Rebuilding Frankford baseball team off to a solid start

Because of its considerable inexperience, it will take some time for Frankford to determine if it can equal or better last year’s baseball success.

The Pioneers went 19-3 last season, claimed their fourth Public League crown in seven seasons, earned the PIAA District 12 Class 6A championship, and advanced to the state quarterfinals.

“This year’s team is a little young, but we are really deep when it comes to pitching,” Frankford coach Juan Namnun said. “And I’m finding out that we’re a little better on offense than I had anticipated.”

The squad improved to 6-0 overall and in Public League Independence Division play with Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat of Science Leadership Academy.

The Pioneers have a top-notch pitcher in junior Luis Ramos. Last year, the up-and-coming southpaw went 7-0 with a 1.25 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
Frankford coach Juan Namnun talks on the mound with southpaw Luis Ramos.

“He’s probably the most polished lefthander I’ve ever had at Frankford,” said Namnun, who is in this 11th year in charge. “His fastball has some tremendous giddy-up and his secondary stuff is very good.”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Ramos mixes a fastball, change-up, and slider. Also a rightfielder, he was a first-team all-league selection last year.

Camera icon CHARLES FOX
Dioanny Mejia reacts after striking out an Olney batter in last year’s Public League final.

Frankford’s pitching staff is also headed by righthanders Dioanny Mejia, Abenego Santos, and Rico Lugo.

Santos is a 5-9, 145-pound sophomore. “He’s put on a few pounds, gotten a little taller, and he’s pitched really well so far,” Namnun said.

The Pioneers last season defeated Olney, 8-5, for the program’s 20th league crown. They swept the Trojans, by 2-1 on the road and 8-5 at home, in five-day span earlier this month.

Frankford’s leadoff batter is Lugo, a junior who plays center field or third base when not pitching. He is followed by senior middle infielder Jason DeJesus; Mejia, a slick-fielding senior shortstop; and Ramos.

Another threat at the plate is sophomore designated hitter and righthander pitcher Jose Camilo. “He has an absolute cannon for an arm, and he’s an impressive physical specimen,” Namnun said of the Dominican native.

Also in the mix for the Pioneers are third baseman Tyler Montilla and outfielder and righthanded pitcher Kashene Colson, both seniors.

Showcase

Scouts for the Philadelphia Phillies will put two to three players from Public League squads through a variety of drills at 10 a.m. Saturday at Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park.

Namnun said Frankford will be represented by Ramos, Lugo, and Mejia. Olney coach Dan Karlyn said he expects a trio of his players to participate: senior outfielders Shawn Vega and Christian Gomez and junior middle infielder John Marte.

Registration begins at 9 a.m.

Extra bases

Malvern Prep sophomore catcher Jordan Dissin is hitting .400 with nine RBIs. Teammate Liam Dabagian, a junior lefthander, is 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA and 25 Ks in 17 innings. … Downingtown West’s offensive leaders are catcher Eric Grintz (.522 batting average), second baseman Tommy Eliason (.435), and third baseman Evan Williams (.400). … Shipley seniors Gerard Sweeney and Cole Humes, both Lehigh recruits, are batting .526 and .429, respectively. … Archbishop Carroll senior catcher and Penn State recruit Cole Chesnet is batting .500 with 12 RBIs, seven runs, four doubles, and four stolen bases. … Marple Newtown senior first baseman and pitcher Luke Zimmerman is hitting .591 with 13 RBIs, 11 runs, three doubles, and three home runs. … La Salle senior outfielder Anthony Cossetti is batting .615 with 12 runs, 11 RBIs, five doubles, and two triples.