Preseason Spotlight: Cathedral Prep Ramblers (District 10)

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Cathedral Prep has a history of making a run at and often winning the District 10 Championship on a yearly basis. In order to continue that trend the Ramblers will have to rely on some young, but talented pitchers.

Prep is coming off an 18-5 season in which they finished 2nd to McDowell HS in their region and as the runners-up to Warren in the District 10 AAA Championship. Of the five starters who return to the lineup, three are ranked in the Prep Baseball Report rankings.

FlynnEli Flynn, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound OF/RHP has signed with Concord University. Flynn is ranked No. 51 in the PA Class of 2013 and is coming off a 2012 season in which he hit .500 with nine doubles, a triple, a home run and 18 RBI.

HessScott Hess
will return behind the plate to handle the young pitching staff and will again hit in the middle of the order. The IUP recruit hit .453 in 2012 with seven doubles, one triple, five home runs and 25 RBI. Hess is ranked No. 160 in the PA Class of 2013.

DesantiSS Ted DeSanti, ranked No. 57 in the PA Class of 2014 returns at shortstop. As a sophomore in 2012, DeSanti hit .431 with three doubles, a home run and 15 RBI. RHP/OF Chris Francis (2013) and 1B/OF Billy Fessler (2014) hit .348 and .333 respectively and will be counted on for similar production in 2013.

Head Coach Dave Hess feels that his team’s depth and work ethic will lead to good things. The Ramblers also possess good team speed. The lack of pitching experience will be the area that will need to be addressed and will likely determine what kind of playoff run is in store for the coming season.

Francis who went 2-0 in 2012 with a 1.30 ERA in 27 innings of work and Blaine Bensur who went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 20.1 innings of work will be relied upon to hold down the fort while some underclassmen get their feet wet. 

Others who are likely to add depth to the Ramblers staff include Class of 2014 RHP Sam Riley, Class of 2015 RHP Dillon Wolbert and potentially Class of 2016 RHP Carter Cross. The freshman is capable of touching 82 mph with command of three pitches according to Hess.

Two outfielders who did not see time in the Ramblers varsity lineup in 2012 will likely make offensive contributions in 2013. Charles Fessler is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound athlete who runs a 6.8 60-yard dash. Mike Douds is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-handed hitter with some pop in his bat who may also see time at first base.

With Strong Vincent losing a number of key pieces to the lineup that helped them reach the playoffs last year, the region championship is again likely to be a two horse race between Cathedral Prep and McDowell. The cross-town rivals have been doing battle for decades and put on a great show twice a year. From all indications, this year should be no different.

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