Prep Baseball Report

Season Preview: Ches-Mont League

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

                          ches-mont League

Returning all-ches-mont american honorees

Great Valley - 2013 David Iacobucci (1st-team C), 2013 Thomas Schwartz (1st-team IF)

Kennett - 2013 Brandon Liddick (1st-team C)

Octorara Area - 2013 Patrick McHenry (Hon. Men)

Oxford Area - [none]

Sun Valley - 2013 Jake Burrell (1st-team IF)

Unionville - 2013 Kyle Fries (1st-team Util), 2013 Kyle Langerhans (Hon. Men.), 2013 Andrew Taylor (Hon. Men.)

West Chester Rustin - 2014 Jimmy Brennan (Hon. Men.)

Returning all-ches-mont national honorees

Brian BrownAvon Grove - [none]

Bishop Shanahan - [none]

Coatesville - 2014 Brian Brown (1st-team P), 2013 Jake Kennedy (1st-team C)

Downingtown East - [none]

Downtingtown West - 2013 Brett Hash (1st-team IF), 2013 Pat Krall (Hon. Men.)

West Chester East - 2013 Liam Harsh (Hon. Men.)

West Chester Henderson - 2013 Ryan Hooven (Hon. Men.), 2013 Chas McCormick (1st-team P/OF)

college bound

Coatesville - Brown (Duke), Kennedy (Shippensburg), 2013 IF CJ Young (Harford CC)

Downingtown West - Krall (Temple)

Great Valley - Iacobucci (Franklin & Marshall)

Sun Valley - 2013 IF Mario Farnell (Delaware Tech)

West Chester East - 2013 IF Brad Rhoads (Monmouth)

West Chester Henderson - McCormick (Millersville)

West Chester Rustin - 2013 RHP/OF Isaac Taylor (US Naval Academy)

ches-mont cheddar

A pair of 6-foot-2 right-handed pitchers - Harsh and 2015 Culver Hughes (whose fastball has touched 85) - will anchor the West Chester East rotation for coach Dean Owens this spring.  Rhoads will spearhead a Vikings offense that returns six position player starters from last season.

Coatesville returns a high-profile battery in Brown (7-2, 2.50, 96 K in 61 IP) and Kennedy (.397 AVG, 9 HR, 19 RBI).  Brown has worked 82-84 with his fastball, but there is more in the tank for the lanky southpaw, who was the only underclassman to receive 1st-team honors in either Ches-Mont division.  Kennedy's strong arm and powerful bat earned him PHSBCA class AAAA 2nd-team all-state recognition.  Young, whose older brother Ty is the starting 3B at Louisville, possesses good infield actions and has room to add strength to his skinny frame.

West Chester Rustin graduated nine all-Ches-Mont honorees, including Matt Gosik (Penn State), the American Division Player of the Year.  Brennan is the lone Golden Knights returner to have garnered post-season recognition.  2013 corner infielder Dylan Jenkins brings his 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker physique to the left-handed batter's box and should provide much-needed power production for coach Brad Harkins.  Helping to pick up the slack with the bat and on the mound will be Taylor, a lanky athlete who features a mid-80s fastball and is also a plus runner.

While coach Matt Schultz sorts through a group of inexperienced hurlers, he will call upon the offense to carry his Great Valley squad.  Iacobucci exhibits a smooth stroke with some strength in his swing.  Schwartz, the Patriots lead-off man a year ago, and 2014 IF Dylan Nicklas will solidify the infield.

Six starting position players return for Sun Valley, led by Burrell, who topped the team in most major statistical categories.  Setting the table for him will be 2013 CF/RHP Nick Lewis, a starter since his sophomore year, who will also act as the team's closer.  Two 2015s will step into high-leverage roles this year, with CJ Pruitt assuming the job behind the dish and Ryan Burton taking over at SS.  The starting staff in front of Lewis may not have a true ace, but it doesn't lack for an imposing presence, as 6-foot-3 210-pound Burrell and 6-foot-3, 220-pound 2013 RHP Kevin McGarvey will both see time on the hill for coach Kevin Kaufhold.

Coach Dustin Mott welcomes back six starting position players, most of whom still have at least two more years in his Kennett program.  Liddick is a career .380 hitter, while 2014 Util Riley Burton, the starting shortstop as a sophomore, has above average speed that may see him transition to the outfield at the next level.  2015 RHP/1B Joe Zirolli worked in the starting rotation for the Blue Devils as a freshman and has the frame (6-foot-3, 195-pound) to add velocity as his career progresses.

A pair of 2013 twin towers will lead an Octorara Area team that lost seven starters from last season.  6-foot-5, 220-pound Anthony DiNorscia paced the Braves in hits last year, while 6-foot-4, 225-pound McHenry topped the squad in extra-base hits.  Coach George Hadfield will turn to an otherwise inexperienced group to fill out the rest of the line-up and pitching staff.

Fourth-year coach John Rozich, who has seen Oxford Area make incremental progress during his tenure, thinks he has a group that can take another step in its development this year.  2015 RHP Joe Boggs will lead the pitching staff, while 2014 IF Eric Silvestri and speedy 2014 IF/RHP Kyle Price will pace the Hornets offense.

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