HGP baseball enjoys magical 2019 season
First-year Holy Ghost Prep head coach Greg Olenski ’10, one of the best players in Holy Ghost Prep’s storied baseball history, will never forget the 2019 Firebird squad.
That’s because HGP’s 2019 baseball team added to the program’s already rich history this spring, finishing with a gaudy 23-2 record and winning both the Bicentennial Athletic League and PIAA District 1 Class 5A titles.
“The players, coaches, and memories will hold a very special place in my heart,” admits Olenski. “I am extremely pleased with the way this group competed day in and day out, setting the tone for the future of this program.”
Olenski credits a talented and deep senior class—a group that includes three Division I players in catcher Phil Stahl (Monmouth University), pitcher Ryan Staropoli (Lehigh University), and first baseman John McNamee (Rider University) and two D-III players in Greg Sylvester (Chestnut Hill College) and Cory DiMario (DeSales University)—with laying the groundwork for the program’s future.
Stahl was one of the state’s most feared hitters this spring, batting .506 as a senior with 10 HRs and 37 RBI. Staropoli, the hard-throwing righty, posted a 3-0 record with a 2.30 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 38-1/3 innings.
“Culture-wise, we established a championship one—it is now an expectation to play in District 1 Championships year in and year out,” says Olenski. “I wish the seniors nothing but success in their future endeavors, and I challenge the returning and new players to come even hungrier in 2020.”
Despite the significant personnel losses, the winning figures to continue for the Firebirds in 2020. Will Binder (.443 average, 4 HRs, 28 RBI), a La Salle University signee, returns next year and will be the centerpiece of the Firebirds’ offense, along with Andrew Curry and Jack McDermott (.476 average in 2019). In addition, the program is blessed with a number of proven arms, led by John Neeld (7-1 record, 1.20 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 34-2/3 innings in 2019). Neeld has signed a letter of intent with Coppin State University.
“We will have a great staff headed by John Neeld, followed by Shane Turpin, Zac Newsham-Quinn, Jared Minnichbach, and Nick Henn,” says Olenski. “Our pitching staff is going to have a ton of depth.”