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Rick O'Brien: Conestoga's Williams working back to health

In addition to trying to help Conestoga contend for the Central League baseball title, Scott Williams had hoped this spring to showcase his hitting and catching skills for major-league scouts and cross-checkers.

In addition to trying to help Conestoga contend for the Central League baseball title, Scott Williams had hoped this spring to showcase his hitting and catching skills for major-league scouts and cross-checkers.

But in mid-February, the University of Virginia recruit, expected to be one of the area's top returning players, was sidelined for the season with an undisclosed injury.

"It's really tough not to be out there with my teammates," the 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior standout said. "I might not show it on the outside, but it destroys me."

Neither Williams, an Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection last season, nor his coaches would reveal the nature of his injury. Three days a week, he goes to a physical rehabilitation clinic in West Chester.

"I don't have a timetable as far as when I'll be back out on the field," the 18-year-old said. "I'm just taking it step by step right now. My first goal is to get 100 percent healthy. I've been feeling better. I took some swings recently."

Last season, Williams, also a hard-throwing righthanded closer, batted .492 with 20 RBIs as Conestoga went 22-4, placed second in the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA tournament, and captured the program's first state championship.

"He's on track to getting better," Pioneers coach John Vogan said. "He's still very much part of our team. He comes to all of our games."

Williams, of Berwyn, said Virginia's coaches, including assistant and area recruiter Kevin McMullan, have been in regular contact since they learned of the injury.

"They've been helpful with the process, making sure I see the right people," he said. "They've showed they care about me as a baseball player and a person."

Without Williams, Conestoga is 10-4 overall and 9-3 in the Central. The catalysts include three seniors: outfielder/shortstop Luke Mogle, who is headed to Maine; second baseman Jake Carr; and pitcher Matt Cowell.

Senior Bryan Dixon has replaced Williams at catcher.

Alumni file. Mike Koplove, who starred at Chestnut Hill Academy (Class of 1995) and pitched professionally for 14 seasons, is working as a scout for the Los Angeles Angels. He keeps track of players (from single-A on up) in the Phillies, Nationals, and Orioles organizations.

Before landing the job with the Angels, Koplove, 35, was thinking of going overseas and playing for Danesi Nettuno in the Italian Baseball League.

Koplove, a former sidearm relief pitcher, played for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2001 to 2006. In 2002, he was 6-1 with a 3.36 ERA in 55 games.

Koplove's brother, Kenny, stars for Penn Charter as a pitcher and shortstop. On the mound, the senior righthander is 8-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 41 innings. He has walked 18.

Mike Koplove last played for the Camden Riversharks, of the independent Atlantic League. He and his wife, Samantha, live in South Philadelphia with their 11-month-old daughter, Vivienne.

Tribute to Aidan. On June 9, the second annual 5K for Aidan J will be held at Kerr Park/Struble Trail in Downingtown.

The event is in honor of Aidan Joseph Silva. In September 2010, Silva, a big Phillies fan and the 7-year-old son of Penncrest coach Steve Silva, died of sudden cardiac arrest.

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Extra bases. Roman Catholic has received plenty of punch from the top of its order. Will Dougherty (. 562 batting average, 18 runs, 12 RBIs), Paolo Gambaro (. 450, 14, 8), Tom Carroll (. 455, 12, 20), and Matt Simon (. 454, 11, 21) are the Cahillites' Nos. 1 through 4 hitters. . . . Radnor's Kevin Connor, a senior lefthander, is 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 34 innings. . . . For Springfield (Delco), junior Joe Sheeran is batting .615 with 19 RBIs and 15 runs. . . . Plymouth Whitemarsh's offense has been sparked by senior first baseman/outfielder Steve Wallace (.419, 9 runs, 13 RBIs), senior catcher Bobby Slagle (. 396, 15, 10), and junior shortstop Austin DiBonaventure (. 345, 11, 8). Slagle, a Villanova recruit, has a .516 on-base percentage. . . . Central Bucks West hurler Marty Martens is 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 301/3 innings. He has yielded 12 runs (six earned) and 10 walks. . . . Hatboro-Horsham senior pitcher Casey O'Donnell has committed to play at Philadelphia University. The southpaw was 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 251/3 innings.