Cathedral Prep Ramblers
Coach (season, record): Dave Hess (5th season, 66-24)
2012 overall record: 18-5
2012 region record (place): 6-2 (second)
2012 playoff results: Defeated Meadville 16-1 and General McLane 5-1 in the District 10 Class AAA playoffs before losing to Warren 2-0 in the D-10 championship.
Top players lost: Kody Kondrlik, Brent Torchio, James Lauria, Mike Piotrowski
Top returning players: Eli Flynn, Scott Hess, Ted DeSanti, Chris Francis, Billy Fessler, Blaine Bensur
Assistant coaches: Phil Sorensen, John Ronan, Randy Colish
Outlook: Cathedral Prep is still looking for its first District 10 championship since moving down to Class AAA. The Ramblers came close last season but fell to Warren 2-0 in the title game. Prep will need several players to step into big roles this year. Kody Kondrlik, Brent Torchio, James Lauria and Mike Piotrowski graduated in the spring. Kondrlik hit .441 with 8 doubles, 4 home runs and 26 RBIs last season to be named all-district, all-region and the region player of the year. Torchio hit .261 with 16 RBIs and 4 doubles to be named all-region at second base, while Lauria and Piotrowski were also named all-region. Lauria hit .269 and went 6-3 with a 1.71 ERA and 57 strikeouts on the mound to be voted the region pitcher of the year. Piotrowski was also effective on the mound at 6-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 36 strikeouts.
Prep returns a solid group, including Eli Flynn, Scott Hess, Ted DeSanti, Chris Francis, Billy Fessler and Blaine Bensur. Flynn was voted all-region as a utility player and can play a variety of positions for the Ramblers. He hir .500 with 33 hits, 18 RBIs, 9 doubles and 22 stolen bases. Hess was voted all-state at catcher with a .453 average along with 29 hits, 7 doubles, 5 home runs and 25 RBIs. Hess was also voted to the all-region first team. DeSanti was voted all-region second team at shortstop with a .431 average as well as 28 hits, 3 doubles, 15 RBIs and .513 OPB, while Francis hit .348 and had a 1.30 ERA in 27 innings on the mound to earn a 2-0 record and collect 31 strikeouts. Fessler, a junior firstbaseman, hit .333 with a .438 OPB to be voted all-region and Bensur went 3-0 last season without allowing an earned run and striking out 27 in 20 innings. Junior Sam Riley could make the rotation this spring, while sophomore outfielder Charlie Fessler and freshman pitcher/outfielder Carter Cross could be impact players as well. Prep has speed, experience up the middle and a strong work ethic but developing depth, pitching and the outfield will be key this season. Alex Geanous, Francis, Charlie Fessler, Cross and Riley could be in the mix in the outfield, while Dan Blazek, Matt Flanigan, DeSanti, Flynn, Hess and Billy Fessler will compete for playing time in the infield. Bensur and Francis look like the top of the pitching rotation and keep an eye on Dan Makowski to make the lineup as a designated hitter. Prep has a loaded schedule, once again, and could be a dangerous team when the playoffs roll around. Aside from the usual trip out west and two showdowns with McDowell, the Ramblers could have interesting games with Saegertown and Conneaut this spring.
23 at Bishop Canevin 11 a.m.
1 at St. Mary’s (Col.) 5
3 at San Tan Foothills (Ariz.) 7
4 at Santa Cruz Valley (Ariz.) 6:45
10 Strong Vincent* 4
12 East* 4
15 at Harbor Creek 4
19 Central Tech* 4
20 St. Edward (Ohio) 1
20 St. Joseph’s (N.Y.) 4
24 at McDowell* 4
26 Strong Vincent* 4
29 Grove City 4
30 East* 6:30
2 Saegertown 6:30
8 Central Tech* 6:30
10 at Franklin 4
13 McDowell* 6:30
14 Conneaut 4
18 Central Tech noon
*Region 8 games
Note: Cathedral Prep does not have a softball team.
Monday: Central Tech and Cochranton