University of Pennsylvania. From First Round MLB pick out of high school to a nine-year professional baseball career including four All-Star selections to full-time student in the Ivy League, Chris' journey has been memorable and exciting to say the least. At Penn, in addition to his full-time studies, Chris interned for a United States Senator, served as Project Coordinator at Penn leading over 50 interns researching Think Tanks in the United States, wrote enterprise software for a Berkshire Hathaway company, launched a non-profit offering baseball opportunities to urban youth and the developmentally disabled, served as a research assistant for professors at Penn and Princeton, has been an Associate Scout for the Philadelphia Phillies, and even worked the night shift at Target stocking shelves . . . and managed to get married and have a baby in the process (please see attached photo of three generations, two-month old Colton Robert in dad's arms). Having earned admittance to Penn's graduate school of engineering and applied science, Chris will shortly start his studies towards Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder designation.
-- Wally Lubanski
Kenny Devenney is now a member of a still-small club. In this century, five Catholic/Inter-Ac coaches have won regular season championships in their first year on the job. Devenney, twice a first team All-City outfielder for Penn Charter (2000-01), is the first-year boss at Father Judge. The Crusaders finished 11-1 in the all-one-division CL. Devenney previously coached at Roxborough. The teams coached by John Fleming, Mike Zolk and Kevin Schneider all stormed ahead to win overall titles. The Inter-Ac does not have playoffs and David Miller's PC squad tied for the crown with Malvern. In '03 at O'Hara, Fleming was filling in for Frank Allison (health issue). John's top pitcher was his stepson, lefty Michael Antonini. Michael has played pro ball and was even promoted to the Los Angeles Dodgers two times in the 2012 season. Alas, each stint on the roster was quite short, Michael never made it into a game and manager Don Mattingly will never be forgiven. Never! John, meanwhile, just completed his eighth season as Neumann University's coach.
|First-Year CL/I-A Coaches Who Steered Teams|