Shortly after the Pennsbury baseball team had clinched a history-making victory, head coach Joe Pesci put the triumph in perspective.

"It's not about the title, it's not about the wins," the ninth-year coach said. "It's really about the passion for the program. We had 101 kids at tryouts for three teams. I guarantee you, next year it's going to be similar or more."

Pesci, who was a three-year starter at first base for Pennsbury (class of 2000) and Bloomsburg, was a special-education teacher at Pennsbury for 11 years before leaving this school year to take the same position at New Hope-Solebury.

Pesci and the Falcons earned the school's first state crown with a 1-0, rain-delayed decision against District 3's Dallastown in the PIAA Class 6A final Friday night at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The difference, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, was Nick Price's single to shallow left field.

In addition to the state crown, Pennsbury (22-6) claimed its first District 1 championship in 24 years and went 10-2 to place first in the Suburban One League National Conference. It finished with 13 straight victories.

"People rally around us," Pesci said. "I love Pennsbury. I left Pennsbury to teach at New Hope this year because it was a better situation for my family. There's no way I can give up Pennsbury baseball. It's been me except for when I went to college. I love everything about it."

For its accomplishments this season, Pennsbury is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania baseball team of the year.

The Falcons' pitching staff was headed by ace Billy Bethel (10-2 record) and Ryan McCarty (3-0) and also included fellow senior righthanders Price and Nate Derry.

Bethel, who doubled as an infielder, sophomore shortstop Justin Massielo (.393 batting average, 19 runs), and senior outfielder Vaughn Ward earned first-team all-conference honors.

Player of the Year

Joey Lancellotti Penn Charter

Lancellotti's return to Penn Charter, where he started his high school career, went remarkably well.

Coming back from Archbishop Wood, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior pitcher and first baseman was the catalyst in the Quakers' drive to a 26-2 overall record and 9-1 mark in the Inter-Ac League.

"Joey had that 'it' factor," Penn Charter coach David Miller said.

"The one thing PC was missing was that guy who could talk a big game and back it up. He went out there and, even when he didn't have his best stuff, he battled. The other kids saw that and they followed his lead."

On the mound, Lancellotti went 7-1 with a 0.29 ERA and 86 strikeouts against 16 walks in 462/3 innings. The righthander, whose fastball topped out at 96 mph, allowed only two extra-base hits.

With 10-plus major- league scouts looking on, Lancellotti fired a five-hitter with 12 strikeouts and one walk in a 1-0 league victory over visiting Malvern Prep on April 21.

On May 9, in the second meeting with Malvern, the University of North Carolina recruit hurled a five-hitter with nine whiffs as Penn Charter all but clinched its first outright Inter-Ac title since 2009 with a 1-0 road triumph.

"He pitched his best in pressure situations," Miller said. "In that game, after throwing his fastball in the 88-to-90-mph range most of the game, he upped it to 95 in the last inning."

As a No. 2-hole batter, Lancellotti, of Bensalem, hit .487 with 40 RBIs, 25 runs, 10 home runs, seven doubles, five stolen bases, and two triples.

"He's a really competitive, strong-willed, intense kid," Episcopal Academy coach Mike Hickey said. "As a pitcher, in addition to his velocity, he can pitch to both parts of the plate. And his slider, with late life, is a good out pitch."

In a May 4 game at Haverford School, Lancellotti (2 for 3, three RBIs, two runs) slammed a pair of homers in a 6-0 win.

Coach of the year

Following an 0-3 start to the season, rookie skipper Mike "Zoom" Zolk guided Neumann-Goretti to a 23-4 mark and a second consecutive Class 2A state title.

Under Zolk, who starred as an infielder at N-G (class of 2011) and went on to play at North Carolina, the Saints also successfully defended their Catholic League and District 12 crowns.

Zolk, 23, did a nice job of managing an inexperienced pitching staff when junior southpaw Joe LaFiora was injured early and needed Tommy John surgery.

Most improved

When LaFiora went down, senior southpaw Phil Sanborn played a huge role in N-G's run to State College.

Sanborn, who did not throw a varsity pitch last year, went 8-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 64 whiffs against 23 walks in 632/3 innings. He will play at Neumann University.

Freshman of the year

Archbishop Carroll's Max Hitman started every game at shortstop and helped the Patriots go 14-7 overall and place third in the Catholic League.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, who earned second-team all-Catholic honors, has drawn interest from Coastal Carolina, Maryland, and Pittsburgh.

First Team

Billy Bethel Pennsbury, RHP

The Falcons' senior righthander went 9-2 with a 1.22 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings. The Chestnut Hill College recruit doubled as an infielder for a very good team.

Billy Corcoran Malvern Prep, RHP

The hard-throwing junior righthander went 5-2 with a 1.33 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 471/3 innings. The Pittsburgh recruit yielded 25 hits.

Colin Kennedy Hatboro-Horsham, RHP

The senior righthander, who is bound for La Salle University, went 4-2 with a 0.49 ERA and 64 whiffs in 562/3 innings. He batted .288 with 14 runs and 11 RBIs.

Chris McMahon West Chester Rustin, RHP

The senior righthander went 8-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 83 K's in 541/3 innings. The University of Miami recruit was picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 33rd round of the MLB draft.

Andrew Cossetti La Salle, catcher

The hard-hitting junior, who has committed to St. Joseph's, hit .426 with 23 RBIs, six home runs, and six doubles. He was a first-team all-Catholic League selection.

Jared Healey Neumann-Goretti, infielder

The senior shortstop batted .382 with 25 runs, 20 RBIs, two home runs, and two triples for the Saints. He was named the Catholic League's defensive player of the year.

Zack Miles North Penn, infielder

While helping lead the Knights to the District 1 Class 6A final, the sophomore shortstop hit .486 with 20 runs and 17 RBIs.

Patrick O'Neill Methacton, infielder

The senior shortstop, who is ticketed for Villanova, batted .411 with 30 runs and 16 RBIs. He was a first-team all-Pioneer Athletic Conference pick.

Gerard Sweeney Shipley. infielder

The junior third baseman and Lehigh recruit hit .453 with 30 RBIs and 27 runs. He had a .684 slugging percentage and a .505 on-base percentage.

Jake Kelchner Spring-Ford, outfielder

A junior who has committed to St. John's, Kelchner hit .432 with 21 RBIs. On the hill, the southpaw went 3-1 with a 0.67 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 42 innings.

Chris Newell Malvern Prep, outfielder

The sophomore and Virginia recruit batted .453 with 39 RBIs, 21 runs, eight doubles, three triples, and a home run.

Mike Siani Penn Charter, outfielder

A possible first-round selection in next year's Major League Baseball draft, the junior centerfielder batted .370 with 35 runs, 30 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases.

Nick Herrera Frankford, DH

A senior third baseman and pitcher, Herrera hit .484 with 32 RBIs and 17 runs. He was the Public League Independence Division's MVP.

Bryan Hyland Haverford School, DH

The senior backstop and Cornell recruit batted .447 with 46 RBIs, 26 runs, and eight home runs. Hyland finished his career with 115 hits and 104 runs.

Conor Larkin Spring-Ford, multipurpose

A senior pitcher and first baseman, Larkin went 7-1 with a 0.81 ERA and 86 whiffs in 52 innings. The Penn State recruit batted .368 with 19 RBIs.

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