Alumni Baseball Players Dust Off Their Gloves (10/31/2022)

On October 29, St. Pius X Baseball hosted an alumni baseball game at Spellman Field. Alumni players spanned the 1970s through the 2020s. Andy May ’74 and Shawn Sullivan ’85 were the two most senior representatives. Former head coaches Tony Stephens (1981-88) and Brion Deitsch (1992-93) were present and still throwing batting practice!

The bleachers were packed with family and friends of the alumni players, and everybody enjoyed barbecue from Pig-N-Chik restaurant. The teams were divided by graduation year, with the “older” guys playing the “younger” guys. The older alumni jumped out to an early lead but the young guys came back to take the victory. Win or lose, everybody had a great time not only getting a chance to play, but also catching up after the game.

All of the players contributed to the Golden Lions in different ways and made their mark on St. Pius X baseball history. It was special to bring the Golden Lions baseball family back together. The highlight of the day was hanging around the field telling stories of the past and reliving memories that will last a lifetime. The baseball program will make this an annual event, occurring every year at the end of October.

2022 St. Pius X Baseball Alumni Game

Clockwise: Baseball alumni players from classes 1994-2022 and current and former coaches; Coach Harlin, Shawn Sullivan ’85 and Coach Tony Stephens; Hans Bendeck ’94 and Coach Harlin; Tommy Paciorek ’94, Coach Harlin and Andy Paciorek ’97.

  • Coach Harlin Gets Rare Opportunity to Coach a Father and His Son (4/13/2022) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    After coaching Jay Kapp (’94) in his first stint with the St. Pius X baseball program, Andy Harlin’s return this year gives him the chance to also coach Jay’s son, Charlie (’22)
    By Tate Henderson, Staff Writer for Golden Lines, the St. Pius X student newspaper

    Andy Harlin, Charlie Kapp and Jay Kapp

    Coach Andy Harlin, Charlie Kapp ’22 and Coach Jay Kapp ’94.

    Coach Andy Harlin, a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coach, re-joined the St. Pius X faculty and baseball program this August after spending the last 20 years at Blessed Trinity. Not only is St. Pius baseball excited for his return, they are also witnessing a memorable season for a father and son.

    When Coach Harlin first started coaching at St. Pius in 1991, he coached Jay Kapp. In 2022, he will also get to work with senior Charlie Kapp, Jay’s son. This will mark Coach Harlin’s first time coaching two generations in his 32-year coaching career.

    “I was surprised but not shocked,” Jay about Coach Harlin’s return. “I know how much he loves SPX and after talking with him, I could tell that he wanted to come back.”

    Coach Harlin took over the varsity team in 1994, Jay’s senior year, and in 2000, Coach Harlin hired Jay to coach first-ever St. Pius middle school team.

    “I know how much Coach Harlin has given me, and I am so happy that Charlie can be coached by the same person,” Jay said. “I hope Charlie learns. Coach Harlin has a ton to teach — not just baseball.”

    Just like his dad, Charlie has a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Harlin.

    “It’s good for the team and school,” Charlie said. “He is a great coach and he cares so much about the players.”

    It’s this genuine love that keeps Coach Harlin involved in his players’ lives long after they graduate.

    “Harlin and my dad still talk daily, they share more past, and have coached together, so I can’t compete with their relationship,” Charlie said.

    Coach Harlin’s return is big news not just for the Kapps, but for the entire St. Pius baseball community as well. In addition to being in the Georgia Dugout Hall of Fame, he’s also won three state championships and over 600 games, which makes him the 8th winningest coach in Georgia high school baseball history.

    He looks forward to taking over a program that went 28-12 and advanced to the semifinals of the state playoffs.

    “I think it is truly something special coming back to St. Pius and having this rarity. It is definitely something that I will cherish for a long time,” Coach Harlin said. “I am also very excited to work with these players and see them develop as athletes and more importantly improve as humans.”

    Coming off a big 5-4 win against Marist on Tuesday, the Golden Lions are currently 14-8, and they have a home double-header today starting at 5:00 pm against Stone Mountain.

  • St. Pius X Selects New Baseball Coach (4/13/2021) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    ATLANTA-St. Pius X Catholic High School is excited to announce Andy Harlin has been selected to lead the Golden Lion Baseball program beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year. Harlin served as the head coach at St. Pius X from 1993-2001. He will take over the baseball program from Chad Garrison, who was recently selected as head coach of the St. Pius X football program.

    St. Pius X Athletic Director Todd Mooney said, “This process has been amazing. Coach Harlin’s accomplishments in the game of baseball have been absolutely outstanding. Throughout our discussions, Andy’s passion for, and desire to return to, the St Pius X family is both obvious and contagious. We are extremely blessed to have him return.”

    Harlin is in his 20th year at the helm of the baseball program at Blessed Trinity High School where he served as the Department Chair for Physical Education. He was elected to the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2019 and currently ranks tenth in all time record (fourth among active coaches) in the state of Georgia with a career record of 611-199 through 2020.

    “This is my 32nd year teaching and coaching for the Archdiocese of Atlanta school system. I spent my first 12 years at St. Pius X and then the last 20 years at Blessed Trinity. I’ve been blessed in my career to have been a teacher and coach at two of the greatest Catholic schools in the country where I am grateful to have been around so many incredible teachers, administrators, parents, students and student-athletes. I want to thank Blessed Trinity for 20 incredible years that I will remember and cherish forever. I also want to say hello to the St. Pius X community where I am excited to return to where it all started. I truly believe that through prayer, God leads us in our journey in life and my road is leading me back home to St. Pius X,” said Coach Harlin.

    “For I know the plans that I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11

    Over his coaching career, Harlin has guided his baseball teams to three GHSA state championships, eight trips to the GHSA state semi-finals, and 11 region championships. Coach Harlin has been honored as Coach of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club, Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, American Baseball Coaches Association, the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the Roswell Beacon Newspaper, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He has worked with 15 athletes that were drafted or signed by Major League Baseball (MLB) including two first-round selections.

    Harlin began his teaching career at Christ the King School in 1989. In addition to his baseball duties, he will serve as a faculty member in the physical education department and as an assistant athletic director.

    “A homecoming is always a joyous event, for both the individual and the community. So it is with Coach Harlin’s return. We welcome him home with open arms and excitement about having one of our own back,” said St. Pius X President John Favier.

    Harlin has been married to his wife, Jamie, for 17 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education from Georgia Southern University.

  • 2019 Baseball Award Winners (5/23/2019) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    Seven members of the 2019 Golden Lions baseball team received All-Region 8-AAAA recognition.

    • Region Player of the Year
      • Chandler Simpson
    • 1st Team All-Region
      • Michael Spear (OF)
      • Matthew Turner (C)
      • Agyei Quinichett (P)
    • 2nd Team All-Region
      • Jack Herring (OF)
      • Daniel Teran (P)
      • Will Tippett (P)

    Additionally, the baseball program presented awards for outstanding contributions to the team this season.

    • Academic Award
      • Michael Spear
    • Player of the Year
      • Chandler Simpson
    • Offensive Player of the Year
      • Michael Spear
    • Defensive Player of the Year
      • Will Tippett
    • Pitcher of the Year
      • Agyei Quinichett
    • Newcomer of the Year
      • Jack Herring
      • Will Tippett
    • Silver Slugger
      • Chandler Simpson
    • Golden Lion Award
      • Michael Spear
    • Captains
      • Michael Spear
      • Nick Kosek
  • Former Golden Lion Baseball Coach Named to Hall of Fame (8/25/2018) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    Andy Harlin, a St. Pius X Catholic High School baseball coach for twelve seasons, has been voted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame.

    Harlin coached baseball for the Golden Lions from 1990 to 2001. He became the head coach in 1994 and led the program to the state playoffs for the first time in school history in 1998. In 2001, under Harlin, the Golden Lions won a region championship for the first time in the history of the school.

    “Coach Harlin put St. Pius X baseball on the map,” said Golden Lions Head Baseball Coach Chad Garrison. “He has always put the kids first and never wanted the spotlight on himself. I couldn’t be happier for him to receive this honor,” Garrison added.

    Harlin has a 568-186-3 career record and currently ranks 13th in career wins in Georgia high school baseball history. Harlin was 135-79-3 at St. Pius X. Since 2003, Harlin has been the head baseball coach at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, where he has a 433-107 record and has won three state championships.

    Two members of the current Golden Lions baseball coaching staff played in the program while Harlin was the head coach – Assistant Varsity Coach Trey Broussard (SPX ‘01) and Head Middle School Coach Jay Kapp (SPX ‘94). Kapp was on Harlin’s first varsity team in 1994 and was hired by Harlin in 2000.

    The Georgia Dugout Club will induct Harlin into the Hall of Fame on January 11, 2019.

  • Grant Williams 14 Selected in Major League Baseball Draft (6/5/2018) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    Today, Grant Williams (SPX ’14) was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 10th round (310th overall pick) of the Major League Baseball Draft.

    After graduating from St. Pius X in 2014, Grant went on to Kennesaw State University, where he earned a degree in finance and was a starter on the Owls baseball team for all four years.

    Grant Williams '14

    Grant Williams ’14

  • Quincy Nieporte '13 Drafted by Philadelphia Phillies (6/30/2017) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    Quincy Nieporte (SPX ’13) was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 26th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on June 13, 2017.

    Nieporte was a standout player while at St. Pius X. He attended Tallahassee Community College and played baseball for one year (2014) before transferring to Florida State University. During three years at FSU (2015-17), Nieporte hit .300 for the Seminoles and helped this year’s team advance to the College World Series.

  • Historical Opening Day Festivities at SPX (2/21/2012) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    The SPX Baseball Opening Day 2012St. Pius X Baseball Team opened their 2012 season with the first-ever home game on campus in the 54-year history of the school. The Golden Lions hosted the Blessed Trinity Titans on February 20 at the newly completed Seaver Family Sports Complex. Coach J.T. Gilbert opened his ninth season with the team as they took the game with a final score of 2-1.

    Fans gathered at the fields for Opening Day 2012 festivities at noon. Athletic Director Mark Kelly opened the day with prayer and Principal Steve Spellman welcomed the crowd to the historic game. Jim Seaver, Marty Flanagan, and Jay Wolverton each threw out a ceremonial first pitch as they were instrumental in making the Fields of Dreams a reality. At the conclusion of the singing of the National Anthem, faces turned towards the skies to view our very own flyover!

    All in attendance were treated to free popcorn, hot dogs and peanuts as they enjoyed the game. We look forward to cheering on the baseball team, right here on campus, as they continue their season!

    Baseball Opening Day 2011

  • Baseball Alumni Game (9/26/2011) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    SPX Golden Lions Baseball Alumni Game

    The first game played on the baseball field at the Seaver Family Sports Complex was the SPX Golden Lions Baseball Alumni Game, held on Saturday, September 24, 2011. We had players from 15 different graduation years, ranging from 1974 to 2010, and four former head coaches (Bob Gilbert, Andy Harlin, Brion Deitsch, and Tony Stephens).

    Alumni were able to take the first baseball batting practice on the new field and then played a slow pitch softball game (even graduation years vs. odd graduation years).

    Alumni who participated:

    • Hans Bendeck, 1994
    • Trey Broussard, 2001
    • Alexander Bruno, 2007​
    • Brion Deitsch, 1992-93 Head Coach
    • John Dooley, 2001
    • John Garrison, 1986
    • Tony Giarrusso, 1986
    • Bob Gilbert, 2002-03 Head Coach
    • J.T. Gilbert, Current Head Coach
    • Eric Grone, 2002
    • Adam Hall, 2010
    • Andy Harlin, 1994-2001 Head Coach
    • Tom Houlihan, 1985
    • Craig Kalb, 1997
    • Jay Kapp, 1994
    • Brett Kasten, 2001
    • Dylan Kelly, 2004
    • Dexter Lummus, 1980
    • Andrew Mabini, 2010
    • Michael Matthews, 1984
    • Andy May, 1974
    • Kevin McBride, 1997
    • Chris McDonald, 2003
    • Peter McDougal, 1999
    • Eric Mense, 2002
    • Kevin O’Connor, 1997
    • Jack Pendergast, 2008
    • Matthew Pittman, 2003
    • Nick Rogge, 2001​
    • Jemel Spearman, 1999
    • Tony Stephens, 1981-87 Head Coach
    • Richard Szabo, 2002
    • Chris Trantow, 2002
  • Brendan Pilger '06 Sets Oglethorpe Home Run Records (4/13/2011) plus-circle Created with Sketch Beta.

    Congratulations to St. Pius X alumnus Brendan Pilger ’06 for setting the single season (9) and career (19) homerun record for the Oglethorpe University baseball program.

    Pilger, working on his second degree (BS, Business Administration) after earning his first (BA, History) last spring, is in his fifth year at Oglethorpe University and has been a member of the Stormy Petrels baseball team since his freshman year. In addition to the season and career HR marks, Pilger also holds the career records for doubles and stolen bases. He is on the verge of setting more marks, including: RBI for a season, career stolen base percentage, and career runs scored.

    Brendan Pilger

    Brendan Pilger ’06