Championship repeat?

Neumann-Goretti’s baseball team has earned a chance to defendits PIAA AA crown

Neumann-Goretti defeated Bellwood- Antis 10–9 in Monday’s semifinal round.

By Bill Gelman

The Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School baseball team is playing for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA championship. Sound familiar? Being that this is the Saints — the defending Class AA state champs — third-straight trip to the state championship game, it should.

Tomorrow’s (June 16) title contest will be a rematch of the 2016 contest between the East Passyunk Crossing-based squad and District 6 champ Bishop McCort. The local squad won last year’s meeting 3–0. Neumann-Goretti has already won the Philadelphia Catholic League and city crowns this season, First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Medlar Field on the Penn State University campus.

The team defeated Bellwood-Antis 10–9 in Monday’s semifinal round to advance. Phil Sanborn, Eric Nardini and Jared Healey each contributed two-run singles to jump-start the offense. The Saints are on fire in the state tournament, scoring 23 runs in their last two games. It includes a 13–10 victory over Old Forge in the quarterfinal round. Healey contributed a home run and three RBI and Colin Eiser was 5-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored.

On the mound, the Saints continue to rely on their three-headed monster of Sanborn (7–1), George Masciulli (7–0) and sophomore Joe Messina (5–1 with two aves). No matter what happens on Friday, this season will go down as a historic one for Neumann-Goretti. Former All-Catholic baseball player Mike “Zoom” Zolk be- came the first player in Catholic League history to win the baseball title as a player and coach. Neumann-Goretti defeated Archbishop Wood 6–4 in the league championship game.

If the Saints pull off another crown- ing moment this week, they will be the fourth Neumann-Goretti squad to claim state bragging rights this season. The boys and girls basketball teams enjoyed their respective crowning moments in March while the girls track and field team claimed a PIAA crown last month.