Season Preview: Friends Schools League
March 8, 2013
By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting
2012 Champion - Germantown Friends
Returning All-FSL Honorees:
Spencer Bard, 2013 IF/RHP, Moorestown Friends (NJ)
Andrew Becker, 2013 LHP/OF, Germantown Friends
Connor Biddle, 2014 IF, Germantown Friends
Vince Ceriale, 2013 LHP/OF, Shipley School
August Dichter, 2015 LHP/1B/OF, Friends Select
Jake Phillips, 2013 IF, Friends Select
Adam Quaranta, 2015 IF/RHP, Moorestown Friends (NJ)
Sam Rogers, 2013 C, Germantown Friends
Bryan Rubin, 2014 IF/RHP, Friends' Central
Asa Brooker, 2013 OF, George School
Sean Hyland, 2014 C/RHP, Abington Friends
George Long, 2013 RHP/IF, George School
Second-year coach Tim Gunn brings back three 1st-team all-conference honorees as Germantown Friends begins defense of its 2012 FSL championship. Rogers led the team in average (.440) and OBP (.576) while also adding 21 RBI and 11 HBP. Becker hit .347 with a .467 OBP, 18 runs scored and 20 RBI. Biddle made his mark with a .377 average, .505 OBP, 24 runs, and 16 RBI. Becker (6-2, 3.16, 21 BB, 54K in 48.2 IP), the winner in the FSL semifinal victory over Shipley with a complete game effort, will front the Tigers rotation.
Dichter (.364 AVG, .425 OBP, .667 SLG) and Phillips (.433 AVG, .493 OBP, .691 SLG) return, but coach Tim Litz must replace seven graduated seniors from last year's Friends Select squad that reached the FSL championship game. A number of freshmen, including Gabe McCarthy (IF/C), Jack Cohen (Util/RHP), Brendan Durst (OF/P), and Max Frantz (OF/P), could be asked to step up early in their careers. After combining for 7 wins and 71 strikeouts last year, Dichter and 2013 RHP/IF Ben Holl, who also hit .324 while pacing the team in runs scored, will lead the pitching staff for the Falcons.
Despite Friends' Central's loss of a 1st-team all-League arm, coach Ross Trachtenberg's pitching staff appears to be in good shape with the return of Rubin, 2014 RHP/1B Charles Bears, and team captain 2013 RHP/IF Aaron Ross. Rubin (.351 AVG, .510 OBP, 19-19 SB) will hold down shortstop when he's not toeing the rubber, while Ross and Bears will contribute offensively as well. 2014 OF/RHP Hayden Gruber hit over .400 as a freshman before having his sophomore year cut short due to injury. Keep an eye on 2015 RHP/Util Ardon Fryer, who could make an impact early in his career. The Phoenix landed two 2012 grads on college rosters - Lee Penzarella (Case Western Reserve) and Jamie Ulrich (Haverford).
Despite the return of 2014 OF Adam Schoenberg, 2014 3B/RHP Jordan Spector, and 2013 OF Mike Camposano, The Shipley School must find a way to replace six senior starters if it is to compete for an FSL title once again. Reinforcements could come in the form of a couple of freshmen - Philip Johnson (OF/RHP) and Nick Wojtelwicz (IF/RHP) - who are expected to make an immediate impact in their rookie season. Coach Bryan Bendowski returns two of his top three arms, including Ceriale, who went 6-2 as a junior, and will also serve as the starting right-fielder. The Gators sent one 2012 grad to college baseball - Spencer Stokes (Bucknell).
A junior- and senior-heavy roster bodes well for George School this spring. Two-way players abound in the 6-foot-3 Long, 6-foot-3 Brennan Kinnel (2014 IF/RHP), and 6-foot Peter Ryan (2014 RHP/IF), who may have the best velocity of the group. Coaches Vince Campellone and George Long will turn to those three, as well as Brooker and 2014 C/IF Michael McGinnis, who hit .390 as a sophomore, to spearhead the Cougars offense.
A core of returning position players will be the foundation for Moorestown Friends (NJ) this spring. Bard, who is committed to MIT, hit .365 while leading the team in runs scored. Quaranta paced the Foxes in average, OBP and RBI as a freshman, while also going 3-0 with 2 saves. 2014 C/RHP Steve Mannion along with 2013's Alex Howard and Colin Gregory return to bolster coach Ron Obermeier's offense. Gregory will serve as the staff ace, after tallying six wins a season ago.
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