Kaiser Division shuts out the Wolff Division
John Giakas and Kyle Cullen Named Co-MVPs
July 17, 2014

By Phil Engel, Quakertown Blazers

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. – The Kaiser Division All-Stars defeated the All-Stars from the Wolff Division 3-0 in the ACBL All-Star Game on Thursday night in front of a packed house at Quakertown Memorial Park. John Giakas from the Staten Island Tide and Kyle Cullen of the North Jersey Eagles were named Co-MVPs.

Giakas was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. Cullen also notched two base hits including a double and scored a run for the Kaiser Division.

The Kaiser Division pitching staff held the Wolff All-Stars to five hits and one walk in the game. Delio Coutinho (Staten Island) earned the victory, pitching a hitless third inning while racking up two strikeouts. Steve Bloodworth of North Jersey allowed one hit but punched out two in the ninth to record the save.

The Kaiser All-Stars cracked the run column in the fourth inning off Wolff pitcher Ryan Flipowicz (Quakertown) as Giakas singled home Dane McDermott (North Jersey) for the game’s first run. Flipowicz allowed three hits and one run in the frame to receive the loss for the Wolff All-Stars.

The Wolff Division threatened in the bottom of sixth inning as Jacen Nalesnik (Allentown) and Joe Forcellini (Allentown) singled with two outs. Both runners advanced an extra base on a wild pitch from Matthew Kostlos (Staten Island). Kostalos, however, was able to escape without any damage as he got Anthony Reinz (Allentown) to chase a ball in the dirt for a strikeout to end the inning.

In the seventh, the Wolff All-Stars had another chance to get on the scoreboard as Michael Caputo (Jersey) was in scoring position with one out. But Tom Fazzini (South Jersey) got out of the jam as he got Matt Hansen (Lehigh Valley) to line out to left. Caputo strayed too far off of second base and was not able to get back in time and was doubled up to end the scoring chance.

Giakos added another RBI in the eighth as he tattooed a ball into the right field gap off Wolff pitcher Kevin Long (Quakertown). Cullen scored easily from second to put the Kaiser All-Stars in front 2-0.

The Kaiser All-Stars tacked on another run in the ninth as John Brucker (North Jersey) brought home his teammate Dane McDermott on a single to right to increase their lead to 3-0.

Bloodworth came on to close out the game in the ninth. He struck out the first two men he faced before allowing a two-out hit to Reinz. Bloodworth then retired Chris Melillo of Quakertown on a fly ball to center to end the game.

Catz scratch out another win with eighth-inning rally
June 23, 2014
By Cory D Smith, Of Lehigh Valley Live

The Lehigh Valley Catz have been involved in quite a few close games so far this season.

Tonight's game against the Jersey Pilots at Richards Field was no different. The Catz came from behind in the eighth inning to win 5-4 in their Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League contest.

Designated hitter Mike Roethke collected the game-winning RBI with a single that skipped over Pilots shortstop Beau Horan. He plated catcher Thomas Asbaty, who had reached on a walk and advanced to second after a failed squeeze attempt by Roethke.

But in the end, Roethke did his job by bringing home the winning run.

"I was just trying to put something in play and make something happen to put pressure on the defense," Roethke said. "Fortunately, it bounced over the shortstop. (We've) been getting some good bounces lately. It was a good win."

Relief pitcher Cory Spera pitched the final three innings to earn the victory for the Catz. Spera gave up one run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly that tied the game 4-4. However, he preserved the tie and pitched himself out of another jam with two runners on base in the eighth before setting down the Pilots 1-2-3 in the ninth.

"I feel pretty comfortable coming in those situations," Spera said. "My role in college is usually to come into situations like that. I've done that so many times for my school team so it felt pretty natural. It's always a huge lift to the team when you get something like that done."

Spera finished the game giving up three hits and the run with no walks and three strikeouts.

"He just really battles," Roethke said. "He got into a jam, but he dug deep, threw strikes and got guys out. It was huge for us to be able to come back in the eighth inning and score the winning run. He pitched a great game."

Each team was able to manufacture runs early, but the Pilots took the lead in the third inning, scoring two runs as Greg Kocinski's RBI triple highlighted the frame, making it a 3-1 game.

The Catz rallied back with three runs, two of them in fifth to go ahead. Center fielder Brian Uliana of Bethlehem singled to right to start the fifth, and he scored when left fielder Brody Clifford doubled to left center. Shortstop Andrew Hermanson drove home Clifford with a double to left, giving the Catz a 4-3 lead.

With the win, the Catz now have a 5-2 record in one-run games on the season. Second baseman Mike Garzillo of Nazareth said the victories in those games start with pitching.

"This year, we've had tremendous pitching, starting, relief and closing," Garzillo said. "They keep us in every ballgame and if we can scratch across a couple runs, we seem to pull out some wins."

Spera said the team's morale and camaraderie also are reasons for their success in close games.

"Everyone likes to win by 10 runs, but that's not exciting," Spera said. "It's real easy in summer ball to not get gassed up for those games, but I think our team is unique in that everybody likes each other and has meshed really well. It's fun to win and fun to play in close games."

Copyright © 2014, Lehigh Valley Live

Former Catz Pitcher Josh Prevost Drafted in the 5th Round
June 6, 2014
Josh Prevost Josh Prevost (Seton Hall, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2011-12) was taken by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft. Heath Fillmyer (Mercer County, Trenton Generals, 2013-14) was selected by the Oakland A's in the fifth round as well.

Prevost, the BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Year, logged a 12-2 record with a 1.62 ERA in 116 innings. The 6-8 RHP struck out 111 with only 20 walks and topped D-I with a 0.72 WHIP.

Fillmyer, was Region 19 Player of the Year and a First Team All American as second ranked Mercer County Community College (40-8) advanced to the 2014 NJCAA Division II World Series. The sophomore RHP posted a 0.68 ERA and 9-0 record in 66 innings. He struck out 94 with 24 base on balls.

RHP J.B. Kole (Villanova, Southampton Breakers, 2012, Trenton Generals, 2013) and teammate of Fillmyer on the Generals was drafted in the eighth round by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ausmus, Catz Win 2014 Home Opener
June 4, 2014
Bo Ausmus, Photo courtesy of Carson Newman College Athletics
By Cory D Smith, Of Lehigh Valley Live

Outfielder Bo Ausmus could not be kept off the bases in the Lehigh Valley Catz's 2014 home opener.

The left fielder from Carson Newman College went 3-for-3 with an RBI and was hit by a pitch as the Catz beat the Quakertown Blazers 11-3 tonight in an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game.

"It's always good early in the season to go 3-for-3," Ausmus said. "It was just an adjustment seeing live pitching for everybody I think and we just kind of got in a groove today."

A pitchers' duel seemed to be brewing after both teams were held scoreless through the first three innings. However, the Catz tallied six runs in the fourth inning and five more runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach.

"We've all been working hard to try to get back our swings because we've had a lot of time off from our college seasons," said outfielder Nick Beinlich, an Easton Area High School graduate who just completed his freshman season playing for Belmont Abbey. Beinlich was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. "It's good to hit the ball around, run the bases and put up a lot of runs for our pitchers."

The Catz were able to make adjustments after Blazers starting pitcher Kevin Long of Lehigh got six of his first nine out by strikeout.

Long hit Catz first baseman Brody Clifford with a pitch to start the fourth inning. He then gave up five consecutive hits, the last being a two-run single to outfielder Brian Uliana, who was just cleared to play last week after recovering from Tommy John surgery over a year ago.

"I'm more than excited to be back and playing, throwing, and being able to swing," said Uliana, a Freedom graduate who missed his freshman season at Rider University because of the surgery. "After sitting a year out, it took its toll on me. But I'm excited to be back."

The Catz used six different pitchers to secure the win with Nick Macaione gaining the victory. The Lehigh pitcher from North Warren pitched three innings in relief while giving up three hits and one run with two strikeouts. Macaione relieved starter David Moyer, who pitched three scoreless innings to go with two strikeouts.

Catz relievers after Macaione allowed seven walks over the last three innings, but manager Dennis Morgan said he attributed those to first-game gitters.

"Some people don't have as much experience as others (and) are a bit nervous these first times they get to the mound," he said. "But you can't quit on them. We'll be patient with them."

The Catz struck out eight times. Limiting the number of punchouts will be a big key to success, said Morgan.

"I think we'll have baserunners and if we don't strike out, we'll have people in scoring position so that much of the time if we can just get the base hit, we'll punch a run home," Morgan said.

The Catz travel to Allentown on Friday to play the Railers at ECTB Stadium. The game starts at 7 p.m.

Copyright © 2014, Lehigh Valley Live
Bo Ausmus, Photo courtesy of Carson Newman College Athletics

Prevost, Jenkins and Cahill Earn Post Season Honors
May 26, 2014

Gaby Rosa (Rutgers, Staten Island Tide, 2014) was named American Athletic Conference Co-Rookie of the Year. The freshman right hander posted a team best 2.28 ERA in 14 appearances with a 6-2 record and opponents only hit .219 against him.

Three other Rutgers and former ACBL players made All-Conference teams. Nick Favatella (Trenton Generals, 2012) was selected to the first team while Pat Sweeney (Westhampton Aviators, 2010) and Vinny Zarillo (Southampton Breakers, 2012) were placed on the third team.

Kyle Grimm (Seton Hall, North Jersey Eagles, 2012-14) and Josh Prevost (Seton Hall, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2011-12) were named to the All-Big East first team.

Prevost was also awarded Pitcher of the Year and topped the nation with a 0.72 WHIP.

D.J. Ruhlman (Seton Hall, Westhampton Aviators, 2012), Derek Jenkins (Seton Hall, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013) and James Lomangino (St. John's, Westhampton Aviators, 2010) were also selected to the first team.

Dillon Hamlin (Seton Hall, Staten Island Tide, 2011), Luke Cahill (Seton Hall, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013) and Brian Breuning (Xavier, Sag Harbor Whalers, 2011) were placed on the second team.

Smith, Garzillo and Spera Earn Patriot League Honors
May 8, 2014

Brett SmithMike GarzilloCory Spera

Brett Smith (Bucknell, Quakertown Blazers, 2014) was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year after hitting .313 for the regular season league champion Bucknell University. The freshman centerfielder topped the Bison with 35 runs scored. Smith also earned a slot on the All-Conference Second Team.

Mike Garzillo (Lehigh, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013-14) was selected to the First Team All-Patriot League as a second baseman after hitting .319 with 30 RBIs for the Mountain Hawks.

Cory Spera (Lafayette, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013-14) was a first team selection as a relief pitcher. Spera posted a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings with 14 appearances. Both Garzillo and Spera were named to the Baseball Academic All-Patriot League Team. Spera was selected as the Patriot League Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Brett Smith photo courtesy of Bucknell University Athletics
Mike Garzillo photo courtesy of Lehigh University Athletics
Cory Spera photo courtesy of Lors Photography

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2014 ACBL Standings

Wolff Division

Lehigh Valley132400.35113.0

Kaiser Division

South Jersey231600.5903.0
Staten Island211710.5514.0
North Jersey152400.38511.0

Catz Schedule

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06/01@South Jersey L 3-23:00 PM
06/01@South Jersey L 8-35:00 PM
06/04Quakertown W 11-35:00 PM
06/06@Allentown W 9-17:00 PM
06/07Quakertown W 6-31:00 PM
06/08@Jersey L 6-34:30 PM
06/08@Jersey L 6-56:30 PM
06/10@Quakertown W 2-17:00 PM
06/11Allentown L 6-05:00 PM
06/16Jersey W 3-25:00 PM
06/17@Quakertown L 7-47:00 PM
06/21Staten Island W 4-31:00 PM
06/21Staten Island W 2-13:00 PM
06/23Jersey W 5-45:00 PM
06/26@Allentown L 4-27:00 PM
06/28South Jersey W 4-31:00 PM
06/28South Jersey L 8-33:00 PM
06/30Allentown L 10-45:00 PM
07/01@Quakertown L 15-77:00 PM
07/04@Quakertown L 3-21:00 PM
07/08@Allentown L 4-37:00 PM
07/12@North Jersey L 4-312:00 PM
07/12@North Jersey L 3-22:00 PM
07/13@Trenton L 5-41:00 PM
07/13@Trenton L 3-23:00 PM
07/19@Staten Island L 5-412:00 PM
07/19@Staten Island L 7-52:00 PM
07/20Trenton L 2-01:00 PM
07/20Trenton L 5-13:00 PM
07/21North Jersey W 2-15:00 PM
07/21North Jersey W 4-37:00 PM
07/24@Allentown L 1-07:00 PM
07/26Allentown L 8-31:00 PM
07/29Quakertown L 6-25:00 PM
07/29Quakertown W 7-27:00 PM
07/30@Jersey L 5-44:30 PM
07/30@Jersey W 2-06:30 PM
07/31Allentown7:00 PM